All workplace teams will eventually be faced with turnover and the opportunity to replace a team member that is moving on for one reason or another. For the candidates that are looking to be considered for such openings this is the time to showcase the soft skills they possess such as communication, time management and interpersonal skills. Here is a short list of the things employers will be looking for:
- Confident – Being a confident team member is a key ingredient when it comes to winning over employers and co-workers. Displaying confidence in person rather than on a resume can be a difficult soft skill to manage. I recently spoke with a hiring committee chairperson and she shared with me that she is often let down when meeting a candidate in person, after discovering that their personality doesn’t live up to the same confidence that they displayed on their resume. She shared that many recent college graduates have difficulty making eye contact, don’t carry themselves well and don’t speak with authority.
- Time Manager – Being a good time manager and having good time management skills are important for newly hired team members because they’re often juggling roles and responsibilities. One of the ways candidates can help potential employers understand how well they manage their time, candidates should be prepared to explain the way they prioritize daily tasks and why they prioritize that way.
- Positive Attitude – There aren’t too many people who want to work with a grumpy coworker. To avoid being labeled as a negative team member, don’t criticize and don’t complain. Instead of always pointing out others’ mistakes, look for opportunities to acknowledge things that others are doing well and praise their improvements.
- Flexible – One of the keys to success and an enjoyable work experience is that of flexibility. Don’t just say you’re a team player, show it by being flexible with your schedule and responsibilities. Others will see this can-do attitude as an essential part of the workplace and can easily make individuals stand out when it comes to promotions, raises and other opportunities. During an interview candidates might bring attention to the soft skill by describing instances when they’ve been flexible and that flexibility has benefited others and the employer.
- Team Player – Being able to contribute to and work with small teams will display an individual’s ability to get along with others and complete tasks. Having the ability to cooperate and compromise with others is a trait that is becoming more sought after by employers and hiring committees. Candidates who would like to be seen as team players should be prepared to mention times when they worked effectively with others on their resume and be willing to describe those scenarios in detail.
- Communicator – Technology has advanced to the point where in many cases it has robbed young people of their ability to communicate effectively by allowing them to use abbreviated e-mails and text messages. In a recent interview on FOX Business two hiring managers discuss the importance of being able to communicate without technology by engaging coworkers and others in face-to-face conversations. This is an area that all working professionals, of all ages can continue to improve in.
Overall it would be worthwhile to practice effective verbal communication, being purposefully positive and learning to work in teams. Time invested into fine tuning any of these soft skills is a good investment for candidates.