Today, more than ever, companies are looking for candidates who not only have a superstar resume – chock-full of experience, skills and results – they’re wanting those who have a cluster of great personality traits, social graces and communication skills.
These qualities are often called “soft skills,” but I prefer to refer to them as “smart skills.”
Smart skills, in fact, can trump technical skills when landing a job and succeeding in your career. After all, business is all about relationships – creating them, building them and keeping them!
What are winning personality traits? Well for starters, companies look for people who are friendly, kind, optimistic, show good character and have a sense of humor. The more the better like open mindedness, loyalty, trustworthiness and generosity. You get the picture.
How do your social graces stack up? Your boss wants to feel confident you’ll represent the company well both in business and social situations. Can you strike up an engaging conversation at a networking event? Do you know which fork or spoon to use at a business lunch? Do you know how to dress for that important meeting? In other words, do you have good manners?
Can you talk the talk? Learning the art of small talk and conversing with ease are major smart skill attributes that immediately impress. Excellent communication skills matter and are key in every facet of business – whether you’re talking with a fellow co-worker at the water cooler or closing the deal with a client in the boardroom.
How do your smart skills measure up? If you feel you have what it takes, than congratulations and good for you!
For those who feel like their soft skills need a brush up, don’t sit on the sidelines. Don’t let your chances of success slide by you. Soft skills can be learned and with a little practice, you’ll feel more empowered and skilled. And who knows, you may even get that promotion or land a better job!