A Hard Look at Soft Skills
In today’s job market, employers are not necessarily looking at the most skilled person. If a perfectly skilled job candidate were to come in for an interview and had absolutely no soft skills, the employer may consider looking for some one else. It is completely personal. Soft skills are those nuances that make a person individually unique and stand out. These skills are all about how a person works with others, maintains a positive attitude under pressure, solves a personal or work crisis and communicates both ethically and effectively (Lorenz, 2005). “When you are working in teams, it’s the soft skills that will make you effective,” says Claire Zevalkink, a former vice president of Quixtar (Schoonmaker, 2007, p. 7). A person is trying to figure out if they have these soft skills might ask themselves some hard hitting questions (Lorenz, 2005): •
Are you motivated and dedicated to getting the job done, no matter what? •
Will you generate good energy and good will?
Can you make your case and express your needs in a way that builds bridges with colleagues, customers and vendors? •
Do you know how to prioritize tasks and work on a number of different projects at once? •
Are you resourceful and able to creatively solve problems that will inevitably arise? •
Can you handle the stress that accompanies deadlines and crises? •
Are you able to adapt to new situations and challenges?
Are you coach able and open to learning and growing as a person and as a professional? •
Will you have the courage to ask questions that need to be asked and to freely contribute your ideas? When an employer is looking a candidate for a position, one consideration may be what the candidate can bring to the table. Having a college degree is not enough; experience, personality and leadership are qualities employers want to see. In an interview a candidate may want to explain the success of a particular project or supply letters of recommendation from prior...
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