I arrived at the airport on Wednesday for a very long flight home only to find that my flight was over an hour delayed, this meant I would miss my cutoff for my final leg of my journey home. It was the last flight out and I was going to have to spend an additional night where I was. For those of you who are frequent travelers, this is not that uncommon an occurence. I received great service at the airport that night as they set me back up in my original hotel and provided for a taxi to take me to the hotel and return me to the airport the next morning. Again, not an unusual story.
The next morning once I made it to my first desitnation I went to check in on my upgrade and was met with complete disregard, as if going to the customer service desk was the biggest inconvenience in the world. I was bothering this woman who was there to assist me, how dare I! It occured to me at that moment what the practical application of ‘soft skills’ is and why employers spend so much time and money tring to identify employess that have it.
All soft skills, at their very basic level boil down to some form of customer service. While doing some research this morning on soft skills I came across an article titled Top 10 Soft Skills for Job Hunters . This is by no means an all inclusive list but I think it’s pretty close.
- Strong work ethic. Will you arrive on time and do your job to the best of your ability with honesty and integrity?
- Positive attitude. Will you approach your job with a smile and genuine joy for what you are doing?
- Good communication skills. Will you interact with internal and external customers in a manner that best befits the organizations image?
- Time management abilities. Will you treat others time (including your organization’s time) with the same respect you would like others to give you?
- Problem solving skills. Will you approach challenges in a way that provides objective judgement focused on the needs of our customers and organization?
- Acting as a team player. Will you work collaboratively with members of your group to provide superior results?
- Self confidence. Will you lead by example and provide assistance where and when needed?
- Abiliy to accept and learn from criticism. Will you listen and heed the counsel of those around you in a professional and positive manner?
- Flexibility/Adaptability. Will you accept that sometimes objectives change with little to no warning and it is your job to continue to provide the best support of those objectives?
- Working well under pressure. In times of difficulty will you continue to act in the manner above to smile, be positive and approach the task at hand?
At the most base level all soft skills are your ability to put the needs of your internal and external customers first, provide service with a smile, regardless of the task at hand, and the desire (it is a choice) to enjoy what you are doing. If you can master these few things then the list above will be taken care of. Soft skills, cultural fit, customer service are the same thing.
Your challenge is to be able to demonstrate that you possess these traits in your resume and in the interview. Make sure to tell stories about your experience that demonstrate your willingness to go out of your way to help your customers, co-workers, department and organization. Doing that will put you head and shoulders above the rest.
For more interviewing tips, resume writing help or job search advice check back again to; “Connectthedotblog”.