Has there ever been a time when you were denied a job or a promotion when you were sure that you were the most qualified candidate? Did you think about why you might have been denied the job or promotion even though you were the ideal candidate on paper and met all formal requirements?

With the job market more competitive than ever, you really need to take a look at your “hard skills” and communicate your “soft skills” when applying for a job or promotion.

But what are “soft skills?” Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. In layman’s terms these are your “people skills” and many hiring managers put a large emphasis on whether or not they think that you’ll be able to work effectively within their organization. These types of skills help determine whether you will be a good employee or potential leader in the future.

Here are several important soft skills that every job seeker should demonstrate in front of a hiring manager:

  • Communication is Key!
    • Leverage your ability to be a good listener, ask the right questions, use appropriate body language, and communicate your message clearly.
  • Collaboration
    • Be able to show that you can work effectively and efficiently in a team environment. Almost every job encompasses some element of team collaboration and you must be able to show that you can effectively work in that type of environment.
  • Ability to Problem Solve
    • Rarely will you see this listed in a job description, but companies want to know that you are willing and able to jump in and help solve problems that inevitably help reach company goals.
  • Time Management
    • Employers want to know that if you are given a task you can manage your time effectively and efficiently to complete the task on time.
  • Accepting Accountability
    • We’re all human and we all make mistakes, but it’s important to own up to your mistakes and find a way to avoid them moving forward.