Soft skills are the important traits that can turn a good employee into a great one. They are the types of skill that are difficult to measure on paper, unlike professional or academic qualifications, or job experience.
Soft skills help you to work effectively and thus they are highly sought after by employers and recruiters. Once you’ve put in the work to get your hard skills and technical qualifications up to scratch, don’t neglect these additional qualities. They could improve your chance of being hired and help you to become a valuable member of the team that managers won’t want to lose.
Here are some of the top soft skills that employers are looking for.
Workers who can communicate well are better able to explain their own ideas and to understand those around them. This may be instruction from a manager, feedback from a colleague, or a query from a customer.
Good communication doesn’t just mean writing clear emails. It also encompasses face-to-face interactions, appropriate body language, and an understanding of others’ needs.
People who are good communicators are pleasant to be around and make us feel at ease. They also minimise issues that could arise from poor communication.
Great teamwork skills are so important that they’ve almost become cliché. The words “works well in a team” are well known to job seekers and hiring managers alike.
Teamwork isn’t just about teams as you may know them. A project team is probably the first thing that comes to mind, but great employees are exemplary team players for the company as a whole. Learning when to pick up the slack, when to delegate work, and how to effectively organise tasks are all parts of great teamwork.
3. Time management
Your employer is paying for your time, so it’s in their best interests to hire someone who can use that time effectively. This means being punctual, understanding how to prioritise tasks and making efficient use of your working hours.
If you’ve got two projects, one due mid-month and the other at the end of the month, which should you start working on first? What about if the month-end project is much more complex than the one with the earlier deadline? Being able to consider your workload and organise your time accordingly is a really useful skill that benefits you as much as it benefits the company. Making sure you’ve got enough time to complete your tasks and knowing exactly what you need to do will help to avoid stress and last-minute panic.
Time management goes hand-in-hand with teamwork, as delegating tasks and organising a structured work schedule are key skills when it comes to working with others.
4. Willingness to learn
While you will need certain skills to get the job, nobody expects you to know absolutely everything straight away. Good managers understand the importance of personal development and will help you to advance your skills and knowledge.
However, this requires some willingness on your part. Stubborn people who don’t think they need to learn anything new can be difficult to work with. Having a positive attitude and being hungry for change and growth are great qualities in an employee. They show that the job is important to you and that you want to do your best.
None of us are perfect, and we can always benefit from learning new things. Some people don’t like admitting that they have gaps in their skillset and feel like it shows weakness. Doing so and actively engaging with additional training actually shows that you’re humble, human and ambitious.
Training with CEATA
While CEATA’s engineering training courses will improve your hard skills and give you a qualification that you can put down on paper, we also ensure that we develop your soft skills to prepare you for the world of work.
We put forward those students who show dedication, reliability, good timekeeping and teamwork skills for roles with our partner companies.