7 Soft Skills That All Employers Want in a Job Applicant

Experience is important when applying for a job, but it is not everything. All employers look for these 7 soft-skills when looking to hire a new applicant.

Worried about the work experience and technical skills you're going to need to land a job after graduation? Yes, those things are important, but there's something else you'll need that you may not have thought about: soft skills.

What exactly are soft skills? Soft skills are the personal skills that aren't necessarily taught in classrooms or in offices. And they're just as (or more) important than technical skills. They determine how you will work and interact in a new work environment.

Keep reading to learn about the 7 soft skills that everyone employer wants in a job applicant.

As you're reading through this list, try to think of examples you can use to demonstrate these skills in your interview. If you can show that you have these skills under your belt, you just might land the job of your dreams.

1. Creative Problem-Solving

It doesn't matter what type of job you have - regardless of the industry, you'll need to be able to solve problems with creative solutions. That means that when you can't solve an issue the usual way, you'll have to think outside the box to come up with a more creative resolution.

It's always a good idea to include an example of your creative problem-solving skills in your resume or cover letter.

At the very least, have an example of how you solved a problem in mind for your interview. Companies like Google are known to ask some rather strange interview questions. Many of these questions are designed specifically to see how creative you can be when it comes time to solve a problem.

2. Written Communication Skills

Effective communication is a skill that's important to every role. If you want to be successful and taken seriously, having strong writing skills is essential. Having the gift of gab has its value, but most communications go through email, so you have to be able to communicate with written words.

Even if you're a genius mathematician or a brain surgeon, you have to be able to communicate your progress, theories, and practices with others. Clear and effective writing skills are the way to do so.

With this in mind, make sure that your cover letter, resume, and pre-interview email correspondence is succinct. If it isn't, you may never even get the opportunity to interview in the first place.

3. Leadership

The ability to demonstrate leadership skills is important - even if you're interviewing for an entry-level position. This doesn't mean you need to be able to manage others - it simply means that you can lead your peers, even if it means leading by example.

If you're applying for a management position, leadership is a crucial skill that you must possess. You will need to be able to lead a team, delegate authority when needed, and manage others.

But it's just as important to show your leadership skills when applying for an entry level role. If you intend to advance your career, your employer will look at you as someone who could someday be promoted to a management position.

4. Organization

It doesn't matter if you're serving up coffee as a barista or practicing law - organizational skills are key to every job. You need to show your potential employer that you have systems and strategies in place that allow you to focus on what's important.

Organization can come in the form of to-do lists, time-blocking apps, and programs such as Asana, Teamwork, or Basecamp. You have to be able to demonstrate that you can pay attention to detail, juggle projects, and stay organized at all times.

If you need to show an example of your organization skills in an interview, you can even discuss the way you organize your home or office. It's also important to show that you have time management skills. Let your employer know that you know how to manage your time. When you can manage your time, you can meet deadlines.

5. Positivity

No one wants to work with someone with an overall negative outlook on life and work. You don't have to be bubbly and overly friendly every moment of every day. But you do have to be able to maintain a positive attitude, especially when you're facing adversity.

There's no question about it - a positive workplace is more productive workplace. When you're interviewing for your next job, let the employer know that you'll be a source of positivity and inspiration. If you come across as a downer in your interview, the hiring manager will assume you will be the same way if given the job.

6. Flexibility and Adaptability

While there are some jobs that are rather stagnant, most roles require you to be flexible. You have to be able to adapt to new scenarios, new people, and new situations. It may not be a skill that you need to use every day, but it's important to show that you have the ability to do so when needed.

7. Strong Work Ethic

It's easy to say you have a strong work ethic, but can you prove it? Provide examples of prior work or school experience and have some references lined up to vouch for you. Think about a time that you went above and beyond to get a job done - and be ready to tell that story in your interview.

If you've been working your way through college and managed to maintain a part-time job or a side hustle, mention it. Anything that can show you are driven and dedicated to succeed will be beneficial.

Technical skills and work experience are important, but sometimes it’s the soft skills that will land you a job. The best part of honing your soft skills? They translate from job to job and industry to industry.

Highlight your creative problem-solving skills. Show that you have strong verbal and written communication skills. Let your potential employer know that you can be a leader, that you’re organized, and that you know how to manage your time.

Present yourself as someone who is positive, flexible, and able to adapt to different situations. And above all else, make it clear that you have a strong work ethic. Have an example of each soft skill in mind and showcase each one in your interview. If your soft skills are on point, you’re sure to soar to the top of the candidate list!

Author Bio:

University Suites is a great townhouse-style community located about a mile from Eastern Carolina University's campus. The community consists of 2x3 and 3x3 apartments and contains a full amenity suite including a fitness center, pool, business center, and game room. The community is the best value in the Greenville NC student housing market.
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