Career advice

Why sharpening your soft skills could spell success

Whether you’re seeking an accounting job, legal job or leisure job – one thing remains consistent, it’s a competitive job market out there. When tracking down opportunities, many candidates focus all their energy on promoting their experience and job-specific skills. Of course, a healthy CV with relevant experience and niche knowledge is favourable but it isn’t always enough to secure the role.
With several candidates of a similar calibre often chasing the one job, many employers carefully evaluate soft skills in order to pick the right person for the position. Some candidates greatly underestimate the impact that finely-tuned soft skills can have on their job search. By ignoring these skills, they’re often thrown by competency-based interviews and fail to show they are a multi-faceted performer.
If you’re considering a career move, here are five areas where you could sharpen your soft skills.

1. Show your enthusiasm

It sounds obvious, but don’t suppress your enthusiasm and excitement about a role (within reason of course!) Employers want a candidate who is genuinely interested in the organisation and passionate about what they do. Put all your energy into your interviews and don’t give the impression you’re lacklustre or ambivalent about the position.

2. First-rate communication

An interview is a good opportunity for employers to assess your verbal reasoning skills and ability to communicate your ideas. Before an interview, practise talking about your experience out loud and try to keep answers clear, concise and to the point. Good communication also requires you to be an excellent listener, so always pay close attention to exactly what’s being asked of you.

3. Prove you’re a problem solver

Potential employers look for lateral thinking and an innovative approach to tackling tricky situations. If you’re a natural problem solver who takes a creative approach to solving business issues – this is a highly desirable attribute. Make sure you think of tangible examples to highlight your skill at overcoming obstacles and generating successful outcomes.

4. Powers of persuasion

Your ability to positively influence those around you can be seen as an impressive business asset. Do you negotiate effectively with different teams and individuals? Can you confidently build solid business relationships at all levels of an organisation?

5. Are you management material?

If you’re looking to progress up the ranks, you’ll need to inspire confidence that you have managerial aptitude. You’ll need to demonstrate an inclusive approach and the ability to engage with employees throughout the business as a whole. You’ll welcome responsibility for the success and wellbeing of others and be able to prove your ability at forging effective, lasting business relationships.
From finance jobs to retail jobs, there’s much competition for roles and it’s important to stand out from the crowd. Technical ability and relevant experience should always go hand-in-hand with great communication and interpersonal skills. Many businesses choose competency-based interviewing to uncover these softer skills, so make sure you have relevant examples at the ready before engaging in interview.