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Soft skills for your CV

In each business if you want to be hired, you should have, as prerequisite, the technical and professional competences required to the specific field you are applying for. These are called Hard Skills: they are specific, teachable, and they can be defined and measured. Some examples of hard skills are degrees, certificates, proficiency in a foreign language, computer programming or typing speed. They are easy to recognize for an employer as they are related to your expertise in a particular activity.
However, most frequently employers look carefully for soft skills too. They are also called “interpersonal skills” or “people skills”, because they relate to how people communicate and work with others. These kinds of professional abilities or personal qualities are more important now because the business world is more and more multicultural. Furthermore teamwork, even in a telecommuting form, is an essential element for the company success.
Some of the most relevant soft skills that you could have for your professional career are:

  • Good communication skills. This is one of the most important skills. You need it to express yourself, listen and understand your supervisor and colleagues, avoid conflicts and develop professional relationships. You will particularly need them in a customer-oriented company, to find the best way to interact.
  • Strong work ethic. A company works properly if all the employees have some moral principles, as a sense of responsibility or emphasis on quality and discipline.
  • Time management. Use your time efficiently. You know which are the most important tasks and how much time to spend accordingly. You can work on different projects at once.
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills. If a problem arises, you are able to solve it with logic and creativity, and you don’t wait for someone else to do it.
  • Acting as a team player. You can work in a group and achieve the team’s goals with others, even as a leader when needed. You are able to listen to the others.
  • Leadership and positive attitude. Even if you are a staff member, the employers look for someone who can motivate the others, who sets an example, who is positive and optimistic and who know when to take the initiative.
  • Self-confidence. You know you can do the job. You aren’t afraid of sharing your ideas with the others and asking questions.
  • Ability to learn from criticism. It means: being aware that being wrong can make you grow both personally and professionally.
  • Flexibility and Adaptability. You should be able to change according to situations and challenges. You should be positive even when doing something you haven’t done before.
  • Working well under pressure. Even if you have a deadline or an urgent job, you can put the stress aside and reach the maximum results in a short period of time, focusing on your job.

If you have these skills, you should write them in your CV or cover letter. Think about some concrete examples of when, in your private or professional life, you have used them.

Hard skills are not enough. To be a good worker, in addition to your technical skills, you have to improve your soft skills. Communication and listening skills may be the most important ones: you will be able to interact better, not only with your colleagues and supervisors, but also with your clients.

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