Showing off your soft skills: the modern way to land a job

Due to a shortage of qualified candidates for digital jobs, recruiters are finding it increasingly difficult to locate the right profiles for their clients. In this article, learn about the struggles HR professionals and recruiters face today and how you can turn their pain point into your win.

According to a recent study, 89% of companies say they expect to have difficulty finding skilled IT workers within the next year. Some HR departments use up to three or even four different recruitment agencies desperate to find qualified candidates.

This skills and experience gap trend is only going to increase as technology leaps forward. And in response, companies are updating the way they hire.

A changing tide

Job seekers take notice. Out of necessity, companies are starting to shift focus away from “perfect match” candidates with extensive previous experience to those who may have other promising characteristics and talents they can bring to the position.

Employers are being advised to increasingly concentrate on transferable soft skills. These include personality and character traits as well communications and people skills. They can also include business skills that are relevant across industries and types of roles. Technical skills can be taught, but finding a candidate with the right soft skills is key.

According to Vik Patel, CEO of Future Hosting,  ‘hard’ skills are necessary, but they’re not sufficient. He favors recruiting ‘autotelic’ candidates, who have an ability to adapt, are motivated by curiosity and have a desire to learn. For Patel, perseverance and a conscientious character are paramount as employees are constantly called upon to prove their autonomy.

At OpenClassrooms, we know these soft skills are especially important in our modern age where those in the workforce must continually learn new competencies to keep up with changing technology.

Show off those soft skills

Employers are looking for soft skills and characteristics such as adaptability, self-confidence, ability to manage stress, creativity and curiosity. Why? Because they make companies more resilient in the face of change.

Hard skills can be learned by candidates that do not have much previous experience. The best employees often turn out to be the ones not with the most experience at the time they are hired, but those who have the right set of behavioral traits that are able to bring a real competitive advantage to an organization.

Here are some soft skills you may want to be putting forward on your resume/CV and in interviews as they are high in demand across roles and industries:

  • A desire to learn and stay up to date/curious
  • Autonomous/self-starter
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Problem-solver
  • Creative/out-of-the-box thinker
  • Adaptable
  • Able to manage stress well
  • Able to work within a team effectively
  • Adept at conflict management
  • Good at managing client relationships

If you’d like to build on your existing soft skills, OpenClassrooms offers training in a wide range of soft skills including, learning how to learn, working autonomously, working efficiently in teams, public speaking, and presentation skills. These courses can be taken separately and can be found woven into the curriculum of our bachelor’s and associate’s-level diploma programs.

OC find out more

For more perspective on skills, see our article: Audit your skill set to change and advance your career.

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