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Soft Skills – Top six for employment

If you’re looking for a new job or promotion, here are some key soft skills to improve in the year ahead.

Communication

Communication is key, no matter what line of work you are in. As workplaces become more connected with an increased focus on collaboration and social  tools, being able to communicate effectively is more important than ever. Strong verbal skills partnered with active listening are vital. Learn to also be aware of non-verbal communication conveyed through body language and facial expressions.

Interpersonal skills

Teamwork is a big buzzword in the workplace as new tools and technology allow for enhanced collaboration. The ability to be a team player, build strong relationships, and effectively manage conflict can be as important to career success as technical skills or work experience. If you’re applying for jobs make sure your resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile highlight your ability to work well with others.

Adaptability

The pace of change has never been faster in business – and employees who become adept at learning new skills and managing change are those who will get ahead. Don’t be surprised if your job and responsibilities continue to morph as challenges and priorities change. Instead of complaining that the role “isn’t what you signed up for,” embrace the change and showcase your ability to adapt to any situation. When it comes to a job interview, make sure you have several ready examples of how you successfully adapted to change while on the job.

Problem solving

For those who want to stand out from the pack, you need to show your ability to solve new challenges and come up with fresh solutions. A key accessory to problem solving is attention to detail, this skill can showcase your mastery of the task at hand. Employees who display a blend of reasoning, creativity, flexibility and a can-do attitude will set themselves apart during the interview – and on the job.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence can be hard to quantify, but it is a highly valued skill that relates to your social skills, social awareness and self-management abilities. You can highlight strong emotional intelligence at a job interview by providing examples of how you effectively handled conflict or emotional situations in the past.

Strong work ethic

Effective managers these days don’t have time for handholding or micromanaging an employee’s every move. Employers are looking for reliable self-starters who can do the job right the first time. Make sure to emphasize examples of your strong work ethic and willingness to take initiative. If a manager senses you are high maintenance, it’s a major red flag.

Employers often figure that they can train new employees when it comes to technical skills or company procedures. Yet, they don’t have the time, resources, or patience to get employees up to speed when it comes to essential soft skills. By taking the initiative to sharpen your soft skills, you will be setting yourself apart – and setting yourself up for success!

Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at 6 Soft Skills to Improve

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