The top 4 unique soft skills your career badly needs
Every job seeker who writes a CV should always tailor it to the role and the company, utilising the job advert, job description, and additional company research online. The final ingredient is the injection of soft skill examples relating to what the company would deem to be important. For example, a sales or customer service role would obviously require a high level of communication and negotiating skills.
Far too many job seekers fail to understand and recognise the importance of soft skills when writing a CV. But employers are looking for examples and any kind of indication that the candidate holds the relevant specific skills and if they can put them to good use. The hiring manager always runs the risk of hiring someone solely based on their qualifications and interview techniques, but still fails to provide the results they promised.
Although there are some soft skills which are obviously required for a role, there are lots more which could add value to your CV. The difference between an average, good and great CV is the job seekers ability to include the relevant hard and soft skills.
The most common and obvious soft skills to list would be communication, problem solving and time management. However, we want to offer a different approach with our 4 unique soft skills your CV badly needs.
The importance of showing empathy in the workplace is much higher than you would think. This particular soft skill can have a positive affect on many other soft skills, like communication, team work, leadership, and so on.
An employee who is able to put themselves in the shoes of their customers can better understand what they want, the problems they may be having, or the type of customer service they require. Empathy is also great when it comes to solving customer complaints, as it makes the customer feel special and appreciated. Something can and will go wrong at some point, this is inevitable. But it’s how the company or employee deals with this issue that really matters.
Most companies rely heavily on reviews, and even just the one negative comment can affect the business. If an employee is unable to empathise with a customer and fails to solve an issue, the company could continue to get negative feedback which would impact the entire business.
Empathy doesn’t just relate to customers, it is also part of an every day working environment. Interaction between co-workers requires a certain level of understanding, especially through difficult times. You may find that someone at work is failing to provide the right results, and it could be easy to get upset with them. However, what if they were having problems outside of work that’s affecting their performance? So before you steam in and give them a piece of your mind, take a step back and consider what could be causing these issues.
Having empathy will help you greatly at work, and if you are lacking in this then there are lots of ways you can improve. When faced with a difficult situation you need to consider why someone is happy, or upset, disappointed, or angry? There must be a reason for this, and no matter how trivial it may seem to you it’s your job to get to the bottom of it and help them. You can only do this if you are patient and understanding of their situation.
2. Giving and receiving feedback
One of the toughest and most awkward parts of any job is how to give and receive feedback. There may come a time whereby your manager has to sit down with you and critique your performance. You could be doing a bad job or their may just be a few minor points to be made on how you can improve. But no matter what feedback is being given you need to always remain positive and willing to learn.
It can be very hard to be told you are doing things wrong, and often pride and stubbornness can get in the way of development. However, the ones that succeed, gain promotion and receive the most job satisfaction are the ones that can take criticism on the chin and move forward. It may be hard to hear, but you are not perfect – who is?!
There may also come a time when you are the one giving the feedback. This may seem like an easier thing to do; but when in a manager, supervisor or training position you need to be even more focused. The person receiving the feedback will only walk away with a positive attitude if you deliver it correctly. Even if you do provide constructive feedback, the receiver still may take it personally and get angry with you. Your ability to stay calm and positive through a difficult meeting will be your key to success.
Leadership skills and qualities are often reserved for managers and supervisors. However, anyone can and should learn some of these vital soft skills to help them with their overall development. This doesn’t mean that you instantly start bossing people around, but look at the bigger picture and focus upon the company’s goals.
It can be very easy to let your boss do all the work, but if you want to be looked at for a promotion in the future then you need to start thinking like a manager. Constantly ask yourself – what would my manager do? Would they look to achieve something for personal gain, or would they focus upon achieving something that benefits the team and the company?
Your boss will always be looking for someone to step up and take on more responsibility. This could be anything from training new team members to attending meetings, or even becoming the assistant manager. So think like your boss and you are one step closer to becoming a boss – simple!
4. Problem solving
There will always be problems that arise on a daily basis. Some may be relatively small and quick to solve, whilst some may be huge and require a few managers to step in. Your ability to think quickly under pressure and resolve an issue could make or break your career – it really is that big of a deal!
But how do you get better at problem solving and become the ‘go-to’ person for your team?
There are two ingredients that make up a great problem solver. The first is their high knowledge of the role and the business. An employee with a lot of experience will have a better chance at solving a problem because they have likely come across it before – or something similar. This level of experience means they are able to quickly resolve an issue because they already know what to do.
The second ingredient comes down to having a naturally high level of logical thinking. Most problems can be solved just by thinking rationally, keeping calm, and by using logic. If you throw any kind of emotional distress into the equation, the stressed individual will likely panic and be unable to think clearly. Not everybody is blessed with natural abilities to solve problems with ease, but it can be developed and worked on. If you continue to work hard and learn new things in your career, then the ability to problem solve will naturally follow that upward progression.
Finally, learn from your mistakes. If you are not able to learn and remember how you went wrong, then you are not going to do so well when a similar problem arises in the future.