Job Hunting Success - Build Your Soft-Skills

Build Your Soft Skills For Career and Job Hunting Success

We've all worked with or know of individuals who, although skilled in many of the technical aspects of their careers, their soft skills did not keep pace with their technical accomplishments.

By soft skills we are talking about communication both oral and written, teamwork, time management, leadership skills and just plain overall likeability. Moreover, these traits and behaviors are carefully considered by many employers during the recruitment process.

Many can have all the education required for a career, but have a problem getting along with others, have ideas that go nowhere because they have difficulty selling them, they are late getting critical work done, their career will go nowhere and if out of work may have a prolonged period between jobs.
With the many qualified individuals competing for limited job openings how you demonstrate your soft skills is critical for job hunting success and career mobility.

Make the Important First Impression

It all starts with first impressions. Your first opportunity to present yourself is through your cover letter and resume. How these documents show you are skilled in the soft skills area your chances go way up in getting the first interview and the opportunity in making a favorable second impression.

Your job is to portray yourself that you have the desired soft-skill set in you contacts with the prospective employer.

Six Tips to Showcase Your Soft-Skills

Here are six tips to help you avoid you job hunting materials falling to the bottom of the stack.

  1. Each cover letter and resume submission should be individually designed and drafted to address the employer's needs. If the prospective employer asks you to respond to a specific question, take the time to fully answer the question and what skills and experience you bring to the job.
  2. Your emphasis in highlighting your accomplishments as they relate to the prospective job, referring to something learned from the company website or recent company news, all show you are good at following instructions and are interested in the job.
  3. Other important details are addressing the cover letter properly, correct spelling in everything you send out from letters to handwritten thank you notes. Proper follow-up is also critical, if you promise to call at a specific time be sure to keep records so you don't miss a deadline.
  4. Demonstrate soft-skills competency. Don't say you were a great team leader. Tell a story of completing a project on time and under budget, and along the way resolved some team member's motivational problem.
  5. Make sure the achievements highlighted in your resume are relevant to the employer's needs. Don't expect the employer to guess you have, for example, project management experience (it was the #1 job requirement listed in the job announcement) if it's hidden on the second page of your resume and never mentioned in your cover letter.
  6. Coach your references to provide examples of your soft-skills that relate to the needs of the employer. If customer service skills are important to the prospective job remind your references of instances where you used these skills and results achieved. By zeroing in on the employer's needs you will again move ahead of the other competitors.
If you find in your personal analysis of your soft skills that you need improvement in a particular area, build this into your career plan. Have problems with your presentation skills, find a Toastmasters group to join, need help in your writing skills, take a writing class at a local junior college.

For more information on soft-skill improvement and how they relate to job hunting and to learn more about career planning, career development and how they relate to successful job hunting and career change go to Find additional information and stories about successful career change planning, discover how it will assist you in planning career change.

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