Why soft skills matter? (2/2)
Although a brilliant CV and good technical skills are required to take up a position of responsibility, what makes you use wisely your capacities in order to create a positive and productive environment for your company are undoubtedly your soft skills. Employers have fully understood this, and they are therefore increasingly leading recruitment campaigns with a particular focus on soft skills.
Job recruiters attracted to candidates with soft skills
In a 2014 “Careerbuilder” survey conducted among 2,138 recruitment managers and HR professionals, researchers revealed that 77% of employers believe soft skills are just as important as technical skills. The top 10 most in-demand soft-skills are communication, organization, teamwork, punctuality, critical thinking, sociability, creativity, interpersonal communication, adaptability and friendly personality.
Despite there is a somewhat high-demand for soft skills, the offer remains insufficient. A 2016 research study by economist Guy Berger found that recruitment managers in the United States are experiencing a “soft skills shortage”. While 59% of the professionals surveyed reported that candidates with soft skills are difficult to find, 58% of them have indicated that soft skills shortage is limiting their company’s productivity. Indeed, there is a direct correlation between soft skills and the company’s key performance indicators, namely productivity, efficiency, quality of products and services, and ultimately, turnover. Technical skills are undoubtedly necessary for organizations to succeed, but factoring soft skills into the recruitment equation makes good economic sense for HR professionals.
How to highlight your soft skills?
It is clear that your emotional intelligence and soft skills may give you a head start and provide you a definite professional advantage over other candidates who are vying for the same position. But announcing that you have a high emotional quotient during a job interview will be poorly perceived by your interviewer who may even consider that your EQ is lower than you think. Likewise, adding a “Soft skills” section to your resume may not be a good idea. Recruitment managers find it best to describe your soft skills in your cover letter, using language that demonstrates that all of your non-technical skills are naturally in line with the missions and achievements in which you participated. Make sure to weave examples of teamwork, problem-solving and creativity into your cover letter.
Here is an example of what you should include in your cover letter:
“I have successfully coached team leaders to improve the understanding and successful implementation of the new quality management system. All of the objections were negotiated calmly and the team’s concerns were dispelled, giving way to a climate of enthusiasm for this new system, thanks in particular to the solid arguments I put forward regarding its advantages in terms of productivity and reduction of manufacturing waste.”
In this example, the candidate focused on the following soft skills: coaching, negotiation, problem-solving and building cohesion around a common objective. The employer will certainly be very attentive to this type of argument. He has a vested interest to have harmonious and cohesive teams within the company.
At the American Business School of Paris, we are committed to training professionals with soft skills and a high EQ. The school provides its students with all of the means they need for their intellectual development through a wide range of activities, in addition to training programs that are inspired by the Anglo-Saxon educational approach which encourages teamwork, curiosity, creativity and critical thinking.