Soft skills refer to cross-professional skills that are necessary for optimal job performance but may not be reflected on a resume. Soft skills include critical thinking, problem solving, professional writing, public speaking, intercultural sensitivity, computer literacy, attitude, empathy, work ethic and more. These skills relate to your approach to work and how you interact with colleagues, employers and clients.
When it comes to thriving in a job, the importance of improving your soft skills should not be underestimated. Chances are, you probably shine in certain areas, while in other areas there may be room for improvement. Read on to learn some unconventional methods for improving your soft skills.
Ask For Feedback
Public speaking is a soft skill that requires confident communication, enthusiasm and the ability to engage with your audience, no matter the size. If you are one of many professionals who fears public speaking, practicing in front of trusted friends and asking for their honest feedback goes a long way in improving this soft skill. Speaking to your friends as an imagined professional audience can help free you from a reliance on notes and encourages you to break through any fear of eye contact . They will be able to give you a sense of what your audience is experiencing as you talk and help you get in the reps you need to be comfortable when you’re in a real world professional setting.
Write in a Journal
Professional writing is a soft skill that communicates to the reader, whether that be a potential employer, colleague, manager or client, that you are intelligent and can be trusted to get the job done. When applying for jobs, your professional writing will be the first impression your potential employer has of you so it is important to cultivate this skill. Don’t worry – you don’t need to be a best-selling author to count professional writing as one of your soft skills. You simply need to be able to communicate your ideas clearly and effectively, with minimal grammatical error.
If writing is not currently your strongest soft skill, you can practice by developing a regular writing habit. Writing by hand in a journal is a beneficial exercise that goes a long way in improving your writing confidence. If you’re stuck on what to write, try some professional writing exercises to get your juices flowing. When it comes to translating your writing practice into the professional world, some simple rules of thumb are to avoid overusing buzzwords, know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, and use exclamation points sparingly!
Expand Your Community
A critical soft skill in today’s world is intercultural sensitivity. Also known as cultural awareness, intercultural sensitivity is the knowledge, awareness and acceptance of other cultures and identities. Expanding your intercultural sensitivity by listening to others’ perspectives allows you to be a better teammate (another soft skill) and leads to greater job satisfaction for people of all backgrounds. If your current friend group consists of mostly people with similar backgrounds and cultural identities as yourself, consider expanding your circle by changing up where you spend time and being open to new conversations. Remember to go about this with a genuine heart and a willingness to grow. Developing your intercultural sensitivity will go a long way in improving your job performance and your life as a whole.
Advance Your Career with AP Professionals
At AP Professionals, we understand that professional success is about more than just your resume (though we can help with that too). By partnering with us for your next job search, you will not only gain access to our network of diverse clients, but you’ll receive valuable assistance from our dedicated team of knowledgeable recruiters. They’ll listen to your goals, wants and needs, provide valuable feedback and guidance on developing soft skills, and assist you in finding the ideal fit in your next role. Visit us at https://rochester.approfessionals.com to learn how we can help you find the career of your dreams.