According to Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) one in eight graduates found that time invested by graduates in their personal brands as well as flexible sociability was a key factor in their first-job success.
AGR’s stat covers a wide range of characteristics when concerned with the word ‘sociability.’ The explosion of the technology industry, the obligatory online applications forms when applying for a new job and an almost constant online presence via email, phones, and social media has both complicated and expanded the definition of sociability.
Futureboard’s previous articles have covered the importance of maintaining a persistent and professional online presence when job-hunting. However there is a growing importance in the ability of interviewees and graduates to be able to demonstrate not simply their hard-skills (i.e. skill sets and competence in managing tasks and activities in a job role) but their soft-skills in the workplace. Emotional intelligence, also known as soft skills, is the skill-set most likely involved when evaluating likability or fit. As Miriam Salpeter quotes “Soft skills relate to a person’s ability to interact effectively with co-workers and customers and are broadly applicable both in and outside the workplace.” In those key moments in an interview these skills will be tested consciously and sub-consciously and the latter requires good practice to the point that it is habitual.
I am not referring to basic social skills so what do I mean by habitual soft skills? Firm eye-contact, the ability to regulate the pace and tone of your voice, good posture and self-confidence. Self-confidence does not come to us all naturally so practice and act it, even if you don’t feel it as perceptions are very important. Meditate if you have to and consolidate your thoughts. The 2,500 personality tests around will indicate (at a basic level for some of us) that not all of us enjoy, prefer or have the best soft skills. However personality of some kind and a likeable and workable one which allows you to engage with employers, would-be employees and customers will push you ahead of the running for top job even if someone is more qualified than you.
Why? Because you may be more eloquent, likable and professional and while employers employ online personality tests and online applications processes and are adamant (as to avoid legal issues) that someone doesn’t get hired because they weren’t liked, personality and soft skills are as essential as qualifications and skill-sets whether both parties like it or not.
Have a look at some of these links and fill in the chinks in your armour while evaluating your weaknesses and above all; strengths.
Positive Attitude: http://www.careerealism.com/attitudes-workplace-get-ahead/
Communication Skills: http://smallbiztrends.com/2013/11/ways-to-communicate-effectively-in-the-workplace.html