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Traditionally, when society viewed a job description, they had their eyes firmly fixed on the hard skills. Can the applicant use a computer? and do they know how to use the software? In recent times, the focus has shifted from just being about hard skills to also being about knowing and practicing soft skills.
What are soft skills?
They can be a little tricky to describe as they are not tangible like your skills on the computer. It is your empathy with your fellow team members, your time management skills or your flexibility. It is those things which you make you, uniquely you, and allow you to do the job well.
Even though you may not have all the hard skills to get the job, demonstrating your soft skills can put you ahead of the pack. Focusing on your personal attributes can help you grow your confidence and get your foot in the door with your dream job.
You have a range of soft skills to share
Companies will be only too happy to hear about how well you communicate and how strong your work ethic is. Never underestimate these qualities.
Everyone has strengths and weaknesses – you do – I do – we all do. But knowing your strengths and playing them to your advantage are two different things.
There are actually ten soft skills which are useful in your life and career. But for today’s purposes, we are going to focus on your problem-solving skills.
Building on your problem-solving skills
Problem-solving is part and parcel of any career or industry. Think back to that time when something went wrong, and you had to apply a solution to fix it. Chances are, it happened more than once. As soon as you understand you can problem-solve, you can do it again.
When a situation occurs that needs solving, recognise it. You can use a mind map to look at options and come up with an answer.
Demonstrating your problem-solving skills
When you apply for a job, as with any soft skills, your potential employer wants to see specific examples. So break it down.
- What was the problem?
- What was your solution?
- How was the situation resolved?
You may have more than one example. Think about which one best shows this skill in detail. If they can see you have the ability to problem-solve, they will soon recognise you will be a good fit for their team.