The 3 Most Important Soft Skills for Your Job Search

After 26 years in the staffing and placement industry, STS Staffing is often asked by our job seeking candidates to provide tips on how to best “package” and present their skills, abilities, and previous work/life experience when catching the attention of hiring managers at top companies.

You already know what your “hard skills” are, right? These are the culmination of education and hands-on experience you have in your chosen line of work. Earning a 4-year technical degree from a highly rated university, and 2 years of real world experience in robotics, programming or engineering speaks for itself. But what can you present as your “soft skills?”

Soft skills can be loosely defined as the things about you that may not be as easy to quantify as hard skills, but are no less vital to your professional success. Let’s consider 3 important soft skills to have in your job.

  1. Social Intelligence: Various definitions abound, but we would describe social intelligence as your ability to interact and function well in a working group. Think of past work assignments where your input in a department setting was vital to a design review or product development effort, and convey that during an interview. Being able to consider others’ views, offer useful suggestions, and “critique without crushing” (while still selling your own ideas), is a true art. It’s one that propels those who master it to a higher chain of command.
  2. Being Likeable: Likeability at the office, or anywhere else for that matter, is one of the most important soft skills for your job search, and on the job, to give you an edge. Your ability to interact in a friendly and social manner with those around you will do more to insure your place in an organization aside from your work. But don’t confuse likeability with being phony or false. Just be your happy self, particularly in an interview. You should always strive to be agreeable, cheerful, and whenever possible, SMILE. An outgoing, calm confidence, genuine interest in others, and helpfulness will make you likeable to most people, and it’s particularly important during your interview.
  3. Go the Extra Mile: Success in business and life is often a matter of “going the extra mile.” What does that mean? Well, it starts as a mindset that tends to manifest itself in the physical world. If, as a Sales Rep for example, your quota is 10 new appointments each week, but you make a commitment to “go the extra mile” and do 15, you’re that much further ahead in landing a new account and generating revenue for your organization. Going the extra mile means working until 6pm when everyone else leaves at 5pm. You miss a lot of the rush hour traffic, and the extension of your work day by a full hour is always a good investment in your success. However you choose to “go the extra mile” will always pay great dividends in the long run. Before your interview, think of ways in which you have gone that extra mile, and make sure you inject those examples into your meeting with the hiring manager.