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CareersIn an increasingly competitive work environment, ‘soft skills’ (personal attributes that enable you to interact effectively with other people) are becoming increasingly more important than ‘hard skills’ (acquired theoretical and occupational knowledge) as far as hiring decisions are concerned.

A recent research study conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified four soft skills that you should acquire to maximise your employability. Therefore, if you are serious about landing that ‘dream job’, then make sure you highlight them in your resume and be ready to demonstrate them at a job interview.

Interpersonal skills. While your talent, commitment and output are important for personal growth, employers today are on the lookout for people who are team leaders, and can manage interpersonal conflicts when they crop up, as well as those who work well in groups and can accomplish shared goals effectively.

Effective decision making skills. In order to stay relevant and competitive in a dynamic business environment, companies look for people who have the ability to take prompt yet logically sound decisions. The skey is to be able to strike the right balance between playing it safe (so resources are not wasted) and taking risks (to take advantage of opportunities).

Communication skills. Exceptional communication skills, oral and written, continue to be a sought after skill. Furthermore, a person who is able to express complex technical concepts in layman’s terms is among a rare breed that all companies covet.

Critical thinking and problem solving skills. Employees who can anticipate business trends, initiate and prioritise projects, combine creative and critical thinking, and resolve conflicts and problems that arise in the workplace are greatly valued by recruiters.

– Arshia Wasif Ahmed
The writer is a corporate trainer.