Soft Skills? By Sarah Stempowski.
If you haven’t heard it, you will. Today’s employers are not only looking at your great opening paragraph, education history and work experience (if you have any), your CV should also feature those all-important soft skills (which will possibly tip an employer over the edge to choose YOU.)
“But what” I hear you say “are soft skills?”
Great question, and one that clearly needs answering as you are not the only student asking it. To fully explain a soft skill I must explain hard skills, and yesssss these too must feature on your CV and in your Scouta profile if you want to get a job.
Hard skills are what you learn when you study. They are the expertise necessary for you to successfully do the job. These skills are easily demonstrated by a candidate’s qualifications and specific professional experiences. Hard skills should be listed within your qualification and work experience.
For example, Cindy is studying her BA (Bachelor of Arts) a few of the hard skills she has learned through this course are:
- Computer literate
Now Cindy has also worked part-time as a receptionist, so she can add a few more hard skills to her list:
- Project Management
These skills are what they don’t teach you at university/college/TVET. These are your personal traits and attributes, communication abilities needed for success on the job. Everyone has natural skills and you will build on your soft skills with experience. They are hard to measure as they are similar to emotions or insight.
For example, back to Cindy, our fictional character who is studying a BA: Cindy is very outgoing and loves to make friends. She has no problem speaking her mind in a group but isn’t keen on directing a team.
She might say her soft skills are:
- Great Communication
- Creative thinker
Now let’s look at YOU, what are YOUR hard skills and soft skills?
To answer this you need to ask yourself:
- What job do I want to do? OR What job am I applying for?
- What hard skills does this job need to get the job done?
- What soft skills might the job or company need to get it done well?
- Lastly, ask people who know you well what your soft skills are.
You now have a list of skills, your next step is:
- From your list select the skills that best apply to you? Always be honest, employers will soon realise if you have not been truthful, and no one wants a dishonest team member.
- Your hard skill list should be added under the relevant qualification and/or work experience.
- Your soft skill list can be incorporated into your opening paragraph about who you are as well as added to the relevant work experience.
- You can also add a skills section into your CV.
- Add them and rate them in the Skills section of your Scouta profile.
Here is a short soft skills list to get you going:
- Creative thinker
- Entrepreneurial mindset
- Fast learner
- Fast worker
- Logical thinker
- Public speaking
- Team Player
- Team Leader
- Time management
- Verbal communication
To further your career you will always be developing and building on your skill base. Soft skills may be harder to learn but if you start with what you already have, who you are, you are on the right track to catching that employers eye. Good luck.
Any more questions? Post them on our facebook page