Soft skills: remember to spotlight them
What are soft skills and why are they so important? These are the relational and behavioural skills that influence how you conduct yourself in the workplace.
They are called “soft skills” to distinguish them from “hard skills”, i.e. the purely technical and professional skills.
AlmaLaurea has included them in the curriculum vitae template in order to provide a complete snapshot of graduates’ educational and professional profile.
However, soft skills are much more difficult to develop than hard skills because they’re the result of our socio-cultural background, our behaviour and our professional and personal experiences.
The most important soft skills to be included directly in your AlmaLaurea CV:
- Autonomy: the ability to perform assigned tasks without the need for constant supervision using one's own resources.
- Self-confidence: the awareness of one's own value, abilities and ideas beyond the opinions of others.
- Ability to adapt to the organisation and work environment.
- Resistance to stress: the ability to react positively to work pressure while maintaining control, staying focused on priorities and not conveying any tension to co-workers.
- Capacity to plan and organise: the ability to develop ideas, identifying objectives and priorities and, taking into account the time available, plan the process, organising resources.
- Precision/Attention to detail: the attitude of being accurate, diligent and attentive to what you do, paying attention to the details.
- Lifelong learning: the ability to recognise your weaknesses and areas requiring improvement, taking action to acquire and increasingly improve your knowledge and skills.
- Capacity to achieve goals: the commitment, the ability, the determination you put into achieving assigned goals and, where possible, exceeding them.
- Information management: the ability to effectively acquire, organise and reformulate data and knowledge from different sources to achieve a defined goal.
- Being enterprising, showing initiative: the ability to develop ideas and knowing how to organise them into projects to turn them into reality, even taking risks to get the job done.
- Communication skills: the ability to convey and share ideas and information clearly and concisely with all one's interlocutors, to listen to them and to engage with them effectively.
- Problem solving: an approach to work that, by identifying priorities and critical issues, enables the identification of the best possible solutions to problems.
- Teamwork: the willingness to work and cooperate with others, having the desire to build positive relationships aimed at achieving the assigned task.
- Leadership: the innate ability to lead, motivate and guide others towards ambitious goals and objectives, creating consensus and trust.
How to promote them in the CV and during the job interview:
- Read the job advertisement carefully, identifying the soft skills needed even if they aren’t clearly spelled out!
- Analyse your profile (reflect on yourself) and identify the skills needed that you think you possess.
- In your CV, explain the experiences that helped you to develop them.
- In your cover letter, spotlight the skills that aren’t detailed on your CV, such as motivation and interpersonal skills.
- During an interview try to offer examples to support what you’ve written about your cross-cutting skills.
And remember: soft skills can be learned!