Interviews in English
Christopher M.
em 09 de Dezembro de 2019

SOFT SKILLS Versus HARD SKILLS

 

In today's ultra competitive job market, many of those who apply for the same job vacancy in general have a similar educational background and past work experience. There are variety of skills that you learn to do a specific job or perform a specific function within your job industry. These are what we call HARD SKILLS: skills, abilities and in-depth knowledge about a specific area of the market. For example, if you work in the IT industry and are a computer programmer, you will have specialized in-depth knowledge of coding languages C++, HTML etc. These are hard skills that you will have learned during your studies.

Nowadays, what sets prospective employees apart from the rest and gets you on the short list for a face to face interview is your set of SOFT SKILLS. Soft skills are skills and abilities that are more social than technical. Soft skills are skills that are inherent and are part of someones personality, they are more natural rather than learned. Many employers these days are looking for dynamic individuals to create a rich team and work force. Some of the most desired general soft skills are: Teamwork, Adaptability, and Leadership but the list is extensive and can vary from industry to industry.

Let's consider Teamwork. We are not talking about someone being introverted or extroverted to be able to work as a member of a team. Teamwork is the interaction between other employees that make up the team. Communication between co-workers to reach a common goal, the intonation of your voice when speaking and leading with others on the team in a given circumstance, and your willingness to help out without being asked are some characteristics of someone who works well within a team.

Adaptability, how do you teach someone to be adaptable? You either are or you are not. Adaptability usually comes from previous experiences that have taken someone out of their comfort zone and forced them to adapt to a new situation. Another word we could use is flexibility. Are you flexible to sudden changes? People who have experience living, studying or working abroad in a foreign country for a period of time have had the experience and necessity to adapt to new cultures, languages and work ethic etc.

Leadership is another great example of a soft skill. If we consider the first soft skill that was mentioned, Teamwork, there may arise a situation where you have the best idea and most experience to solve a given problem. You have the opportunity to lead the team for a part of the project. Success in leading the team for this moment will give you visability with your employer. Now, I know many will say that companies offer Leadership training, there are certainly techniques and skills involved with people management, but leaders in general are born, not created. Someone who is willing to work, rolls up their sleeves and leads by example, motivates the team and does not just delegate work to others.

So, do a quick google search of the desired soft skills for your industry, or look at the job posting itself and identify which of the skills and knowledge the vacancy asks for are examples of soft skills. Be sure to mention some of these soft skills that you poses in your cover letter or Resumé / Curriculum to show how you are the best fit for the companies needs. When you get the opportunity for the interview, be sure to have thought about some examples and highlight the use of these soft skills in your previous experiences (which do not always necessarily have to be directly work related). You will have more success in the interview, your career in general and more opportunities for career growth by showing that you are a dynamic individual who stands out from the rest.

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Hortolândia / SP
Especialização: TESOL Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (Academy of Languages and Training Canada)
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