What are soft skills and why they are important?

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Whatever be the field you have chosen for your career, you need to adapt a comprehensive approach and learning to give your best to the society, your contacts and your employer. While your scholastic education would have equipped you with the knowledge you need of the subjects related to your industry domain, you must take the right efforts to hone your soft skills. Soft-skills are never taught as a subject in regular education. You need to find the right environment outside your school or college to know them and cultivate them. Here are the basics you need to know about soft skills and why they are important to you.

What are soft skills?
Soft skills can be described as the set of personality traits, behaviors and interpersonal skills you will need to interact with other people in a social or professional setting. To elaborate on this in relation to one’s career, we can say soft skills represent an individual’s ability to work efficiently and harmoniously with other people in the organization or group. Every employer looks for a set of soft skills in their employees. The review entitled ‘2019 State of the Workplace’ published by the Society of Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) says soft skills represent a few of the topmost missing skills in most job applicants. This observation stresses on the importance of cultivating soft skills through some soft skill development course or program for facing the interviews and job selection processes effectively.

Soft skills are not related to some specific professions. They are related to our personality and soft skills are highly transferable to any domain we might go into. Though they are less tangible than hard skills, it is possible to develop them through learning. You just have to cultivate the willingness to develop them and find the right opportunities to hone your soft skills. Some soft skills you can list include persuasion, creativity, speaking, emotional intelligence and collaboration.

Why are soft skills important?
Most employers feel soft skills are vital to guarantee the performance of their employees. A survey conducted by LinkedIn in 2018 has found that about 57% of the employers felt soft skills are more important than hard skills. Ability to communicate effectively even under high levels of stress is a desirable quality most employers want in their employees. Secondly, the ability to encourage their team, the capacity to work in collaboration, and the ability to meet deadlines are highly needed to give the best performance at the workplace and hence organizations view them on top priority.

Soft skills are highly relevant to humans and most of the soft skills cannot be replicated by artificial intelligence. Hence the importance of soft skills will only grow in future.

Understanding soft skills, assess your soft skills, taking the right steps to hone your soft skills are ways to enhance your personality and performance. Sure steps you take in these lines can strengthen your resume and give you a winning edge among the other job-seekers.

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