The importance of soft skills in the workplace
Do you want to know how to up your resume to stand out from your peers? Work on your soft skills to boast your personal development, alongside your professional qualifications.
The professional experience and hard skills listed on your resume will get you an interview. But, companies look at more than your work experience when they consider you as a potential hire.
They’ll read about your experience on your resume, but when you get interviewed, the company will want to know about you as an individual.
They’ll know that you are educated, but they’ll want to see how that education translates into the person in front of them.
Aside from being skilled in your field, your future employers will want to make sure that you have interpersonal skills that are equally important in the workplace, like the ability to work in a team.
This type of skill is referred to as a “soft skill”.
Further reading: What are “soft skills” and why are they important?
So how can you go about learning soft skills? When it comes to learning hard skills, there are concrete ways to go about acquiring them. For example, if you want to learn how to scuba dive professionally, you can sign up for professional dive training.
But, soft skills are typically acquired through educational experiences that take place outside of a classroom. Skills such as teamwork and adaptability are acquired through hands-on work, and organised educational experiences, like service-learning, can help you acquire them.
But, what is service-learning? Service-learning is an approach that combines theoretical knowledge with community service.
You can participate in service-learning by joining a reputable volunteer organisation. And, one of the key learning objectives of a service-learning program is to develop your soft skills.
Service-learning activities are both educational and practical, and include self-reflection periods to build your awareness of the soft skills you’re learning.
This awareness of your personal development is key, as it means that you not only learn soft skills, but you also learn how to talk about them in an interview setting.
Key soft skills typically acquired or developed during a service learning program include: teamwork, empathy, communication, confidence, leadership, problem-solving and intercultural competence.
Further reading: Service learning: How to highlight your skills on your CV
So, soft skills might be harder to pick up compared to hard skills, because finding ways to develop and measure these skills isn’t as straightforward as studying for and passing a test. Yet, soft skills are essential to landing a job.
Add to your soft skill development on a service-learning program with GVI, and up your employability.
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