Employers, while looking at a candidate’s hard skills, are increasingly more aware of what soft skills can bring to their company. Soft skills are skills that aren’t determined based on the type of job or sector someone works in. They’re universal traits that can be demonstrated by anybody. However, just because they can, doesn’t mean they are.

Knowing what soft skills companies are looking for gives you a definite edge for your job search. You can demonstrate these on your resume and prepare examples for your interview. Remember research and being well prepared puts you ahead of the competition.

In order to do this, here are the top 5 qualities employers are looking for.

Top 5 Qualities Employers Are Looking For

Attitude

A healthy and positive attitude is essential for hitting the ground running when you’re starting your new job. Employers will be looking for candidates who are uplifting and will bring a positive vibe to the office. They’re also be looking for a can-do attitude, rather than an “Erm, that’s not in the job description…”

When you’re at your interview, make sure you’re smiling, free to laugh and focussed. You need to demonstrate that you’re happy to be hands on and try new things when the situation requires it. This type of person is essential to the well-being of a company.

Leadership Ability

Though you might not be applying for a leadership position, a company will still be on the look out for leadership qualities within you. This is for a couple of reasons. First, it’s great to know that down the line someone can move into a leadership position.

Secondly, those with natural leadership qualities are much better at getting things done, working in a team and taking responsibility for their actions. They don’t need to be monitored and can be trusted to get their work done to high standards.

Intelligence

Intelligence is a core aspect of why a person is hired. You don’t have to show that you’re Einstein by any means! Intelligence can be measured in many ways.

First of all, a person’s general intelligence can be demonstrated by the speed in which they pick up new skills and perfect them. IT’s also demonstrated by continuous learning and a want to stay on top of all the latest trends.

Social intelligence will dictate how well a person works in teams and in the company in general. This social intelligence can be demonstrated by previous examples of working well in teams, staying positive and getting along with people at all levels of a company.

Finally, emotional intelligence is also a large factor. This means that you’re in control of your emotions and not given to outbursts that will make it uncomfortable for others to work with. The best way to demonstrate this is to stay cool and collected; welcome criticism as a learning experience, and keep a handle on your emotions.

Competence

Competency is usually measured through hard skills – experience and qualifications. However, competency isn’t going to depend solely on that. A hiring manager will want to see that you are comfortable at completing basic tasks.

You’d be surprised at how many people are experts at the difficult stuff, but haven’t a clue when it comes to the basics. An all-around competency is much more attractive to the company when searching for potential hires. This is a reason why so many interviews are competency based.

Innovation

Innovation is the key to making your mark in the world. Everything can be improved upon and the answer is there if you’re able to look at things differently.

This is often why newcomers to a sector often come up with new and better ways of doing things. By not being exposed to the ‘tried and tested’ way of doing things, they’re able to look at a situation in a completely new light.

A lot of the time we take for granted that things work just fine as they are. However, perfection doesn’t exist and something can always be worked at and improved upon. If you can be the person who sees those new and positive changes, you can make a serious impact on the world.

This kind of innovation is welcome in companies. They want people to think differently and find new ways of doing things. Make sure you’ve plenty of examples prepared of your innovativeness when it comes to your interview.

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