Soft Skills, Hard Skills, Teamworking Skills, Leadership Skills, Communication Skills
SKILLS DEVELOPMENT / 14 December 2016
Soft Skills are Hard to Come By
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Gisel Malek
Content Marketer

So, you’ve probably heard the term “soft skills” come up quite a few times in your job search. What exactly does it mean and what is it’s significance to you?   


To simplify, soft skills are behavioral in nature like communication skills, teamwork and problem solving, while “hard skills” are more technical in nature like Photoshop, Microsoft Office and C++. Think of it this way: It’s like when someone says you are “street smart” instead of “book smart.”  Being book smart (hard skills), can imply a limited amount of knowledge. It can have a negative connotation to it because most people use it to describe someone’s theoretical knowledge without experience. Street smart (soft skills), on the other hand, has a positive connotation to it. When you hear someone is street smart, you imagine they have experience and know what it takes to get things done. You definitely feel like you can learn something from them.


However, when you think of the term “Soft skills” it implies weakness. Subconsciously, recruiters associate that term with a less important set of skills to have and brush it away. This is a huge problem because many recruiters know it’s much harder to teach behavioral skills than technical skills. According to this infographic, 56 percent of HR professionals value soft skills while 44 percent value hard skills. Think of soft skills as the “street smarts” that you want to show off to recruiters. 


There’s a huge emphasis on culture fit nowadays. Companies want to invest in people that want to invest in them as well. In an effort to avoid turnover, recruiters have placed an importance on hiring more qualified candidates. The biggest benefit to having a strong set of behavioral skills is to show recruiters that you have what it takes to add to their team and help them grow. 


According to a study completed by The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) the following soft skills were found to be most valuable for employers, in order of importance: 

  1. Ability to work in a team structure 
  2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems 
  3. Ability to communicate verbally with people inside and outside an organization 
  4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work 
  5. Ability to obtain and process information


Let’s take a look at how they translate into the workplace!


Teamwork

Being able to effectively work in teams will speak to your versatile working abilities and be seen as a great strength for companies. 


Problem Solving

In this study completed by University of Chicago School of Business, research illustrates that happiness is more derived from the freedom to make decisions than having money. 


Communication

“You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere” - Lee Lacocca


Organization

Organization is about keeping things in proper order and how practicing effective organization skills will result in more productivity as well as gaining control of your days and priorities. 


Processing information

Everyone processes information differently. Are you a visual, auditory or Kinesthetic processor? Check out the differences here and determine which one suits you best. 


Having technical skills can help you get your foot in the door as many recruiters rarely consider candidates that have not met specific technical requirements. However, soft skills let the rest of you inside and help keep you there. You can show off your “soft” skills to companies looking to hire by engaging in projects and challenges that show off all the things that are unique to you and more with ProSky.

Take the first step in landing that job and complete your free candidate profile today!