What Are Soft Skills?

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Soft skills consist of the personality, personal attributes, inherent social cues, or communication abilities required for success while at work, and are also less quantifiable than hard skills including specific knowledge and skills.

Soft skills characterize the fact that a person interacts as part of his or her relationships with other people.

Unlike hard skills which can be learned, soft skills resemble emotions or insights which allow people to “read” others. Soft skills are necessary to the success of virtually all businesses, but especially customer-focused organizations.

Hiring managers and employers try to find applicants with soft skills because of the adaptability and transferable skills which you can use regardless of the job where the person is working.

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Because they can be acquired as time passes as opposed to within a training program, soft skills are correlated to applicants with increased unique and broad backgrounds which could diversify an organization and lead it to run better.

Types of Soft Skills

Soft skills include attitude, communication, creativity, work ethic, teamwork, networking, making decisions, positivity, effective time management, motivation, flexibility, problem-solving, critical thinking and conflict resolution.

The Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that happen to be easy to quantify. Typically, you’ll learn hard skills from the classroom, through books and other training materials, or while at work.

 

Examples of hard skills include:

  • Proficiency in a very foreign language
  • A degree or certificate
  • Typing speed
  • Machine operation
  • Computer programming

These hard skills are sometimes listed in your employment cover letter and on your resume, and they are easy for a business or recruiter to acknowledge.

Soft skills, conversely, are subjective skills that happen to be much harder to quantify. This is also known as “interpersonal skills or “people skills”,” soft skills refer to the way you correspond with and talk with other people.

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