Employers are looking for much more than hard skills when it comes to selecting the ideal candidates for the job. To be a successful leader in any industry, it is imperative to possess a range of soft skills. Hard skills are technical, so they are measurable and amendable, and in contrast, soft skills require mentoring, nurturing and a deep sense of self-reflection. More often than not, individuals overlook soft skills, however they are necessary and highly regarded in workplaces today. Ideally your soft skills should complement your hard skills and enable you to execute them well.

1. Communication

Communication skills can be both written, verbal or physical cues that allow you to effectively express yourself in the workplace. They are the foundation for building a strong rapport with your internal and external stakeholders. Having clarity and confidence in your  communication channels will enable you to understand your expectations so you can deliver your best performance. How well you listen is also just as important in articulating and interpreting meaning.

2. Collaboration

Collaboration is the ability to share innovations and ideas with your team in order for tasks to be performed effectively and efficiently through coordinating the optimal pool of resources and abilities available. It is also about being able to solve problems together, through delegation, negotiation and conflict management. After all, two minds are better than one when it comes to organisation prosperity.

3. Emotional intelligence

 Emotional intelligence is about how you interact with others, acknowledge their emotions and positively respond to foster healthy relationships. It is also the foundation for enabling other skills because you can’t achieve task objectives without other people. Those with higher levels of emotional intelligence, find it easier to ‘fit in’ to group situations and manage people. They are a fusion of many great qualities, such as empathy, humour, sensitivity, tolerance, humility, patience and public speaking. There are several online tools available which help you measure your emotional intelligence and identify areas for further improvement.

4. Adaptability

Adaptability is all about being receptive to uncontrollable environmental factors and riding the waves of change. Being curious, open minded and positive in the midst of unpredictable circumstances, shows a deep sense of resilience and perseverance. Also being able to remain patient and calm under pressure is an ideal quality to have when it comes to making rapid big decisions.

5. Problem solving

Problem solving is about using both creative and analytical tools to conceive solutions. Whether you are an entry-level employee or a CEO, problems are always going to be prevalent in your role. The analytical aspect focuses on historical facts, the who, what, when, why and how, the patterns, theories and hypotheses. Whereas the creative aspect of problem solving is being able to mind map and reframe the situation into a different perspective. Not all things are easily identified as black or white, so they need to be demystified into understandable terms.

Of course, some people will innately show soft skills more openly and naturally than others, however being aware and actively demonstrating these behaviours will help strengthen them. The soft skills that you gain from any volunteer experience, internship, job role or training is transferable towards any career pathway.


Works Cited

Doyle, A., 2019. Top skills to list on LinkedIn. [Online]
Available at: https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-skills-to-list-on-linkedin-2062321
[Accessed 23rd April 2020].

Mello, T., 2019. Forget coding: The CEO of LinkedIn says soft skills are the most important thing job seekers need to have. Here’s how to check if a candidate has them.. [Online]
Available at: https://www.businessinsider.com/linkedin-ceo-names-skill-you-need-for-your-resume-2019-6?r=AU&IR=T
[Accessed 23rd March 2020].

Pizarro, M. C., 2020. Employers are looking for leaders with soft skills. [Online]
Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2020/04/10/employers-are-looking-for-leaders-with-soft-skills/#5276c19f75a4
[Accessed 23rd April 2020].

Steel, M., 2020. What are soft skills and why are they important at work?. [Online]
Available at: https://this.deakin.edu.au/career/what-are-soft-skills-and-why-are-they-important-at-work
[Accessed 23rd April 2020].


Written by Esther Nguyen, Chamonix Marketing Intern 2020

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