According to the LinkedIn 2019 Global Talent Trends Report, 92 % of talent professionals and hiring managers are looking for candidates with strong, soft skills. Further, 89% of hiring managers believe that soft skills can make or break off hiring the perfect candidate. Additionally, a study by the Royal Bank of Canada predicts that there will be a growing demand for “human skills” across all job sectors.
What are Soft Skills?
Soft Skills, also known as human skills, are personal attributes, personality traits and communication abilities of a person. This term goes back twenty years when everything except engineering and science (also termed as hard skills) were thrown into this category.
Some of the critical skills in this category included – teamwork, collaboration, communication, leadership. However, in LinkedIn research, they found creativity, persuasion, adaptability and time management as most in-demand skills by employers in 2019.
Soft Skills in the age of automation?
Technology is taking over every aspect of life. When the whole world is moving towards artificial intelligence, it is hard to believe that anyone would seek human skills, isn’t it? On the contrary, employers surveyed by Workopolis say that soft skills outweigh the technical. Technical qualification gets you in front of the interviewer, but soft skills get you hired.
Why? Because people can be trained for hard skills, however, soft skills are learned by individuals throughout their professional journey. For example, a candidate with a degree in marketing looks well on a resume, but if the candidate doesn’t have excellent communication or persuasion skills, it is on use on-the-job. Biggest digital marketing giants like Google and Facebook, insist on understanding the audience. Create creative campaigns which interest buyers.
Must have Soft Skills for Newcomers to Canada
Canada is a land of opportunities, apart from a world-class education, it is open for skilled immigrants. Most immigrants focus on improving technical skills and are usually hit by the phrase ‘No Canadian Experience’. Some of the crucial skills every newcomer should possess includes:
- Communication Skills: Verbal or oral communication skills are critical. Learn business jargons, terminology in your chosen field. Interact with locals, adapt the skills accordingly.Body language differs from culture to culture. In some cultures, smile and eye contact with a person is not common; however, in Canada, it is the norm. Not adapting to such practices may give off the wrong impression about you.
- Creativity in professional terms doesn’t mean able to draw better. It is supposed to help develop innovative solutions to problems. Openness to innovation and accept different ideas is a must. Participating in brainstorming sessions is one of the ways to improve. Listen, consider and combine ideas for better results.
- Flexibility is the most crucial skill. It is hard to move out of your comfort zone and adapt to a new work culture altogether. However, what employers look for is the willingness and ability to take on new tasks and challenges.
- Reliability is the key to successful businesses. The business world is connected through technology, and virtual projects is on a high rise. Reliability in traditional or virtual teams is high on priority for success.
- Leadership & Initiative: Many newcomers are hesitant in Canada than their country of origin. Take on projects or tasks which are innovative and contribute to organizations’ success.
- Business Etiquette: First impressions are important. Your conduct at the workplace will help you rise up the ladder. Please, thank-you and sorry are the three most important words here. Courtesy while talking to colleagues, and don’t forget to make eye contact and smile.
How to Highlight your Soft Skills?
Do a SWOT analysis on yourself. List down the relevant skills for the job you want. Compare the skills required for a particular job and abilities you possess.
- Mention relevant skills in your cover letter. Pick one or two most relevant skills essential to the job you are applying for. Provide evidence to show you have those skills.
- During interviews, mention examples of times you used those skills. Your actions such as a handshake, listening carefully to the interviewer, friendliness and ease of communicating your ideas makes all the difference.
BizTech College offers career services to its students. With a focus on job-readiness, graduates are prepared with soft and hard skills needed to succeed in the competitive job market.