Soft Skills for Every Industry
Imagine this scenario:
You’ve done the hard work and have landed an interview at your dream role after talking with current employees at a networking event. As a last minute fill-in, you helped them play a round of trivia at the event, and you really hit it off.
After the event, you did lots of research about the company and are certain your experience is a great match. You know what kinds of questions to expect and you’ve practiced your answers.
Maybe it’s been a grind to get to this point – all of the work that goes into looking for work can definitely make it feel like a full time job but you’re feeling fortunate to have an interview and are pretty confident you’re going to land a job.
Before coming to your interview, you asked your friends and family for feedback on your interviewing style. You took note of what was working and what wasn’t, and you adjusted accordingly.
When the hiring manager called to tell you that she needed to move the interview appointment time, you said no problem even though it was a little frustrating.
Whether or not you realize it, all of the actions you took in preparation for the interview are soft skills. And guess what? They’re in high demand. Soft skills are hard to measure and even harder to evaluate in interviews because they’re so fluid. They’re the people skills that some people have and well, some people don’t. Everything you did leading up to the interview – from acting as a team player, to accepting feedback, and being flexible are skills that are in high demand right now.
Employers want someone who can be a team player.You’ve just been part of a large team for the duration of your career, so you know how to do this.
Flexibilityis key. Being able to assess and adapt to a situation will help set you apart from the rest of the candidates. Again, this is something you’ve spent years doing.
Communicate well and solve problems fast. Appropriate body language is a soft skill inside of the soft skill of communication. You know how to stand so that you’re not appearing aggressive or how to indicate to a speaker that you’re actively listening. Gestures, nods, and avoiding crossing your arms are all good things to remember.
Accept feedback.No one wants to have an employee who can’t listen to feedback about a mistake that’s been made. You know how to do this because quarterly and yearly counseling was probably a part of every unit to which you were assigned. Think about it the same way in the civilian sector.
Don’t forget that different positions will require different soft skills. An employer is less likely to need someone who can be a team player if the open job is for a one-person department. When you’re interviewing, keep this in mind and highlight the different assets and skills you have based on the role in the company that is available.
Most importantly, remember that confidence is key. You have every right to be interviewing; you’ve earned your skills and your experience so make sure you highlight it (and yourself) in the best way possible.