Reading a job description, you look over the skills & knowledge required to do the job, you mentally tick them all off and apply. But sometimes just knowing how to do the job isn’t enough for companies, often they look for more. Companies will look for what are known as soft or other skills. In the last 10 years or so, the required “other skills” have shifted somewhat, you’ll no longer be required to have legible penmanship but you’ll certainly be required to perform other tasks competently. Have a read below to see what kind of “other” skills companies might look for and how you can improve them to optimize your chances of landing a job.
Computer literacy: It’s the 21st century, and as technology starts to reach every corner of the globe there are fewer and fewer reasons to not have some level of computer literacy. This is why companies will often expect candidates to be proficient to a certain level with computers. Be sure to include a line in your CV about your computer literacy, you could even list some examples of software in which you have experience. If you are lacking computer skills you can enroll for a course or speak with a computer literate friend to help you complete an online courses.
Communication skills: These are both written and verbal communication skills. Sure you might know the answer or the best way to tackle a new task but if you can’t effectively communicate your ideas then you won’t be an asset. Make sure your CV shows recruiters that you’re an excellent communicator, say you are an excellent listener who can effectively convey both written and verbal information. If you work in an office that speaks English, verbal communication can be tough, but with practice you can improve your English speaking confidence and how effectively you communicate.
Time management: Are you the greatest online writer you know but fail to ever meet a deadline, or perhaps your sketches are comparable to Michelangelo’s but you never deliver on time? You might be suffering from poor time management and unless you can deliver the skills and services your CV professes on time your chances of landing and keeping a job will be pretty slim. Make sure your CV includes information about your ability to manage priorities and juggle multiple tasks. If time management is your weakness you can read some tips to improve your time management skills.
Interpersonal skills: Being able to relate to other people is a fundamental ingredient that makes us human. Working with other people on a daily basis will require you to interact, inspire and perhaps mitigate conflict in order to operate successfully. Most companies will want to hire people who have these kinds of skills, include in your CV perhaps how you are great at building relationships and influencing people. If your interpersonal skills are lacking you should practice listening and empathizing with your coworkers. Genuinely listening and taking an interest in how other people behave and feel will greatly improve how you relate to others.
Teamwork: You should also be able to show that you’re a team player. Companies don’t usually hire people who can’t work in a team environment – very few jobs require people to work alone. This means the lone wolf mentality is not a desirable trait in the workforce. Include in your CV evidence that you can work in a team, say how you were able to take on responsibilities and delegate to others, that working in a team means you came in on time and under budget. If you’re not good at teamwork, you might want to consider joining a sporting club, whatever you decide to do, make sure you take responsibility, be positive and try not to complain.
Initiative: Companies want to hire professionals who take initiative, who seize the opportunity, and who don’t just sit around and wait for instructions. Be the best candidate you can be and show recruiters on your CV that you’re willing to take the initiative. For example you could talk about how you identified a process that would streamline your workload and developed the system, outside of your ordinary tasks. Make sure your example is true and illustrates your ability to take charge. If you’re not the best at taking initiative, you can help yourself by improving your confidence and even planning your career. Having direction and confidence will allow you spot opportunities and take advantage of them.
Make yourself into the best employee you can be by improving your other skills, this will help you in your quest to land your dream job.