More Than a Degree: 6 Critical Soft Skills to Land You a Job

Shiny new degrees are awesome, but they’re just a method of helping you get an interview. If you really want to fit in at an organization and wow employers, you have to stand out by proving you have highly sought after soft skills.

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So, what are soft skills? They’re intangible skills that aren’t easy to measure. Unlike noting how many accounting classes you took in college, you can’t really quantify what makes you a good listener. Soft skills can be learned over time, and they’re often the backbone of building relationships in the workplace.

Below, we’ll talk about 6 critical soft skills that will help you land and build your dream career.

  1. Knowing How to Connect

Jobs are much more social now than they ever have been; we socialize during the day and make connections that extend beyond our 9 to 5. It’s therefore essential that you know how to connect with others and build relationships within an organization. This includes having great written and verbal communication skills and being able to empathize with both co-workers, superiors and customers or clients.

  1. Research and Problem-Solving Skills

You know what managers love? Someone who can figure out a problem without having to ask a million questions. Taking a problem and researching a solution seems like a straightforward idea, but knowing how to effectively research and approach problems with an open mind isn’t as easy as it sounds, and it’s a skill highly sought after by employers.

  1. Time Management

I know, I know, we’ve all heard this one before. But knowing how to manage time is a classic soft skill for a reason, and it’s more critical than ever with the surge of technological advances that blend our work and social lives. Time management will not only be critical to help you navigate masses of emails or work your way through projects, it will also help you learn to step away from work (both at the office and on your laptop or phone) and recharge.

  1. Flexibility

Dynamic work environments have become the norm in most jobs, and it’s unlikely your days are ever going to be exactly the same. While breaking away from monotony can be refreshing, you also have to be willing to adapt and go with the workflow. Projects won’t always go smoothly, you won’t always have the best co-workers, and you won’t always leave the office at 5pm. You need to learn to be flexible in these situations and seek out alternate solutions when possible.

  1. Accountability

Taking responsibility for mistakes can be scary. Who wants to take the blame for something getting messed up? However, admitting to mistakes and allowing yourself to learn will take you much farther in the working world than avoiding criticism. It will also prove to managers that you’re honest, a trait that goes a long way in the workplace.

  1. Authenticity

If there’s one soft skill you should learn, it’s this one. Being our true selves is often overlooked in the face of pleasing others, but being authentic will make you enjoy your job more, meaning you’ll likely put forth a better effort and be more respected by co-workers and managers. I know it sounds cliché, but always be yourself when you’re looking for a job.

The best part about soft skills is they can be learned. If you want to up your job-hunting game, take the time to build some of the skills above to help you stand out at your next interview.

****Campus to Career thanks Megan Bierwirth for this post!!****

Interested in learning more? Check out Surgent CPA Review’s blog for more career advice and insight on the accounting profession.

Megan Bierwirth graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting and passed the CPA exam within 6 months of graduation. She worked in both public accounting and industry while becoming a CPA and now runs a virtual bookkeeping company focused on preventive, integrative and complementary medicine professionals.


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