Recruiting 101: Soft Skills.
Today, we are tackling soft skills; what they are, why they’re important, and how you can build on yours!
What exactly are "soft skills" and are some more important than others?
Soft skills refer to a cluster of personal and social abilities which define how people behave in different contexts and groups. While hard skills are job specific, soft skills can be transferable across job titles and industries. There are plenty of soft skills which are considered relevant in specific work environments and situations.
For example, if you want to join GetYourGuide and grow in your career here, certain soft skills will be more valuable than others in order to identify with our culture and excel in our fast moving work environment. Aside from our Core Values, we would recommend that you are:
Adaptable to change
Open to give and receive feedback
A team player
Willing to take ownership right from the start
Why do soft skills matter in a work environment?
Soft skills make the difference between candidates with comparable technical skills. The increased complexity of modern work environments makes soft skills crucial to achieving success. We like the quote “Hire for attitude, train for skill” - as recruiters, we have seen many people grow and develop in their careers, and this progress is often due in part to their soft skill set, rather than hard skills alone.
How can someone improve their soft skills?
Working in an environment where open communication and feedback is a part of the culture will support self-development a lot. If this is not standard procedure at your particular company but you would like to improve your soft skills, try requesting regular feedback from your manager or co-workers to identify where you could improve, and work from this feedback. Being self-aware and recognizing your strengths and improvement points will also help you to develop personally.
How could someone demonstrate their soft skills on a CV, cover letter or during an interview?
While soft skills don’t come across on the resume, you can use your cover letter to pitch them. A customized cover letter would already show that you care about the company and that you are interested in that specific job. Briefly mentioning your achievements should tell the recruiter about your personal skill set.
For instance, if you want to inform the Recruiter or Hiring Manager that you have excellent communication skills, bring supporting examples to back up your claims, rather than simply listing off your personal skills.
Anything else to keep in mind?
Although most of our roles require specific technical abilities, the soft skills demonstrated in a phone screen can truly make up the difference if you don’t necessarily match the technical criteria.
The phone screen is a great opportunity to showcase your soft skills and, as mentioned before, providing concrete examples helps the recruiter better understand what your soft skills look like in action. It can be difficult sometimes to recognize your own soft skills. So, in preparation for an interview, ask yourself a few questions:
Which positive qualities of my performance do my current/previous co-workers remark upon on a day-to-day basis?
What skills do I have that would come in handy no matter the job?
What aspects of my personality are most apparent? How can I use these traits as skills in the workplace?
Interested in more recruiting tips? We have a full recruiting series on our blog.
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