During your job search, it’s important to recognize that possessing the necessary professional skills alone may not set you apart from other candidates. In the current job market, shaped by the pandemic, recruiters have revised their priorities and now place greater emphasis on soft skills.
Amanda Augustine, a career expert from TopResume, acknowledges that COVID-19 has disrupted the hiring process for both job seekers and recruiters. By analyzing data, she found that candidates often overlook the soft skills that recruiters now value, leading to their elimination from consideration even before or after virtual interviews.
Soft skills, also known as personal skills, refer to the qualities that make you a valuable employee beyond technical expertise. They can come naturally or be developed through online classes and certifications. It is crucial to include soft skills on your resume to quickly demonstrate your suitability for a role.
Here are the top soft skills employers desire in 2023:
1. Creative problem solving and innovation:
In the ever-evolving business landscape, employers highly value candidates who can approach challenges with creativity and think outside the box to find solutions. They want individuals who can not only tackle existing problems but also generate fresh ideas that lead to innovation and improvement within the company.
Make sure to highlight your problem-solving skills on your resume, providing specific examples of how you have creatively resolved complex issues. During interviews, express your enthusiasm for taking on challenges and showcase your ability to think logically and creatively in problem-solving scenarios.
2. Communication skills:
Effective communication is a fundamental skill that employers seek in candidates across all industries. It encompasses not only verbal and written communication but also virtual communication through various platforms like emails, chats, video calls, and phone conferences.
Strong communication skills are crucial for building relationships with clients and team members, ensuring clear and concise information exchange, and fostering collaboration.
Consider investing in a class or training program to enhance your communication abilities and demonstrate them on your resume and during interviews.
Provide examples of successful communication experiences, such as resolving conflicts or effectively presenting ideas, to showcase your proficiency in this skill.
3. Time management:
With the shift towards remote work arrangements, employers now place a high premium on candidates who can effectively manage their time and remain productive without constant supervision.
Time management skills involve organizing and prioritizing tasks, setting realistic deadlines, and staying focused to meet objectives efficiently. Utilize tools such as calendars and productivity apps to create schedules, set goals, and track progress.
During interviews, discuss your approach to time management and provide examples of how you have successfully met deadlines and achieved goals in previous roles.
4. A growth mindset:
In a rapidly changing job market, having a growth mindset is crucial for long-term success. Employers value candidates who demonstrate a willingness to learn, adapt, and acquire new skills to stay relevant and thrive in evolving industries.
A growth mindset entails being proactive in seeking opportunities for personal and professional growth, continuously expanding your knowledge, and embracing challenges as learning experiences. Showcase your growth mindset on your resume by highlighting instances where you took the initiative to learn new skills or undertook projects that required you to step out of your comfort zone.
During interviews, express your eagerness to embrace change, learn from new experiences, and contribute to the organization’s growth.
5. Emotional intelligence:
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your emotions and those of others.
Employers recognize the importance of emotional intelligence in fostering positive work environments, enhancing teamwork, and effectively managing relationships with colleagues and clients.
Showcasing empathy, active listening, and effective interpersonal communication are key aspects of emotional intelligence. During interviews, provide examples of situations where you successfully demonstrated emotional intelligence, such as resolving conflicts, offering support to team members, or handling challenging interactions with clients.
Collaboration is essential for achieving shared goals and maximizing productivity in a team-based work environment. Employers value candidates who can effectively collaborate, trust their teammates, contribute ideas, and work towards collective success.
Highlight your collaboration skills on your resume by showcasing successful team projects or highlighting instances where you actively contributed to a team’s achievements.
During interviews, emphasize your ability to work well with others, your openness to different perspectives, and your willingness to contribute to a cohesive and efficient team dynamic.
The ability to adapt to changing circumstances and embrace new technologies, methodologies, and ways of thinking is highly valued by employers. In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, companies need employees who can quickly adjust to new challenges and seize opportunities.
Showcase your adaptability on your resume by highlighting instances where you successfully adapted to changes in previous roles, such as implementing new systems or adjusting to remote work.
During interviews, discuss your flexibility, openness to change, and ability to quickly learn and adapt to new environments and technologies. Provide examples of how you have thrived in dynamic situations and demonstrate your willingness to embrace change as a catalyst for growth and improvement.
8. Active listening:
Active listening goes beyond simply hearing what others say; it involves fully engaging in conversations, demonstrating attentiveness, and responding thoughtfully. Employers value candidates who can actively listen to colleagues, clients, and stakeholders, as it fosters effective communication, understanding, and collaboration.
Practice active listening by maintaining eye contact, asking clarifying questions, and providing verbal and non-verbal cues to show your engagement. During interviews, showcase your active listening skills by carefully listening to the interviewer’s questions and providing thoughtful and relevant responses. This demonstrates your ability to comprehend information accurately and respond effectively.
Leadership skills encompass the ability to inspire, motivate, and guide others towards achieving common goals. While leadership may be associated with managerial roles, employers seek candidates who exhibit leadership qualities regardless of their position.
Effective leaders possess a combination of various soft skills, including communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and emotional intelligence. Highlight your leadership experiences on your resume, such as leading projects, mentoring teammates, or taking on additional responsibilities.
During interviews, discuss your leadership style, how you have influenced others, and your commitment to personal and professional growth. Emphasize your potential to not only excel in your current role but also to contribute to the company’s long-term success as a future leader.
Remember that these soft skills are complementary to your technical abilities and qualifications. Employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of well-rounded individuals who can thrive in the “new normal” work environment. By showcasing these sought-after soft skills, you can position yourself as a valuable asset to prospective employers and differentiate yourself from other candidates.