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Soft skills - how improving them can help in your job search

If you’re looking for a job you might have the perfect CV and job experience but improving and highlighting your “soft skills” can really help you stand out from the crowd. Soft skills can’t be easily measured or proven but are still frequently demanded on job adverts – such as “great communication” or “adaptable team player” or “strong organisational skills”.  

Most important soft skills 

In our experience the soft skills mentioned most frequently in our job postings and valued by employers are: 

  • Willingness to learn 
  • Teamwork 
  • Communication 
  • Adaptability 
  • Business understanding 

Highlight your soft skills 

In your CV you should show off your fantastic soft skills by including examples of when you have used them. For example if in your last role you demonstrated excellent teamwork by bringing everyone together to complete a project then describe that. Or if you used your communication skills to handle challenging clients successfully then include that. If you have a personal statement use it to talk about the value you can bring to a business.  

Improving your soft skills 

Traditional thinking was that soft skills are innate and cannot be taught but this is not true.  

Taking communication as an example – your CV gives the first impression of your communication skills so make sure it is up to date, free of spelling and grammar mistakes and reads professionally. We know it is time-consuming but taking the time to tailor your CV for each job will encourage an impression of you as someone who communicates well, pays attention to detail and is willing to learn. When you are at interview make regular eye contact with your interviewer, speak confidently and clearly. Know your CV well and refer to it where appropriate. These are small things but can make a huge difference in hiring decisions.  

Work on your team-playing by being friendly and approachable and volunteering to help colleagues where you can. Make a note of any examples. Improve your time-management skills by attending a course – you can find free ones on the internet. Use task lists to help you organise your time and keep them updated. Practise your attention to detail by checking every task and project very carefully before handing it over.  

One of the most important things that employers look for is good business sense and understanding. They need someone who will understand what the company does, what markets it operates in and what its customers need – someone who will be able to hit the ground running as soon as they start. You can show your understanding of their business at interview by researching the company thoroughly beforehand, by tailoring your CV and by being prepared to show where your skills and experience match their needs. Once you have joined a new employer you can always improve your business understanding by learning about industry developments, joining networking groups and keeping an eye on your competitors.  

Improving and highlighting your soft skills will help your chances of being hired for your dream job. If you need any advice on job hunting or are looking for a new challenge please get in touch with us on 01279 758855. 

Posted on Wednesday Nov 21