Five soft skills employers want - and how to show you’ve got them
2018-06-15 09:38:46 -

Photo Source: Creative Commons 


By Staff Reporter

It’s clear that so-called ‘soft skills’ are a key differentiator in the workplace. So what are the most sought-after soft skills on and how do you show that you have them?


According to general manager Christopher Paye, there are five key skills that make a real difference but which many candidates ignore.


“Displaying motivation starts with your cover letter and CV,” Paye says. “A cover letter stands out when it’s personalised and relevant. Providing insight into the organisation and demonstrating how your skills match its needs, show that you go beyond box-ticking and make the extra effort to succeed.”

Employees can carry this into their interview by researching the people who interview them and demonstrating knowledge of their interests and responsibilities. Connecting on a personal level shows that you are interested in the people you will work with and indicates that you will be a good fit for the team.


“Showing flexibility is best accomplished during the interview stage of the application process,” Paye says. “Give examples from your career and personal life which show your ability to adapt, like how you took on tasks outside of your core responsibilities, how you pushed aside routine work to respond to an emerging problem, or how you moved cities to pursue a new career.”

If an employer values flexibility, they are more likely to grant latitude in how you approach and execute your work. Therefore, emphasising flexibility at the interview stage can help you get, not just any job but the right job for you.


Attention to detail

“This is an easy one: make sure your CV is perfect,” Paye says. “No typos, nothing irrelevant to the role you’re applying for, and no inappropriate email addresses. Personally speaking, even if a candidate has an impressive CV, I’ll usually bin it if I spot spelling mistakes. If they make mistakes on a job application, what kind of mistakes will they make in their day-to-day work?”

If you claim attention to detail as a strength on your CV and fail to demonstrate as much in the very same document, you have undermined your credibility.



“Volunteering is a great way of demonstrating drive. It gives you relevant experience and can sometimes count towards training qualifications. It’s a win-win,” says Paye.

Volunteering can help improve services in your local community while also demonstrating your interest in, and engagement with, your desired line of work.



“Friendliness might seem like more of a character trait than a skill, but in a work environment, it can be learned,” says Paye. “The key to friendliness is respect: it means active listening, an open attitude, and making an effort to connect with people. Also, saying please and thank you might never get you a job but not saying them might lose you one!”

The number of roles which listed ‘friendly’ as a sought-after soft skill increased by 22 per cent between 2016 and 2017. This quality is particularly valued in client-facing roles and where the applicant will be part of close team.

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