It’s more important than ever to be able to differentiate yourself from others and be able to highlight strengths that will get you noticed – either within your current role or in your application on an HR Manager’s desk. A great way to make yourself stand out is by gaining and exhibiting soft skills. But just what are they, and how do you learn soft skills?
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are the intangible assets that make you stand out in interviews, at work and social events. Soft skills make you stand out from the crowd but don’t come with a piece of paper to back them up. Important soft skills range from attributes like leadership and teamwork through to problem solving and decisiveness.
The ability to demonstrate a range of important soft skills will push you to the top of any prospective employer’s pile of candidates. While your qualification is a tangible demonstration of your academic ability and training, soft skills don’t come with a certificate, and it’s up to you to demonstrate them to any people you may want to impress.
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How to learn soft skills
Feel stressed that you can’t think of any soft skills to round out your resume? Don’t worry, with a nationally recognised qualification from CAL you’re already well on your way to mastery of several key important soft skills.
Self-Discipline and Motivation
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of any education program is the switch to a more self-driven learning process and is especially the case when completing online courses or undertaking study that may seem new and confronting. At the end of the day, you are accountable only to yourself and must find both the motivation to take action and the discipline to see it through. Being able to demonstrate that you have the self-discipline to diligently guide yourself through an entire course, seek help when you needed it and work to meet deadlines makes you an asset in the eyes of any future employer. Furthermore, the fact that you identified a need for change in your life and did something about it by enrolling in a CAL course demonstrates a motivation to get the best out of yourself.
Good time management is a skill that can be honed over time. As an adult student, your studies will often need to be juggled between caring for a family and working your existing job. Being able to meet deadlines requires time management skills, as juggling to fit in those important family moments. Completing your CAL course is a demonstration that you can divide your time efficiently and effectively to achieve your goals, an attribute critical to the success of any workplace.
Completing any form of education, especially at these levels, requires the ability to work your way through the tasks set for you. As you work your way through a course, academic challenges will be plentiful. Any CAL graduate can confidently say in an interview that they were able to tackle the difficult tasks involved in their course head on.
Your problem-solving skills need not only stem from your coursework. Identifying issues with any of the other areas we’ve outlined above and coming up with solutions to deal with them is also a form of problem-solving. At the completion of your course, you can prove to any employer that you have experience working through and overcoming difficulties.
What are soft skills that can be developed elsewhere?
When it comes to selling yourself on the job market, the more soft skills you have, the better. Here are three simple ways you can incorporate three more important soft skills into your resume and stand out from the crowd even more.
Showing you can be an able team member is important for entering the workforce. Join committees, form a book club or maybe play a team sport, even if it’s just C-grade mixed netball on a Wednesday night with your friends. Anything that shows you know how to cooperate with others will make you look good and show you’re a proactive person.
Demonstrating the ability to handle the pressure and responsibility of being a leader is a fantastic asset. Seek out leadership roles in your current workplace or volunteer to run events at your kids’ schools or for a local charity.
Many employers will look for employees who can think on their feet and find creative solutions to problems. You can show off your creative side by starting your own blog, podcast or YouTube channel, or perhaps by investing a little more time in expanding your painting, graphic design or photography hobby.
The importance of Soft Skills
You can see that gaining soft skills to stand out from the crowd doesn’t need to be hard. Having fun and enjoying what you do is another underrated soft skill that can keep life in perspective as you study and negotiate the job market.