For all candidates who are entering the job market, there are a host of skills you need to develop to make yourself as attractive as possible to a wide array of employers. Whilst we all tend to focus on ensuring that our educational and practical skills are as cultivated as possible, it is often easy to forget that the most attractive candidate for a position is usually the best-rounded individual.

 

Hard skills vs. soft skills

In an economy that is increasingly competitive and modernised, candidates seeking employment often think of developing, for example, their computer skills as a way to stand out to employers. Developing skills such as these would be to focus on hard skills, the practical abilities that increase our general competency. Whilst nurturing hard skills is an essential task for all would-be employees, to focus on these alone would be a mistake. We also have to ensure that we are working on our soft skills, the intangible aspects of our personality that help to make us a well-rounded candidate, with the ability to be more adaptable and developed as a person.

Whilst hard skills can be essentially described as our ability to perform specific tasks, for example, computer coding or graphic design, soft skills help us to interact positively with the fellow humans that populate the workplace. As such, here is a list of just a few of the soft skills that you should be thinking of nurturing and developing to ensure that you are the most attractive candidate that you can possibly be.

 

1) Communication

Ensuring that you have the ability to communicate accurately with your fellow employees, and any potential clients, is a must-have soft skill. Often our perception of people can be more important than the reality of their personality; even if you are highly competent at your job, if people perceive you as a difficult person to work then that can negatively impact your working relationships, potential to be promoted, or your ability to interact with clients in a successful manner.

Employers will prize candidates who can communicate effectively as it helps to ensure that productivity levels in the workplace are as high as they can be. If confusion and a lack of clarity permeate the workplace because of a lack of communication, there is a higher probability of inefficiency and inability to convert and retain leads. To help develop your communication, practice your writing skills to make yourself as clear as possible. Moreover, rather than avoiding public speaking and presentation due to nervousness, think of taking opportunities that help to increase your clarity and ability to present information concisely

 

2) Adaptability

Just like in our everyday lives, no-one can guarantee exactly what will happen in any given working day. A host of unexpected circumstances can crop up that require us to change our plans, and the ability of employees to respond and adapt effectively to changing situations is an essential soft skill that employers will search for. Moreover, if you are ambitious and aiming up the corporate ladder, then it will be expected of you not only to adapt to changing environments but also to take advantage of the new opportunities that arise.

To help develop your adaptability, focussing on stress-reducing techniques in your everyday life can help to ensure that when situations change, they do not negatively affect your mood. With a calmer state of mind, you’ll be able to think more clearly about how to adapt to new situations, and how to take advantage of them. Lastly, ensuring that you keep up-to-date with the latest trends and innovations in technology will be a huge plus-point for any would-be employers, displaying the ability to identify the opportunities that arise with new developments.

 

3) Leadership

Developing your leadership soft skills is as an essential task for any candidate on the job market, whether you are searching for a job or are currently employed. Employers do not want to have to spell out every little detail of your working life for you, and having the ability to take your own initiative will make you stand out from the job market crowd.

Moreover, when an employer hires you for a position, they are not just hiring the abilities and talents you currently possess; they are investing in you, hoping to see an increase in the “value” of your abilities and talents. The more ambitious you are, and therefore the further up the ladder you are aiming, the more leadership responsibilities you will undertake. Thus, if you can nurture your leadership skills, you will be a prime candidate for promotion up the corporate ladder.

To enhance your leadership skills, try taking in all the information you can about notable industry and market leaders, and see if there are any lessons applicable to your life. If you are currently unemployed, search for internship opportunities that will enhance your leadership “portfolio”. Once in a company hierarchy, take every possible opportunity to move horizontally, even if only temporarily, to gain as much experience as possible in as many areas of your company’s operations as possible.

 

To learn more about how to develop your soft skills to make yourself as attractive as possible to a wide array of employers, contact us today!