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Soft skills - what are they and why are they so important?

Being successful in your future career is not just about the qualification you achieve. We want you to leave College as a rounded individual who not only knows their stuff, but can communicate well, be on time, work well in a team and make their own decisions.

We believe soft skills are the key to this.

What exactly are ‘soft skills’?

Also often referred to as ‘transferable’ skills, these types of skills are the personality traits, behaviours and interpersonal skills that demonstrate how you relate to and interact with others to work effectively.

Employers really value soft skills as they are a gauge to your effectiveness as a member of a team. They demonstrate how versatile and adaptable you are, how well you communicate and how you can collaborate with your team to resolve issues or conflict.

Although they often relate to the attitude of an individual and are sometimes personality driven, it is possible to work on and develop your soft skills.

So, what are the main key soft skills employers are looking for you to have or develop?

Communication

A good communicator knows how to adjust their tone and style according to their audience – not just verbally, but in written communication too. It’s also important that you also use active listening to understand what others are asking of you.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotionally intelligent employees are good problem-solvers who have the ability to remain calm, understand someone else’s point of view and discuss issues in a rational manner. Employers value this skill as it helps make the workplace more harmonious and productive

Adaptability/Flexibility

Change in the workplace is inevitable and being able to deal with this in a positive and resourceful way is what being adaptable means. For employers this means you’re able to continue being productive despite challenges.

Collaboration/Teamwork

To be a good, collaborative employee you need to be able to bring all the other soft skills together in order to work effectively with the rest of your team. Employers value it as teamwork improves problem solving, encourages good relationships and therefore improves productivity.

Think about how you work with other students on your programme, what soft skills do you use at College?  Make sure you add them to your CV and mention them in any job applications. Employers know that you may not have mastered them all just yet, but they will value an understanding of soft skills and a willingness to work on them if you need to!

Need help with your CV? Visit our Careers Team in the Hub at Medway or main reception at Maidstone or contact them

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