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What are Soft Skills?

Definition: Soft Skills

These are the skills that you're generally unable to convey in your résumé, but are the characteristics that should come across in an interview. Not only can you make an impression with your soft skills, but those qualities are what your colleagues and supervisors will call upon when you use them as references for a new job. These are what make you stand out from a pack of candidates who have only developed strong hard skills. Those are the technical aspects of a job, and while absolutely important and necessary to get the job done well, they don't point to the deeper value you can add to a company.

Unlike hard skills, soft skills are thought of as difficult to measure and observe, and include your people skills, attitude, the way you take criticism, communicating, conflict resolution, delegating, planning, etc. You can't be trained to learn soft skills like you can be trained to develop hard skills, but you can always be aware of your strengths and challenge yourself to work on your weaknesses.

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Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
Soft skills are so hard for me because I'm not really a people person and even though I like taking charge in my personal life I'm not really comfortable doing it on the job.
bellaressa bellaressa 9 years
This is great, thanks Savvy! I have been taking workshops lately at my job for different communication techniques I want to master.
sweetpeabrina sweetpeabrina 9 years
On our professional development days they have some soft skills mini-workshops. I really wanted to take the one on conflict resolution but it was full. These are really valuable skills that help you get through your day! There are many times that I've said that my job would be perfect if I didn't have to deal with anyone on the outside of my classroom.
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
oh wow. i just attended a career symposium today and this was exactly what they were talking about. actually, i think they phrased it as communication communication communication.
syako syako 9 years
Savvy - do you have any links or sites that have good advice on improving soft skills? My current job is my first real full time job and I'd love to read up more on soft skills and figure out my weaknesses/areas in need of improvement.
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