Soft Skills

What are soft skills? 

 

What are Soft Skills?

Soft Skills represent a range of different abilities, personality traits and attributes that are often necessary for success in a particular role.

They can be best described as personal traits that shape the way you work and interact with others. 

Soft Skills play a key role in demonstrating how an individual interacts with colleagues, performs work related tasks, communicates and builds relationships.    

 

Soft Skills at Work

Some examples of soft skills that are desirable in the workplace include; adaptability, communication, creativity, critical thinking, conflict resolution, decision making, flexibility, integrity, leadership, motivation, research, time management and problem solving. Generally speaking the above sets of soft skills can be broken into the following five categories;

 

- Adaptability

- Creativity

- Communication

- Problem solving

- Work ethic

 

Importance of Soft Skills

Soft Skills are becoming more and more vital in the workplace.

Candidates seeking new employment will often find that job opportunities now put more focus on soft skillsets, with many being deemed essential requirements to being successful in a particular role.     

The reason soft skills are in such demand is because they are highly transferrable skills that can be applied to numerous situations in a number of different roles. 

We often find candidates who have the most success in job applications (and interviews) are  the ones who are able to provide previous examples of where they used their soft skills and then relate that to the question being asked by the interviewer. 

A recent Linkedin survey showed that 80% of HR professionals say that soft skills are increasingly important to a company's (and a  candidate's) success. 

Soft Skills vs Hard Skills

What's the difference?

 

Soft Skills represent a more inherent skillset that tend to be more people focused in nature. Hard skills are typically easier to define and tend to be based around technical know-how or ‘how to do something’. An example of a hard skill could be a computer programmer developing some code for an application or a seamstress making an item of clothing.  

 

Unlike Hard Skills which can be learned (and measured) with relative ease, Soft Skills present more of a challenge when it comes to both learning and measurement.    

 

Generally speaking Hards Skills are easier to teach through training, education and on-the-job experience. 

 Soft Skills Examples

 

Adaptability:

Flexibility

Consistency 

Resistance/willingness to change 

 

Communication:

Listening 

Conflict resolution 

Leading others

Empathy

Persuasion

 

Problem Solving:

Critical thinking 

Research 

Persistance

Attention to detail

 

Creativity:

Curiosity

Imagination

Inventiveness

 

Work Ethic: 

Time management

Team work 

Organisation

Decisiveness 

Hard Skills Examples

 

Using a specific piece of software or coding language:

Computer programming / coding (ruby, python, java, .php etc)

Microsoft Excel

Adobe Creative Suite

Web development 

Mobile app development

Blockchain development 

 

Project management:

Agile methodology etc

 

Hard communication skills:

Speaking multiple languages

Copywriting 

 

Marketing:

SEO marketing 

Graphic design

 

Data analysis:

Data mining

Interpreting analytics

Data presentation / visualisation

Business analysis

Analytical reasoning