There are some skills that all employers – no matter what the job or industry – are looking for in their employees. These are the skills that will help you succeed on the job and move ahead in your career. Sometimes called “soft skills”, the skills employers value includes things like communication, attitude, responsibility, and willingness to learn. They’re sometimes hard to define, but employers and peers recognize them when they see them.
Fortunately, these skills can be learned through training and practice. And more good news? An employer who sees a job seeker or employee making an effort is more likely to be supportive and want to hire or keep that person as an employee.
The Changing Job Market Makes Soft Skills More Valuable
COVID-19, artificial intelligence, and rapid technological advances are quickly changing the job market in the United States and around the world. As the job market changes, employers are placing more importance on finding employees who possess soft skills that enable them to work well with others, adapt to change, and solve problems. They know that employees with strong soft skills will be able to use those same skills to succeed even if their job changes due to technological advances or changing employer needs.
Self-Reflection, Training, and Practice
Soft skills can be learned with a little self-reflection, training, and practice. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- Grit, time management, teamwork, integrity… rate yourself with this Soft Skills Checklist.
- Identify the skills you already possess with this Soft Skills Self Evaluation.
- Use these resources from “Skills to Pay the Bills” to learn more about soft skills valued by employers. It’s a curriculum designed to teach soft skills to youth, but that applies to all age levels.
- Use this Action Plan to set concrete goals and find support to improve your soft skills.
- Are there soft skills you’d like to work on? Use this skills checklist to strengthen your soft skills.
Now that you’re aware of your soft skills, have learned more about what employers look for and value, and have a plan to continue strengthening your skills, you have the tools to you need to keep building the skills employers value!