5 Indispensable Soft Skills Hiring Managers Value Most
What the heck are soft skills—and how are they different from hard skills? Hard skills are quantifiable abilities, certifications, and expertise needed to accomplish professional tasks. Fluency in multiple languages, proficiency in software programs, writing and grammatical skills are all just a few examples of valuable hard skills. Although certain hard skills do come more naturally to certain people (maybe you’re just not a math person, or you’re more familiar with Microsoft than Google Suite), they are skills that can be taught and acquired through education, training, and experience.
Soft skills, on the other hand, are more innate and subjective qualities that refer to how well people connect, collaborate, and communicate with others. "Soft skills are the essential interpersonal skills that make or break our ability to get things done in our current jobs and take on new opportunities ahead," according to a LinkedIn report on top skills companies and hiring managers are looking for in 2020. "Soft skills demonstrate how we work with others and bring new ideas to the table."
Soft skills include time management, creative thinking, effective communication, listening skills, leadership, and teamwork. The ideal job candidate or employee will exhibit a balanced combination of both hard and soft skills. They need to be good at their technical work tasks, of course, but also pleasant to work for and with.
Each year, LinkedIn’s data report unveils employers’ most highly valued soft skills for the upcoming year, and 2020 is all about these top five qualities: creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and emotional intelligence. Here’s why showing up to work with these key soft skills gives you a leg up professionally.