There are a lot of skills for resume everyone wants to have, but not everyone really needs to be successful at work. You could be a highly professional and successful person without having a clue how to build a rocket, create a web app, or do some coding. Obviously, these are useful hard skills, but do every employee need them? Unlikely.
Meanwhile, if you are a proud owner of other employability skills that tie into various aspects of everyday life, that are not only useful but indispensable, you can get far in today’s world.
Young graduates, emerging or changing trades - the world is changing more and more, and in many cases, soft skills become just as important as technical hard skills. Sometimes called ‘interpersonal’, ‘behavioral’, ‘transversal’, or ‘universal’ skills, they often make up the pillar of professional success.
Read on, discover your soft skills, and learn which universal skills are most sought after by employers today.
1 - Motivation, the fuel for performance
Can we really speak of competence when we speak of motivation? Anyway, this quality is often the first cited when employers talk about soft skills. Universal in all professional contexts, it is gas to the employee’s engine that allows them to learn continuously, to adapt. Its assessment is however complex. Indeed, even with a good interviewing strategy, it is impossible to be 100% certain that a candidate is motivated for the position. The candidate can also be really motivated by the representation they have of the position but be disappointed once they get there.
Therefore, it is necessary to assess carefully their motivation for the interview. One of the methods can consist of asking the candidate to explain their professional project, which they are looking for, well before talking about the position. Thus, the candidate will adapt their speech less to the details of the position, and make their motivation criteria more authentic.
2 - Adapting to change
Like the world around, companies change and expect good candidates are a part of the continuity of a changing society, particularly in terms of work. Whether it is organizational, cultural, or simply technical, change is more and more obvious in many businesses. Some companies also opt for the ‘small steps’ strategy, which is to drive changes as they go. This, therefore, avoids carrying out large projects to prevent from being too big a challenge. On the other hand, this implies the change being infinite. Future candidates will, therefore, be expected to know how to rebound with each change.
One question remains, however: what do we mean by ‘adapting to change’? Each employer can have its own definition, but several qualities come up in the speeches. The ability to learn is often the first cited, especially for professions that are constantly evolving. Other qualities around personality are also included in this spectrum. Indeed, the change generally arouses negative emotions and resistance, because often uncomfortable on several levels. Consequently, the ability to question oneself, or the appetite for novelty, can be expected, as it is often associated with less resistance to change.
3 - Good organization and time management skills
Just like motivation, the ability to organize and be organized is also a classic that comes up often, and for good reason: even in certain rare profiles, it is not always found. It is also a skill that must be present in everyone: if a person is not organized, then the entire team’s work could suffer.
The good organization has certain specific capacities, and in particular the capacity to foresee the time required of their work. People, who know how to be organized, capitalize on their old tasks, make an effort to remember the time used for each job done before. This exercise is not obvious, but extremely useful for planning working time. If the good organization has always been a quality sought after by candidates, the requirement goes up a notch in 2020, in particular for reasons of economic profitability. Of course, being organized is always accompanied by a hint of firmness in the planning. The good organization means also knowing how to say no to people who unwittingly disrupt what we plan to do. So, even in this soft-skill, we find elements of personality.
4 - Proactivity
It is not enough to question existing models: you have to know how to promote your ideas
Innovate, innovate again, and always innovate: this is the credo of many companies. However, innovation is not just reserved for a company's Research & Development department. It is not even reserved only for ‘high-tech’ companies: everyone can innovate on very simple things, and especially in organization and time management. However, employers can sometimes have divisive reactions towards candidates.
On the one hand, we all know the employee cloning syndrome: recruiting the same profiles on every turn, whether by habit or by conventionality. However, companies often declare that they are looking for candidates capable of challenging the status quo, or who simply can think differently. Thus, recruiters sometimes have to play the balancing act to find the best compromise. In 2020, candidates that will make the difference will be those capable of ‘taming’ their force of proposal. In other words, candidates must be able to promote their ideas, to gain the support of decision-makers, and to challenge what is established.