Arizona employers report that they want staff who can do more than just the everyday job duties. Their ideal candidates will not only be equipped with the hard skills needed to excel, but also have soft skills to communicate and behave appropriately in the workplace.
So what are hard and soft skills? Hard skills refer to teachable abilities such as typing, building, and using equipment, while soft skills are intangible abilities related to effective performance.
Here are the top six soft skills Arizona employers are looking for:
- Verbal and Nonverbal Communication
Communication skills are a must at most jobs. Employees need to know how to effectively communicate with their peers, leaders and clients. Most employers appreciate a positive attitude paired with straight-forward communication. Nonverbal communication is also important because what you don’t say says a lot about you to others. Good posture, a smile and attentive body language tell others that you are engaged and open.
- Strategic Thinking
Employers want to hire self-motivated problem-solvers. Most great leaders rely on their staff to use creative and strategic thinking to come up with effective ways to do the job, and solutions to issues. Most employers don’t have the time to give employees step-by-step instructions, so it’s an ideal situation when they can rest assured that you’re capable of being on your own.
- Feedback and Criticism
Most people don’t like to be critiqued, but employees who’ve mastered the art of accepting difficult feedback tend to be more successful in the workplace than those who do not. It’s important that employees don’t take feedback and criticism personally and instead welcome the opportunity to continuously improve their abilities.
Many workplaces strive to create leaders within their teams. The ability to lead your peers without being bossy or controlling is a skill employers tend to take note of. Bosses tend to lean on team leaders who can work independently, and motivate and positively influence their peers. These employees are often the first considered for promotions.
- Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to effectively handle their emotions without letting them get out of hand. In the workplace, it’s the ability to leave the personal drama at the door and to interact with peers, clients and others without letting emotions get the best of you.
Successful relationships are a crucial part of being prosperous on the job. The ability to connect with your boss, peers and clients go a long way, while the inability to get along with others can be toxic in the workplace. You don’t need to strive to be the most popular employee, but showing others common courtesy by saying hello, consciously listening when someone is talking without interrupting, and showing respect for others can make you someone with whom others want to work.
Brushing up on these soft skills can help set you apart from other job candidates. ARIZONA@WORK offers no-cost employment services to prepare and connect Arizona job seekers to gainful employment. For more information about ARIZONA@WORK, please visit www.ARIZONAatWORK.com.