Majority of Companies Say Employees' Soft Skills Are Just as Important as Hard Skills

Credit: MGN Online

Majority of Companies Say Employees' Soft Skills Are Just as Important as Hard Skills

April 10, 2014 Updated Apr 10, 2014 at 4:19 PM EDT

(CareerBuilder news release) Don’t skimp on soft skills when writing your resume.

According to a new CareerBuilder study, the vast majority of employers - 77 percent - believe that soft skills (less tangible skills associated with one’s personality, such as a positive attitude) are just as important as hard skills (skills that are learned to perform a specific job function and can be measured, such as operating a computer program).

According to a CareerBuilder news release:

Sixteen percent of employers said soft skills are more important than hard skills when evaluating candidates for a job.

“When companies are assessing job candidates, they’re looking for the best of both worlds: someone who is not only proficient in a particular function, but also has the right personality,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “Along with responsibilities, it’s important to highlight soft skills that can give employers an idea of how quickly you can adapt and solve problems, whether you can be relied on to follow through and how effectively you can lead and motivate others.”

The top ten most popular soft skills companies say they look for when hiring include:

1) Candidate has a strong work ethic – 73 percent

2) Candidate is dependable – 73 percent

3) Candidate has a positive attitude – 72 percent

4) Candidate is self-motivated – 66 percent

5) Candidate is team-oriented – 60 percent

6) Candidate is organized, can manage multiple priorities – 57 percent

7) Candidate works well under pressure – 57 percent

8) Candidate is an effective communicator – 56 percent

9) Candidate is flexible – 51 percent

10) Candidate is confident – 46 percent

Haefner warns that it’s not sufficient to just list soft skills when communicating with a potential employer. “Saying that you’re a team player is not enough; you have to show it,” Haefner added. “Provide an example of how you worked on a team to accomplish a particular goal. Provide an example of a high-pressure situation that you handled with ease. Try to make the intangible tangible.”

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