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The Top 5 Soft Skills to Land the Job You Want
In today's fast-paced and thriving economy, employers everywhere are engaged in fierce competition for top talent. That's great news for workers because it means they often find plenty of available positions in any given industry. However, competition is a two-way street.
To secure the best possible position, today's workers have to go the extra mile to build up skill sets that make their CV stand out in the eyes of hiring managers and recruiters. In practice, that's not always easy to do. One way to make it happen, though, is to develop a broad range of soft skills that showcase their talents and ensure they are considered to be the most attractive candidate for any available job.
To help job-seekers and those looking to move into new positions, here are the top five soft skills that employers across all industries now prize the most.
Without a doubt, the most important soft skill for any job-seeker is adaptability.
Today, it's considered all but essential for employees who are expected to become pivotal members of a team. Adaptability is also a critical leadership skill that can turn an average manager into a team-building superstar.
Although adaptability is a skill that comes naturally to some (such as people who tend to learn new processes and workflows easily), it is also something that can be learned to a certain degree. All that's required is to learn what traits make for an adaptable employee, and then work to make them a part of your own repertoire. In general, this boils down to learning how to accept situations as they present themselves and focusing on a solution-oriented approach to get the job done.
For many years, rank-and-file employees were generally expected to go about their work and avoid making waves. In today's innovation-driven economy, that's no longer the case.
At all levels, workers today are asked to be a driving force in their company's success – and those with the most creativity are the ones businesses promote through their ranks.
Aside from promoting an innovative workplace culture, creative employees are also more in demand due to the rapid adoption of automation and AI across all industries. As routine, mundane tasks are assumed by machines, what's left for human employees are the kinds of jobs that today's AI can't handle. More often than not, these are creative endeavors and tasks that require new solutions and thinking on-the-fly. To gain this skill, you need to develop a set of techniques that aid in promoting creative thinking processes. Such tactics can spark creativity, even in those that don't consider creativity to be a strong suit.
Within most businesses, the bulk of the work gets divided among various organizational units or teams. For that reason, leadership is essential at every level in every company.
In the past, that meant that businesses operated in a somewhat rigid, top-down manner. Management would provide directions, and workers would do what they were told. Today, however, that's no longer the case.
Today's employees are all expected to be leaders in their own right; able to work within teams, but also to lead them if required. That's why employers now seek out workers with the ability to influence others, and practice the art of persuasion to get the most out of increasingly diverse teams. It's a soft skill that goes hand-in-hand with adaptability, as both are traits of effective leaders. It's also a valuable skill in any role that involves dealing with customers or even other business units. Being able to make a convincing argument and win others over is a skill that transfers well to a variety of endeavors.
For the very same reason that persuasion is such a sought-after trait in today's workers, so too is having the ability to function collaboratively with other employees.
It's an essential part of every business's ability to build flexible and cross-functional teams and, the greater the percentage of a company's workforce possesses it, the more agile a business becomes.
For job-seekers, this is another soft skill that can be acquired with the right effort and approach. In fact, building collaboration skills takes little more than making an effort to communicate with others and keep an open mind, as well as learning how to compromise when it is necessary to do so. After that, sharpening collaboration skills just takes some real-world experience working within teams to get used to putting those basic ways of doing things into action.
In recent years, businesses of all kinds have started to place an ever-higher emphasis on building a positive and productive workplace culture.
It's a trend that should be welcomed by workers of all stripes because it means that they'll have the benefit of a great environment in which to work. But building this kind of workplace culture requires every employee to play their part as well.
This is a significant reason why employers today value emotional intelligence as a key soft skill for all employees. There's even evidence to suggest that employers are willing to pay a premium for those who have it. A research study that evaluated the emotional intelligence of over 42,000 workers found that those with more ability in this area earned an average of $29,000 more per year than those without it. Of all of the in-demand soft skills in 2020, emotional intelligence is among the most lucrative for workers to acquire.
A Well-Rounded Candidate
Judging by how far today's employers are willing to go to find workers with the soft skills covered here, it's fair to say that they can be a key differentiator for job seekers looking to advance their careers. In fact, the more of these soft skills an average candidate can add to their CV, the better the odds that they'll have their pick of positions within their field.
It's important, however, to make sure to craft a CV that highlights these valuable soft skills appropriately, placing them front and center for the prospective employer. That way, they'll see how valuable an addition such a well-rounded candidate will make to their business – and will be sure to respond with a job offer in short order.
About the Author
Andrej is an entrepreneur, a digital marketer and an avid internet technologist. Throughout his career, Andrej has combined his passion for cutting-edge technology with a keen eye for emerging industry trends to deliver customised marketing solutions to businesses and clients around the globe. He believes that the key to modern marketing excellence is a constant willingness to learn and adapt to the ever-changing digital world.