Frequently asked questions
Generally speaking, soft skills are the skills we use to communicate, build relationships, how we approach work and life, time management, and many more. They’re often associated with personality traits such as high productivity, resilience, a strong work ethic, and more.
They are often the reason employers decide whether to keep or promote an employee; in fact, 93% of employers said that Soft Skills are either an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions (Study from Wonderlic).
Hard Skills normally refer to more direct qualifications that are more technical or quantifiable. Or in some cases they might be specific to your job, those working in nursing, building, or software development for example.
Yes, you can learn them! While certain skills come easier to others, there are ways to refine these skills and develop them over time by practising the techniques/tools you learn.
Soft skills make things possible. Tasks can be completed by those with both hard and soft skills, you might think of the hard skills as ‘what’ got done and the softs skills where ‘how’ they got done. And it’s likely, that on reflection of a task, or place you worked that actually those colleagues/employees you remember for getting the job done with positivity, or effective communication, or good leadership skills are remembered by the ‘how’ and not the ‘what’.
Furthermore, soft skills are transferable from job to job, and the need for soft skills is not going anywhere! As technology and jobs change, this means that the hard skills will change with them, or the skills you had 10 years ago might have become obsolete. But, the soft skills you carry now can be developed continually and will always be needed.
93% of employers said that Soft Skills are either an “essential” or “very important” factor in hiring decisions (Study from Wonderlic). While it used to be the case that your hard skills (qualifications) were the thing that would get you a job above someone else with similar work experience/credentials, it is now believed that employers look for the soft skills individuals have and value them the same if not more than the qualifications someone else might have.
If it’s somewhere that you already work and you’ve been working hard to develop your skills, then your appraisals, coaching sessions, or reviews would be a great chance to show what you’ve learned (and make sure you bring examples of when they have been actioned) and how it’s impacted your job positively.
If you’re starting a new job and you want to highlight your soft skills, then your CV/resume, cover letter, and your interview are prime opportunities to talk about these skills. And again, providing examples of when you used these skills or when they made your job easier will show an employer you really do have these skills!