A new employee must know how to use a certain operating system, have strong accounting skills, or have other technical skills to get the job done. While employers recognize this, they are also placing a strong emphasis on so-called soft skills when choosing the best person for the job. All other things being equal, it has become increasingly common for employers to select the candidate who would best fit into company culture.
This desire to find employees who make a good fit has led to a strong emphasis on determining important soft skills and personality traits in the first interview. Below are just some soft skills that anyone seeking a job should come prepared to demonstrate. They are the new most wanted skills of employees.
The Importance of Teamwork
The work environment has become one that increasingly requires collaboration among teams. This requires employees to respect and cooperate with people with a wide range of opinions and experiences. In fact, it’s a critical trait in a workforce that becomes more diverse and inclusive all the time. Many employers aren’t looking for a single employee to shine. They also have no interest in petty arguments about who should receive credit for an idea. Instead, today’s employers far prefer employees who work well together and who demonstrate the following teamwork skills:
- Active listening
- Ability to ask for help and to give credit to others when needed
- Acceptance of the strengths and weaknesses of other teammates
- Resolve conflict in a peaceful manner
- Accept and consider constructive criticism
Strong Problem-Solvers Wanted
No manager has the time to help employees work through issues that they should be able to resolve on their own. Unfortunately, employees in the millennial generation have earned the reputation as not having strong critical thinking skills. Whether fair or not, these younger workers will likely need to go out of their way to prove that they can solve problems quickly without having to involve their manager. Of course, they can demonstrate two desired skills at once by reaching out to fellow team members for feedback on their solution.
All employees can improve their critical thinking skills by taking the time to analyze every available solution when presented with a problem. Employers can build confidence by allowing employees to make mistakes and to learn from them.
Professional Writing Skills
Emails and written reports are just two areas where employees must demonstrate professional writing skills. It reflects badly on employees as well as the company if they send out something with spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors. This is as important for inter-company correspondence as it as for communication with customers.
Since written communication doesn’t come with the benefit of voice tone, body language, and other nuances, it’s all too easy to misinterpret another person’s message. Those who are serious about landing a job should show their strong written communication skills from the start by sending in a polished cover letter and resume.
The 21st century business world is rapidly changing. Employees must adapt to survive, which means starting with ensuring they have the soft skills that employers want.