The Importance of Soft Skills in the Workplace

Have you ever interviewed for a job position only to be turned down because they “decided to go another way”? On paper, it appears that you have met all of the credentials and technically, you’re everything the company could be looking for in an employee and more!

So what’s the problem?

Here’s another scenario:

You’ve been working in your current job position for enough time where you have earned a respectable name for yourself. Now you’re considering moving up in the ranks. There’s another position open in the company and you apply. With the amount of years that you’ve dedicated to your job, you’re thinking that the position is practically yours—only to your surprise, you’ve discovered that you’ve been passed up for someone else who was a “better fit”. Again, on paper, you look good—especially to human resources. You have a history with the company. They know you.

So again we ask: what’s the problem?

What You Should Know about Job Hunting

When it comes to job hunting and the hiring process, there really can’t be one problem, because every applicant and every job seeking organization is different. However, Florida National University (FNU) can certainly help shed some light on these kinds of situations.

We can’t begin to pretend to know the exact reason to why some people are overlooked for job positions. What we can do is help you be the best applicant you can be so that you can outshine the competition and quite possibly land the job of your dreams.

FNU certainly has the academic certifications to help you earn a degree toward a rewarding career, but what we hope you’ll also develop through our degree courses is Soft Skills.

What Exactly are Soft Skills?

Soft Skills is another way of saying that you need to have good people skills. The term ‘people skills’ is quite broad, so Soft Skills gives a direct correlation while also contrasting to hard skills—the talents and abilities that can be taught and developed like nursing, working as a physical therapist assistant, accountant, networking administrator, or paralegal. Such hard skills all need to be supported with a good range of Soft Skills. Ideally, one cannot perform well without the other.

How Emotions are Related to Soft Skills

Soft Skills are all about emotion. You may have been taught not to act professionally based off of emotions and for the most part, this remains true. Some of your best decisions will be made based on a sound and logical thought process. However, the reality is that not everyone will be able to do this, especially entry-level employees or people who have little to no experience.

Having emotions is all a part of being human. It’s really how you react within a professional environment towards someone or a situation that will really show who you are as a person and a professional. Soft Skills reflect in how you communicate—in your attitude and work ethic. They will determine what kind of employee you are.

  • Are you a leader?
  • Do you prefer to do just the bare minimum?
  • Do you care about your company?
  • Do you understand your role within the company’s mission?
  • Are you a big-picture kind of employee or interested in carrying out the company’s mission?

Why Soft Skills are Important in an Interview

There’s no list of degrees or accolades that can really answer these questions. This will come out in your personality and how you ask and answer questions—things that typically come out during an interview.

With the amount of colleges and universities available, especially online, almost every American can work to earn a college degree.

It used to be that applicants would at least need to have graduated from high school in order to be considered or a job. Today, most employers expect nothing less than a college degree at the minimum.

Know That You Have What it Takes as a College Graduate

On paper, anyone can look good. This is just the first step that employers take in searching for the right candidate for the job. Everyone who’ve they called in to interview are serious contenders. So, if you’ve been called in for an interview, be proud of that. This means that you have the right credentials that fit the job description.

As for employees who are looking to advance within their company, by throwing your hat in the ring, your history with the company is the real interview for you. Your company is already familiar with your Soft Skills. They’ve seen you at your best and your worst. Depending on your Soft Skills this might be a good or bad thing—totally relative.

Be Mindful of Your Soft Skills When Interviewing

This is why interviewers aren’t too interested in the accolades rather than how you’ve come to achieve them. You may hear questions like:

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • Describe an issue at work where you had to solve a problem.
  • What are your hobbies?

Don’t forget the all-time favorite:

  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?

These are all questions just to get you talking, to see how you communicate and how you may come across when speaking to any of their clients and staff. If you have the personality to instantly win someone over, then you have some pretty impressive soft skills.

Soft Skills Can Be a Cultural Preference

To the point, people have to like working with you. It’s part of having a harmonious company culture. Not being chosen for a position doesn’t necessarily mean that people hate you either. You just need to have the kind of Soft Skills that’s compatible to that particular work environment. You can achieve an associate, bachelors, or master’s degree, but without good soft skills, you could be very well overlooked.

Florida National University has a regionally accredited curriculum designed to help you develop your soft skills. Take a look at the degree programs we have to offer here. Most of them can be earned online.

Contact an FNU representative to get the financial assistance and the admissions process started today!

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