6 of the Most Popular Job Qualifications (And How to Show You Have Them)
No matter what industry you work in, or at what level, there are certain soft skills that employers want to see. Soft skills are non-technical skills, the types of things that you pick up in practice. You don’t get a certificate or diploma to say you’ve mastered them, so instead, you have to show a potential employer.
That’s the tricky part: demonstrating you have a skill to someone using only words on a piece of paper. But there are ways to imply you’ve mastered many of the common soft skills employers regularly look for. Below we’ve outlined some of the most popular job qualifications with tips on how to demonstrate you possess them.
Communication skills are broken up into multiple categories, but for written communication skills you can easily show you have them with a well-written, grammatically correct job application. Reread everything twice, or have someone else give it a second set of eyes, to ensure it’s accurate.
Verbal communication skills are a bit harder to show on paper. Think about specific times you communicated verbally: Do you host a regularly cadenced meeting? Have you completed a project with members across different offices? These are the stories that show you can effectively communicate, both in speech and in writing.
Working on a team is something you’re taught from a young age. But showing you’re an asset to a team is another thing altogether. If you’ve ever managed a team, include that, but if not, think about team successes you’ve led or had a major role in. Teamwork is about communication, compromise, delegation and trust. Tell a story about the time that you really exemplified those things, which in turn was a success for the team as a whole.
Staying calm under pressure and being able to effectively come up with solutions to problems is arguably one of life’s best skills. Include a scenario about a project that changed course halfway through but you came up with a way to keep it on track, or a time when there was a major roadblock but your quick thinking solved the issue.
- Time management
We live in a deadline-driven society, so keeping things on track and efficiently managing time is key. Think about times that you worked on multiple projects with multiple deadlines. Successfully working on projects or tasks simultaneously shows you know how to prioritize your time efficiently and effectively. And since most, if not all, tasks have deadlines, include something like “on time”, “on schedule” or something similar when describing an important project or task. Using this language repeatedly shows a pattern of meeting or exceeding deadlines, which will create a theme that you’re a time management pro.
Being able to change directions smoothly or pivot an idea means a manager won’t have to worry about lost time when something doesn’t go exactly as planned. No one wants to work with someone who needs a week to regroup after something doesn’t go as planned. Demonstrate you’re not this person by explaining how you successfully made a last-minute change to a project in order to keep it on track. Or talk about a time a client request put a task in jeopardy but you were able to think quickly and adapt.
Self-motivation is a big one, especially in the age of startups, evolving company structures, and ways of working. Remote work is a big indication of self-starting as you have to work very autonomously, but asking a manager for more responsibility or with an idea you have are other great indicators. Display that you can take initiative and that you want to advance and grow your career. That’s music to any employer’s ears.
Soft skills are all about the stories — when writing a job application include achievements that hit as many of them as you can. The common job qualifications all tend to relate to one another, so outlining a few major wins should cover a good number of the soft skills you have, showing employers just how valuable you really are.