A professor should know how to teach, a pharmacist should have a strong knowledge of Chemistry, an engineer should have certain technical skills. What is all the buzz about the importance of soft skills in your profession? Your knowledge and experience will surely take you places, but if you’re armed with soft skills as well, then, there’s no stopping you.
Soft skills contribute upto 85% in your career success, meanwhile technical skills only contribute 15%. – Harvard study
What are soft skills?
- Soft skills essentially consist of your confidence, body language, communication skills, interpersonal skills, team work, work ethics, listening skills, adaptability, etc.
- Basically, soft skills define how you interact with your team or your clients, or your boss. Hence, it can consist of an indefinite number of parameters.
- Soft skills cannot be fed to your brain like technical or professional knowledge can.
- Soft skills cannot be developed in a few days.
Importance of soft skills at workplace
- Soft skills help you present your ideas effectively to your boss, team or client.
- Engagement is the key to success. No matter where you go, the way you put forward your ideas, solutions or arguments is vital. No matter how relevant your point is, it can be outrightly rejected if you don’t present it aptly.
- Employers can train you in certain technical skills, but almost no one will ever train you on improving soft skills. You’re just supposed to imbibe them in yourself with time.
Importance of soft skills for students and how to improve them
Teamwork is learnt in college:
Importance of soft skills should be realized right in college. Don’t shy away from taking charge. Actively participate in class projects. Be an active member of a student organization that is relevant to you. And most importantly, don’t be afraid of making mistakes, else, you won’t learn anything.
Eye contact, active listening, appropriately responding, positive thinking. These are some of the key terms you should keep in mind in order to develop effective interpersonal communication. Practice them in your daily life.
Problem-solving and leadership:
Nobody is born a leader. Leadership is developed with time, experience and knowledge. Leaders are problem solvers. Handling conflicts and problems effectively at the college level can hone you for larger roles and also make you confident in handling leadership roles.
Develop effective communication skills:
The English language is internationally spoken and without a doubt, your employer wants you to be fluent in it. As discussed, joining student organizations, being a part of a team, being a part of discussions will enable you to get a grip on the language.
How to highlight soft skills in your interview
The game of facts and figures:
Mention the names of projects you have been a part of. Highlight if you have undertaken any leadership roles. Once these are mentioned in your resume, the interviewer is bound to ask you questions about the roles you played in those projects.
Demonstrating conflict resolution abilities:
Tell your interviewer about conflicts you have handled and how you handled them. Although, it can be tricky to make the interviewer ask you those set of questions that give you chance to boast about your abilities. Bringing the topic up in a brief statement in your answers can help ring a bell in their heads to ask you a question on that!
The science behind confidence:
It’s okay to be nervous as long as it is positive. Nervousness increases blood flow to your brain and, makes you more alert. The trick lies in making the nervousness impact you positively. Believe in your past achievements and, remember how hard you have worked. They don’t know that you’re nervous.
Mind your body language at all times:
Some interviews can last really long. Remember to sit straight at all times. Support your back properly so that you don’t get tired. Don’t shake your legs. Sometimes, you end up shaking your legs unknowingly. To avoid that from happening, cross your feet(not legs) and place them under the chair. Too much hand movement can be annoying. Maintain eye contact. Smile the right amount.
May the Force Be With You!