Soft Skills are the Key to Getting a Job

More and more I read about how difficult it is for employers to find people with basic job skills. The skills I am referring to are called “soft skills.” Soft Skills are qualities like:

  • Work Ethic
  • Attitude
  • Leadership
  • Good Communication
  • Showing Up On Time
  • Dressing Appropriately
  • Working with Others
  • Cooperation
  • Patience
  • Responsibility

These skills are under the  most scrutiny in Job Interviews and you need to make sure that you have them.

It seems like these qualities are more difficult to find in applicants today, and if you can learn these basic skills, you will have an edge. Is it surprising that some of the most important skills that you need to land a great job are learned at home? Perhaps people just aren’t learning them like they used to. If you are a parent reading this, I encourage you to make sure your teens are learning these skills sooner rather than later. You will be setting them up for success.

I have heard managers say that they “hire for attitude and train for skill.” To them it is more important that you have a great attitude and are willing to work hard. If this is true, then much of our focus on getting the right degree, or having all of the best work experience is less important than we think.

This is true for me. I have eliminated applicants from consideration because of their poor attitude. For example, I have interviewed people who said very negative things about their previous bosses. I have also interviewed applicants who acted like the job was beneath them. I heard a recent example of a manager that refused to consider someone because they showed up to the interview in flip flops. How long do you think it took for this manager to make that decision? Sometimes people just don’t know how to behave, or dress, appropriately for an interview.

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I have also hired people that have a fantastic attitude, are very respectful and have just enough experience to convince me that they are competent to do the job. Others may be far more qualified, but I am naturally drawn to the person that makes the employer/employee relationship enjoyable.

So how do you gain these skills? There are tons of resources online, including this blog, to help you understand what is necessary to impress an employer. Perhaps the best resource to buy would be How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Other ways would be to ask a trusted friend, teacher or a parent, to give you some honest feedback. Another solution would be to practice. If you are currently employed, I encourage you to be as friendly, cooperative, hard working and responsible as you can be. You can also practice this at home or even at school. Impress your parents or teachers with these skills. You may be surprised at the positive feedback.

So if soft skills are the key to getting a job, how are you doing in this area? Take an honest assessment of your skill level and make the necessary adjustments. Based on our current work environment, you may be quickly surprised at how positive the results can be.

If you have an example of how good soft skills have made the difference in your career, leave a comment below. Thanks for reading!


About The Author

Duane Rockensock

Duane (Rocky) Rockensock is a husband, a dad, and the National Reconditioning Manager for AmeriGas Propane. Since he was a teenager, Duane has loved hearing the stories of how people have started creative businesses or found ways to use their talents to accomplish amazing things. For that reason he started this blog to encourage teens and adults to find their purpose and to provide the tools and resources to make that happen!