There was a time when the primary requirement you needed to get a job was your degree. The higher the class of degree, the better your chances. These days, job recruitment processes are taking a slightly different route. Although degrees and classes of degree are still in use, skills are becoming more critical recruitment requirements.
What are skills and why are they important?
Skills are the qualities or talents you possess that enable you to perform well on a task. Skills can be basic or technical. Work skill or job skills are the competencies you need to have to work on a job.
Skills are highly important. Without skills, most organizations will be filled with well-educated employees who graduated with high honours but cannot get the job done. Skill is what turns theory into practice and therefore bringing ideas to reality.
Soft skills versus hard (technical skills)
On a job, you need technical (hard) skills and soft skills to perform. Technical skills are skills that are specific to your role profile.
These are skills that you have to learn and are the skills you use in getting the job done. They are acquired through education on-the-job training and certification training. These skills are easily quantifiable.
Soft skills are more of people skills. They are skills that help you handle the interpersonal relationship side of your job. They are not easily quantifiable but are easily visible. Asides specific technical skills, soft skills are essential requirements for jobs these days.
Soft skills are what says “I can work well with my colleagues and relate with clients too”.As much as every role requires role-specific technical skills, they need soft skills.
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To help you prepare for the next job you are applying for, here are some top soft skills employers look out for.
Analytical skill is what helps you see patterns and designs and draw possible conclusions. It is a useful skill for resolving problems. Employers like to know that you can derive solutions from a set of data placed before you.
Critical thinking is the ability to evaluate issues and draw a detailed conclusion. It is a highly valued skill because it requires rational thinking, intellect and going beyond the surface.
Teamwork is important to the success of any organization. Your ability to fit into the team, to bond well and offer the needed support for the team to succeed is vital. Being a team player is all about doing your part to ensure the team wins. It is about not been self-centred and wanting to win alone.
When you get into a new environment, how well do you adapt? Your ability to absorb the culture of the new place and flow with it is skill most employers look out for.
Employers like to know that when they give you a job to do, they do not have to go over it with a fine-toothed comb. Paying attention to the minute details of every job not only says you are detail-oriented but that you can work unsupervised.
This is where the term “thinking out of the box’ comes to play. Your ability to find creative solutions to problems is a highly prized skill, especially in innovation work sectors.
Problems solving skills are needed in every work area. You put more value on yourself when people see you as someone who will always have a solution to whatever problem is on the table. You might not always proffer solution, but your willingness to take on challenges and search for solution signifies strong problem-solving skills.
Communication is vital in every relationship, and that includes a working relationship. Excellent communication skill helps build stronger interpersonal relationships between the team member, the employees and clients.
Confidence is not arrogance. It is a strong belief in your ability and the way you approach your job. When you exude confidence, employers are more inclined to give you a job or more responsibilities.
There is no job that does not come with its challenges. Challenges are a normal part of life, and they will always creep up. Resilience is the ability to stand firm in the face of challenges. It also the ability not to allow a negative experience to weigh you down. Resilience is your being able to bounce back after a negative experience.
Whether you work in a job that requires the use of computers or not, IT skills are a requirement in today’s job world. Almost every organization has gone digital. Regardless of what job you are doing, knowing how to use IT skills is essential to surviving in today’s job world.
It would help if you had patience when dealing with people. Whether you work virtually or around people, you still have to deal with people. Sometimes, people will get on your nerves, and you need to be able to tolerate people and not get impatient with people.
Goal-driven can also be called result oriented. This is the ability to work with the end goal in mind. When you are goal-driven, you will always work consciously to win, not just for yourself but for the team.
Your ability to keep things in order is also a highly required skill. Your organization skills will reflect on the work you do. Being organized helps to make the job more comfortable, and it shows you are matured and can handle higher roles.
Whether the role you are going for is a leadership role or not, employers are looking for people who display a considerable number of leadership skills. Leadership skills are the prerequisites for work ownership. When a person owns their work role, they are more dedicated to it. Leadership skills are also an indication of someone who can take charge when the need arises.
Ability to work under pressure
Sometimes, the job gets tough. Deadlines are short, or emergencies creep up. Your ability to keep your cool in the face of pressure is crucial in today’s job world.