The top 10 soft skills
Soft skills are non-technical skills such as interpersonal behaviours, personality traits and abilities which help you perform your role at work and be successful in the workplace. These skills are developed throughout life and built upon during your career. Soft skills can be taken with you from job to job, and industry to industry, and are critical for career success.
A 2018 LinkedIn Learning report identified that 92% of executives believe soft skills are equally important or more important than technical skills and yet, 89% of executives say that it is difficult to find people with soft skills. Furthermore, findings from a 2017 report by Deloitte Access Economics projects that nearly 70% of all jobs in 2030 will be in soft skill intensive occupations – examples include engineers, community and personal service workers, and sale representatives. These results highlight the importance of continually improving and updating the soft skills you have.
Given the significance of soft skills, there has been increased focus on defining the most important soft skills for employees to have. The National Skills Commission has identified a set of ten core competencies or soft skills – also called foundational skills, enterprise skills and employability skills – which are a requirement of every occupation in Australia. Understanding what these skills are can be very helpful when applying for jobs and ultimately, for going forward in your career.
The ten core competencies defined by the National Skills Commission are as follows:
|Teamwork||Working effectively with others and personally connecting with others for work and learning.|
|Initiative and innovation||Taking on responsibilities and challenges, being able to start up and carry out projects and generating options to cope with changes.|
|Planning and organising||Developing specific goals and plans to prioritise, organise and complete work and learning.|
|Oral communication||Talking to others to convey information effectively, giving full attention to what other people are saying and understanding the conversation|
|Digital literacy||Identifying and using technology (including hardware and software) confidently, creatively and critically.|
|Reading||Interpreting, comprehending and interacting with written words.|
|Writing||Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.|
|Problem solving||Identifying problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.|
|Learning||Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.|
|Numeracy||Understanding numbers and using mathematics to solve problems.|
Source: National Skills Commission, 2020. A snapshot in time: The Australian labour market and COVID-19
Soft skills and your CV/resume
When developing your CV or resume for a specific job, make sure you include a list of the relevant soft skills you can offer the employer. Whilst there are no specific rules for showing what skills you can provide, including a list of the top four to five soft skills you can offer at the top of your CV or resume in the Profile or Professional Summary is a good way to do this.
How can I strengthen my soft skills?
If you feel that your soft skills need further development, try Skillset’s suggestions for making some improvements in this area.
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