happy at work

10499285924_8b24396223It’s that time of year again.

College grads are having their coming out parties.

Careers are in the offing.

Soft Skills Will Help them Get Hired

Soft skills will get you hired too. By learning and using soft skills you will be able to set yourself apart in your career. They aren’t hard to master. They aren’t tricks. They are just common sense and common courtesy. Using soft skills effectively is noticed and appreciated.

  • When was the last time you received a personalized, hand-written note?
  • When was the last time you sent one?

If the answer to both is … recently … then you are already observing and exhibiting soft skills.

Which leads to the questions:

  • What are Soft Skills?
  • Where do I find them?
  • How do I use them?

Soft skills is a term often associated with a person’s
“EQ” (Emotional Intelligence Quotient)

What are the soft skills that matter?

Soft skills are those things that are somewhat in tangible and somewhat elusive to define and describe. However, soft skills are those things that you know when you see them.

For example, when someone can hold up their end of the conversation… That’s a soft skill. When someone takes the time to say thank you. That’s a soft skill. When someone takes the time to send a handwritten note following up a meeting… That’s also a soft skill.

EQ is the cluster of personality traits that characterize one’s relationships with other people.

A few examples of soft skills I particularly appreciate include the following. Request for you – Please add a comment about the soft skills you notice and appreciate.

  • Handwritten letters – Take the time to buy a set of notecards. Then take the time to write a note. As I wrote about here in The Power of the Pen – they DO have an impact.
  • Personal phone calls – Taking the time to find someone’s number and calling them directly is a skill you need to master. Yes, we know that (some) millennials don’t like talking on the phone. Mastering this soft skill will set you apart and help you stand out in your career.
  • A customized email – There is nothing worse than an incorrectly labeled email. It’s almost as bad as not personalizing an email at all. Take the time to customize an email – just as you would a handwritten letter and a phone call.

Soft Skills Take On Many Forms

Some soft skills are easy to observe. Others take time to learn or see. If you need help with them take a look at the article below and also consider taking a course, asking your mentors, and doing volunteer work. These three options are generally available in person and online. The volunteering option is a great way to give back while seeing how others utilize and show their soft skills. Over time you might find you will be the one teaching and sharing your soft skills.

There is a great article by fellow Personal Branding Blog author Maria Elena Duron called Soft Skills Make a Hard Difference that is worth your time to read.

Why do any of these?

These soft skills set you apart. They help you stand out in your career. They aren’t gimmicks or tricks. They are tried and true communications skills. Knowing how to use them is a skill that is worth your time. Using them consistently can be a challenge.

Pro Tip – Set aside some time at least once a week to send personalized communications. Soon, it will become a habit.

Has the art of soft skills disappeared? 

There is no statute of limitations on soft skills. I’m seeing a lot of millennial’s and Gen Z’s show us that soft skills have not gone the way of the dodo bird.

I think millennial’s and Gen Z’s will surprise us. I think the re-emergence of soft skills will bring common courtesy back to the fore.

What have you seen?

  • Do you consider yourself a master of the soft skills?
  • Do you compliment people when you see them exhibit their soft skills? (I do!)
  • What are the most important soft skills you think people should master?

Drop your thoughts here. I promise you’ll get a response from me. And, who knows … you might even get a hand written note.