The importance of soft skills 

11 Jan 2023

Landing a new job can be daunting, and even getting your CV in the right hands can be a challenge. Not to mention contending with the post-pandemic job slump seeing many ‘quiet quitting’. Indeed, a recent survey carried out by Handshake found that out of 1,400 new and upcoming graduates, “recession predictions and recent layoffs have instilled a sense of work anxiety in Gen Z” despite “a nearly 53-year-low unemployment rate.” However, focusing on “soft skills” is the way forward, according to a LinkedIn representative. Yes, the head of the Asia-Pacific division at LinkedIn, Pooja Chhabria says that extensive experience is now taking a back seat, and skills are coming to the fore: “87% of recruiters believe skills are crucial as they vet candidates. A skills-based approach also creates a much broader talent pool, and diversity of talent is necessary for remaining competitive in today’s marketplace.” A CNBC report highlights that “skills-based hiring helps employers to hire talent that matches businesses’ evolving needs.” Excellent news for new job hunters. If you’re starting out in the world of work, what you may be lacking in experience can be made up for in your skillset. Chhabria added: “Hard skills [i.e. technical experience] can help you get a recruiter’s attention, but soft skills can help you land the job.”


So what are soft skills? 

According to findings within the World Economic Forum’s ‘Future of Jobs’ report, by 2025, complex problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management and emotional intelligence will feature among the most critical skills needed in the workplace. Let’s have a look at some of them.

  1. Communication is a highly important skill. Having the ability to explain your thoughts and ideas to colleagues, enabling them to easily connect with you and understand where you’re coming from, is essential for recruiters.
  2. Critical thinking. Being a good listener whilst at the same time proposing creative concepts and solutions can be a major indication to an employer that you are a potential asset.
  3. Time management. Keeping within deadlines and goals and making the most of your time during the working day – particularly whilst working from home – can make a massive difference to a business and give productivity a boost.
  4. Problem-solving. Potential employers will typically be highly impressed when you can apply critical thinking skills to confront and resolve real or hypothetical situations and/or problems.
  5. Strong interpersonal skills. Your relationships with others and how you build on these are important to prospective employers. It shows you’re a team player, which is worth its weight in gold. 

Having a strong set of soft skills is key to enjoying a successful career. It will improve your ability to work well with others and have an incredibly positive impact on your professional and personal life.