Aussies are being urged to not overlook the power of their soft skills when searching for a new job.
Research from SEEK found a whopping 64 per cent of employers were more likely to hire a candidate with strong soft skills.
Soft skills - such as problem solving, communication, teamwork, and planning and organising - have continued to grow in importance for employers and are sometimes seen as more valuable than ‘hard’ or technical skills.
Also read: Top 10 most in-demand skills employers need
Interview coach and career expert Kirsty-Anne Ferguson said soft skills had always been important to employers, but the pandemic had further highlighted their value.
“During the pandemic and coming out of the pandemic, there has been a higher focus on soft skills because the way that we work has changed,” Ferguson told Yahoo Finance.
“When we are working remotely or working in diverse teams, it’s more about how we communicate and interact as human beings.”
Soft skills can help candidates get “over the line” because they are harder to teach, Ferguson said, and are usually developed over time.
The soft skills employers want
Some of the soft skills employers are looking for include interpersonal and communication, problem-solving and collaboration skills, Ferguson said, as well as attributes like empathy, adaptability and flexibility, innovative thinking and resilience.
SEEK’s 25 trends that defined the way Australians work report found younger Aussies were more likely to highlight these kinds of soft skills on their resume, while Aussies aged 45 and over were more likely to focus on their exam results.
Ferguson recommended adding your soft skills to your resume and highlighting how your skill set directly related to the things that mattered to the employer, outside of your hard skills.
Unlike technical skills, however, soft skills can be a bit harder to convey.
“Every candidate I’ve ever worked with has had trouble articulating what those attitudes, attributes and soft skills are because they don’t seem tangible,” Ferguson said.
She recommended using a three-step process:
Name the soft skill
Outline the behavioural things you do each day to achieve this
Provide a short example of when you have used the skill