How soft skills increases job opportunities for students

Good soft skills are the culmination of variable qualities and intrapersonal skills one is required to have when working in the modern-day work environment. In this day and age, the world is competitive and almost every potential candidate or worker has the required technical skill set to fit into an employer’s profile. However, certain qualities and skills can give an edge to any candidate who is job hunting. These ‘soft skills’ and technical skills together make for a model employee.
Whether you are a computer whiz, an IT professional, a data scientist, marketing or sales or a master of mathematical theories. However, in order to be successful, you need more than just expertise in your given specialty. According a recently conducted survey in a reputed multinational company based out of America In which the employers and recruiters were asked to name the attributes they seek in candidates, they responded as follows:

    • 8% Leadership
    • 8% Ability to work in a team
    • 4% Written communication skills
    • 9% Problem-solving skills
    • 4% Strong work ethic
    • 0% Analytical/quantitative skills
    • 5% Technical skills
    • 2% Computer skills
    • 1% Flexibility/adaptability
    • 6% Interpersonal skills

In the present day, the everyday functionality of a successful business company depends on not only the technical aspects the employees bring to the table but also the soft skills. These skills must be instilled in everyone for a fluid work environment. In order to briefly look into how soft skills can, in fact, tip the odds in a candidate’s favor, some soft skills need to be mentioned. This list includes basic soft skills that every employer expects;

  • Teamwork
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Work ethic
  • Leadership skills
  • Adaptability

To elaborate on a few of the above, ‘Teamwork’ is by far one of the most important and common skills employers look for. Teamwork is something that is prevalent in almost every individual and is necessary for coordination and camaraderie among office personnel. The ability to lead and inspire is a desirable trait for any institution. A good leader can help inspire others to work better, faster and with more consistency. Work ethic is another important soft skill, every employee needs to be ethical in the work environment to ensure that the business in turn is ethical. Without ethical practices, businesses are prone to loss. The ability to adapt to new work environments and ever changing business models, is a must have for any employee. The business world is not rigid, it changes a lot overtime and employees must adapt to these changes or be cast out.

New graduates typically complain that job opportunities are bleak. Employers do not, for most of the time, hire fresh graduates over lack of experience in a work environment. When hiring new personnel, old recommendations and a minimum experience in the work space gives employers a little more information about candidates. Candidates with prior work experience would know how to function in the office and through recommendations, the employers can know for certain that this individual has good people skills as well.
One might argue that if they are technically skilled enough, then the need for an employer looking at other parameters is unfair. However, being only technically skilled and not having, for example, good communication skills in any enterprise would in turn affect the work. In other words, being good at something without the ability to coordinate with other people who are present in the work environment leads to chaos and uncertainty.

Every business, sells something. Whether in fact it is good service, entertainment or food. The quality of their product is of the utmost importance but it cannot be overlooked that it is the employees that make it seem so.
Mentioned earlier, camaraderie within a workspace is not just limited to the military, but also for example, a mid size paper company. Every department at that company would have to work together to ensure smooth flow of business. They should be able to communicate with each other before they can communicate with the customers. A good salesman is also a good people person.

The above example might be limited to the business of selling paper, but no enterprise can function without soft skills. From restaurants where the wait staff and the kitchen need to follow ethical practices in order to give out the best quality product, to even a small retail store. Customers need to feel like they can trust a face before they give their business to them.

Soft skills have been an important part of any work environment since its inception. It does not just help the work go smoother, but also ensures that everyone in that work environment is happy, content and satisfied. Every student, currently studying their respective field must also learn basic soft skills.

A very famous quote that does the rounds of IT and corporate from time to time is that – ‘People are hired for their hard skills and fired for their soft skills’, on this quote let us look at some basic pointers that students can incorporate in their lives before they take on their next

  • Leadership and ability to work on a team
  • Written communication skills
  • Strong work ethic
  • Analytical/quantitative skills
  • Technical skills
  • Verbal communication skills
  • Initiative
  • Computer skills
  • Flexibility/adaptability
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Active listening
  • Creative problem solving
  • Relationship building
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