Positive, Reliable, Respectful, Grateful, Professional. No, this is not a list on how to flatter your boss, but rather what your boss is looking for in employees. These are soft skills – those intrinsic skills that generally are not something you can teach, but are part of an individual’s personality. CareerBuilder.com conducted a survey recently that reported that “16 percent of employers said soft skills are more important than hard skills when evaluating candidates for a job.” This translates to the fact that not only are your experience and knowledge important and needed, but that personality matters!
Here are the top ten most popular soft skills according to the survey:
- Candidate has a strong work ethic – 73 percent
- Candidate is dependable – 73 percent
- Candidate has a positive attitude – 72 percent
- Candidate is self-motivated – 66 percent
- Candidate is team-oriented – 60 percent
- Candidate is organized, can manage multiple priorities – 57 percent
- Candidate works well under pressure – 57 percent
- Candidate is an effective communicator – 56 percent
- Candidate is flexible – 51 percent
- Candidate is confident – 46 percent
Analyzing the list above reveals many desirous qualities that contribute to the successful operations of an organization. Many individuals who simply list their soft skills, but who don’t actually demonstrate them with examples in an interview, will fail to get the job. Soft skills can be honed only by the employee/applicant. An employer can teach an employee to perform a task, but cannot teach them to have a great personality!