Find a Job by Sharpening Your Soft Skills

Many qualified workers find themselves competing for a small number of jobs as the economy continues its slow recovery. In the wake of the recession, how will you stand out amongst the crowd of people applying for your job of choice?
Demonstrating your soft skills – your positive attitude, flexibility and ability to interact with other people – can help give you an edge when looking for a job. Potential employers want to see that you not only have the skills and knowledge to perform the technical requirements of the position, but also that you will be an energetic and motivated team player. 

Soft Skills that Lead to Job Success

Ready to give yourself an edge in the employment hunt? Employers are looking for individuals who can demonstrate the following skills:

  • Teamwork and collaboration skills: While your job is unique to you, don’t forget that you’re also part of a larger team. Close relationships with coworkers can improve productivity and morale. Make sure that the workload is being shared and avoid unnecessary conflict whenever possible.
  • Enthusiasm: Showing excitement about your job shouldn’t end once you’ve aced the interviewed and landed the position. Demonstrate initiative and show your passion for your job by pursuing new and challenging work. Perform tasks before being asked and volunteer to take on additional responsibilities when possible.
  • Oral and written communication skills: Ideal employees know how and when to share their ideas and concerns with their supervisor. Instead of complaining about a stressful situation, explain what is happening and offer suggestions on how you could do your job more efficiently. And don’t forget to listen – employers report entry-level candidates often struggle with listening carefully. Ask questions and take notes to ensure you understand what is being said.
  • Professionalism: When you went on your interview, you made sure that you dressed to impress and were on your best behavior. Carry that attitude into your work life by wearing the appropriate attire for your work setting, arriving on time, turning off your cell phone and speaking in a respectful manner with everyone with whom you interact.  

Learn more about improving your soft skills by checking out AOL’s “Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Seekers” and the DOL’s report, “Soft Skills: The Competitive Edge.”
Need in-person assistance, job coaching or to find about programs and services that can help you improve your employment prospects by strengthening both your hard and soft skills?

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