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Soft Skills – What Are They and Why Are They Important?

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Let us begin at the beginning. Soft skills are desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge: they include common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude. In other words, a soft skill is your ability to relate and work with others. Whereas a hard skill is more job specific. But why are they important?

Popular soft skills include communication, teamwork and other interpersonal skills. In a recent Indeed survey of 1,000 hiring managers, they asked the managers to list the most important attributes of top performers at their company. The top five attributes they named were: problem-solving, effective communication skills, self-direction, drive and adaptability/flexibility. Some additional examples of soft skills include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, critical thinking, decision-making, organizational, stress management, adaptability, conflict management and leadership.

While applying for a new position, you may notice that the ad includes soft skills. This is because most employers want to make sure that you can not only technically do the job, but that you are well-rounded enough to do it well. Excelling in a number of soft skills will demonstrate your potential for any position and make you more desirable to hiring managers. In addition, managers may be looking to hire someone that fits well into the established culture. Therefore, it is important to learn and master a variety of soft skills.

While technical skills will help you with the job requirements, it is your soft skills that will build your reputation in the workplace and help open doors. Your ethics, integrity and emotional intelligence are all key to becoming the professional of the highest caliber. We at the CPT applaud these skills both in and out of the workplace.

-Dina Barabash, NASBA Content Development & Web Specialist