4 Soft Skills Employees Look for in an Employee

Many of us spend hours crafting the perfect resume we can use when looking for a job. But your educational attainment and professional experience, while useful, don’t fully capture your breadth of knowledge and potential. You know that and recruiters know that as well. That’s why they turn to other metrics when looking for the right people for a job.

It’s not enough to be qualified for a position. You could be an Ivy League graduate with lots of experience in the industry, but that doesn’t give recruiters the full picture. They also want to determine whether you will fit in with their company culture. The best way to know that is to get a better understanding of your personality.

Let’s say they have to choose between two candidates with similar skills, experience, and educational background. They’ve undergone the necessary screening and online pre-employment skills testing. Whoever can show the soft skills the recruiters are looking for will get the job. Information can always be taught, but personality is something that’s unique to each person.

Here are some soft skills and personality traits that companies value in an employee:

  1. Multitasking

In many cases, employees are called upon to perform duties that are beyond the scope of their job description. Companies, especially small businesses, value people who can fulfill multiple roles and do whatever is necessary to accomplish something. If you can demonstrate that you can multitask, you can gain an edge over your rivals.

It’s not enough to know how to juggle tasks, however. You should also be able to cope with the increased workload. The ability to thrive in chaos goes hand in hand with multitasking, so test your tolerance first before making claims.

  1. Confidence

Managers and executives would feel more at ease if they delegated a task or a project to an employee who is confident about their abilities over someone who’s hesitant or noncommittal. A confident person knows what they can do and will not back down from a challenge. But, that doesn’t mean they’re risk-averse.

A project is more likely to have a better outcome if the team behind it is confident about their abilities. Confidence is an essential trait to have in client-facing roles as well, as the latter will be more impressed by a person’s poise and self-belief. This could translate into better relationships with potential clients.

  1. Commitment

Business team in a meeting

The ideal candidate is one who is passionate about their job and is more than willing to go outside their scope and exceed everyone’s expectations. No task or assignment is too small or big for them. They’re easy to work with and can deliver results. All of these traits demonstrate an employee’s commitment, a resource that’s in short supply in the world of business.

But how does one measure commitment? While one can argue that commitment is connected to motivation, it’s not enough to throw lots of money at the problem and assume that the person will be committed. The recruiter has to ask insightful questions to ascertain whether the applicant has demonstrated commitment in the past. For instance, one sign of passion is a track record of knowledge building outside of work.

  1. Reliability

There’s nothing more annoying to an employer than someone who cannot follow instructions. Whether they were distracted or simply didn’t prioritize the task, the result is the same: mistakes, poor results, and missed deadlines. The business risks displeasing and even losing the clients. A person who cannot be trusted to deliver is a liability to the entire operation.

It’s easy to demonstrate reliability. All you have to do is to listen and give your full attention to whoever is giving the instructions. You also need to follow the instructions to show that you take your responsibilities seriously. Meet your deadlines, show up on time, and you’re on your way to becoming a valuable asset.

Knowledge and skills are important, but you shouldn’t discount soft skills and personality traits. A business can always train an employee on how to do something, but they can’t force someone to be confident and reliable. Personality is something that’s innate in people, and they need to make sure you select the right applicants for the position.

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