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The XFactor: Soft Skills

Education and training are vital, but hiring managers are also screening candidates in ways that go beyond basic requirements for the job. These extra qualities that set a candidate apart are called soft skills. How you use soft skills once hired will set you apart for consideration if a promotion should arise.

» The ability to express yourself clearly, to be a good listener and to show empathy and understanding of others. You also need to be able to use language and grammar correctly.
Commitment » The principal qualities employers are seeking here are honesty, dependability and enthusiasm.
Growth » No matter the job, at times there will be new things to learn, and every employer wants someone who will be willing to learn whatever is required, within reason.
Responsibility » Many problems in the workplace are caused by people not taking responsibility for their own actions, or inaction. Employers are on the lookout for those who take pride in the quality of their work, evaluate it regularly and use their time wisely.
Respect » The ability to work cooperatively with others, maintain a positive attitude and accept constructive criticism.
Decision-making » Prioritization is one much needed skill in the workplace. It goes hand in hand with the ability to organize tasks.
Flexibility » The ability and willingness to adapt and be flexible is becoming a core workplace requirement.
Leadership » Even if you are not in a supervisory position, the traits that are involved in leadership are desirable at every level: demonstrated persistence, self motivation and showing an effort to improve performance.
Goal-setting » Let the employer know you are willing to train and gain further skills.