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“Soft Skills” Essential to Getting — and Keeping — a Job

Soft SkillsHigh school and college are good places to get the “hard skills” you need for job hunting. But even having great technical training and intern experience won’t impress most potential employers if you don’t also have the “soft skills” most positions demand.

What are “soft skills,” and why are they so important?

“Soft skills” are the social and behavioral smarts you use to navigate your way through the business day. People with highly developed “soft skills” often do very well in the workplace even if their professional abilities are less than spectacular. On the flip side, people who lack “soft skills” usually must have very strong technical expertise to compensate, and even then may find it hard to rise within a large organization.

Here are some of the “soft skills” you usually need to get – and keep – a job:

Punctuality – Nothing drives an employer crazier than employees who are habitually late for work and appointments. Employers need to be able to count on you, and that begins with being where they expect, when they expect it.

Honesty – In the workplace, honesty takes many forms. It can mean following through on your commitments. It can mean giving realistic projections on the time and money required to complete jobs, even when those forecasts aren’t favorable to you. Or it can mean taking personal responsibility for failures instead of trying to “pass the buck” to others.

Communication – It’s important that you communicate in a clear and timely manner with your boss/manager on matters that affect your job/performance. This covers everything from calling in when you’re sick to letting your superiors know when a job is – or is not – completed.

Appearance – Dress codes vary from workplace to workplace. One company may require formal business attire and grooming while others allow workers to dress (and smell) like they’ve just come from the beach. It’s important that you quickly learn the fashion “rules” of where you work and dress accordingly.

An “Appropriate” Sense of Humor – We all like to share jokes and occasional wisecracks. But humor needs to be appropriate for the workplace. Jokes with overt sexual, racial, religious or ethnic elements are likely to be found more offensive than humorous and could get you in serious trouble. Or even fired.

Being a “Team Player” – It’s been said that to get along, you need to go along. This is especially true when starting a new job. You’re likely to do well if you readily accept orders/assignments, help coworkers, share credit for success and generally have a “can do” attitude. Constantly complaining, criticizing superiors and/or coworkers or actively undermining others is a sure way to career stagnation – or the unemployment line.

Professionalism – By this we mean demonstrating an interest and respect for the work at hand. While everyone brings some of his or her personal life to the office, spending too much time dealing with family issues, boyfriends/girlfriends, hobbies and other outside interests is going to impair your productivity and likely limit your opportunities for advancement.

“Soft Skills” Featured by Everest University Online’s Career Services

“Soft skills” development is among the many ways Everest University Online’s Career Services professionals help graduates prepare to launch their careers. Career Services support also includes help with resume writing, rehearsing interviewing techniques and, of course, identifying and contacting potential employers in the area. The service remains available to graduates even after they’ve left school.

Everest University Online, a division of Everest University, currently offers online college programs for associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the fields of:

  • Accounting
  • Business
  • Computer Information Science
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminal Investigations
  • Homeland Security
  • Paralegal

Financial aid is available for those who qualify.

Get More Information

For more information on how you can earn your degree from home, contact Everest University Online today!

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at

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