The personal qualities known as ‘soft skills’ are poorly named in many ways, as the ‘soft’ belies the importance that employers place on these attributes.
You may have the best qualifications available, but they can be almost worthless if you do not have the personal skills needed to back them up. So what are the qualities that employers want to see?
1. Good Communication
This is probably the most important of all the ‘soft skills’ and for a very good reason. A good communicator will not just be able to talk to a wide range of people in a wide variety of situations — they will also be good listeners and team players who are able to understand instructions and convey their thoughts and feelings without sparking conflict.
Communication is key to developing constructive working relationships and employees who have this skill will be better able to take on board constructive criticism and learn from mistakes. Andrew Bohnet eBiz Answers LTD Director
Everyone makes decisions differently, but the important thing is that employees have the ability to make them.. Being able to think critically, consider alternatives, weigh up advantages and disadvantages and look at the bigger picture will make you more attractive to prospective employers and more likely to succeed in any job you get.
3. Commitment & Flexibility
A committed employee will work harder, be more enthusiastic and dependable and need less motivation and supervision.
The most important thing is to be able to get through the interviews that will give you your first job and then to become accepted as a valued colleague once you have the job. There are several important soft skills needed for this: to be open, have good communication skills, show that you care about your colleagues, show that you are interested by what people are saying to you and also that you are eager to learn. Also make sure that you are a team player, arrive on time in the office and at meetings, be reliable and have faultless integrity. Do not ask for or expect too much right from the outset (your company car, pay increase, promotion can come in the second year of working there!). And most importantly - be positive! Gavin Johnston, Oracle Practice Director, Maximus IT
Flexibility is also extremely important in the ever-changing modern world. A ‘can do’ and ‘will try’ attitude will be popular with every employer you encounter.
4. Leadership Skills
Employers want to see good leadership skills even if your job does not have a management element. Leadership is about being able to show initiative, knowing when to follow instructions, motivating yourself, being positive and always looking to improve your skills and performance.
Build a reputation for being reliable, honest and willing to work hard to improve. Symatrix
If you constantly encounter problems, but cannot see or even consider the solutions, then there is an area of your skill-set it is time to address. Employers want staff who can overcome hurdles and help others to do the same.
6. Accepting Responsibility
Your employer will want to know that you have personal pride and want to take ownership of your work, both when things are going well or if you make mistakes. No one is perfect, but a poor employee may think that they are and will try to pass on the blame when things go wrong. This is not the mark of a team player or an employee who inspires trust and respect.
It is important to demonstrate your ability to work, to work by team, to show ownership, to deliver... eProseed
7. Time & Pressure Management
There is no point in having the training to do a job if you cannot put this into practice during times of stress or within the time-frame given. Focus is essential to cope with challenging situations and to ensure you meet every deadline that is set, as is the ability to prioritize and make decisions quickly and effectively. Employers do not want staff members who begin to flap as soon as the going gets tough. They are likely to have their own stress to deal with and may not have the time to manage yours and ensure you get your job done properly and on time.
Common sense, common sense, common sense, Andrew Thurstans, Oracle Team Leader, Maximus IT