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What are soft skills and why are they important?

Whether you’re an academic who must relate to students or IT specialist who should understand the
needs of customers, there are lots of jobs where people need soft skills to complement their
technical capabilities in order to excel.

The problem is, while technical skills are usually acquired through training and education, soft skills
are made up of a series of personal attributes that can often only be demonstrated in real-life
scenarios. However, these skills are important as they can determine how motivated you are, as well
as how you solve problems, organise your time, conduct yourself around others and many other
characteristics that are important to employers.

When it comes to your job search, soft skills are incredibly valuable because they can set you apart
from other candidates who have similar qualifications, experiences and technical abilities. For
example, showing passion could be a sign you’re more likely to motivate others and achieve results,
while strategic-thinking and communication might suggest you’re able to challenge the status quo
and drive new ideas.

So, where do soft skills come from and how do you develop them? To an extent, they’re like a
natural talent, which means some people might have more flair for some skills than others. For
example, perhaps you’ve always been a compelling communicator since your first school
presentation or it’s just part of your personality to show excitement and passion around your peers.

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