Soft skills are intangible and non-technical skills that include character traits and interpersonal skills that ultimately decide how you perform at your work. Soft skills are needed for better performance in interviews, they are a gateway to better employment. They are one of the most important components for the personal growth of an individual.
According to a recent study, Communication tops the list of soft skills. You may have excellent knowledge, but unless you can convey that knowledge to others and convince them, it is of no use. Communication skills are followed by problem-solving skills, leadership skills, teamwork skills, IT skills, and learning to learn skills.
Although, other soft skills like creativity and innovation, managing self, coping with change, initiative, and enterprise, sensitivity towards global, societal, and environmental issues, motivation skills, etc. are also very important.
Here are eight tips to develop your soft skills while you are in college:
Join an internship
A recent study indicated that being part of a professional internship adds so much value for entry-level job seekers, mainly because they offer students the opportunity to build valued soft skills such as adaptability, professionalism, time-management, and accountability.
Join the conversation
Communication skills such as active listening and asking questions and being curious help improve interpersonal relationships with coworkers and clients. Strengthen these skills by taking part in your discussions and attending your college faculty’s classes without fail
Improve your Public Speaking Skills
Public speaking skill is one of the highly valuable soft skills equally important as communication skills. Taking on a campus role in your college that includes public speaking, such as a student leader/class leader or being part of an oratory club, is one way to develop these skills.
Taking a foreign language course even if it isn’t a required class can also set you apart from other job applicants.
Being part of College Clubs
Extracurricular activities, including voluntary participation in philanthropic projects as well as being part of dance/quiz/singing club, require a group endeavor, which are great ways to develop teamwork and collaboration skills. Even better, seek a leadership role in a student activity or volunteer to take charge of a project.
Take the initiative
Showcase your unique skills by taking initiative and demonstrate your management and creative skills. It can be a new club focusing on a particular interest that you are good at, or a specific project that you believe in, or starting a blog or a youtube channel or other money-making endeavor.
Achieve outside the classroom
By participating in multiple events and part of tasks in your college, you can demonstrate your multitasking skills and time management skills. Being good in academics while simultaneously participating in volunteer work, campus extracurricular activities is a sure way to impress hiring managers.
Up your résumé game
Research indicates that first-time job seekers usually underestimate how much hiring managers value soft skills. As a result, job applicants don’t recognize all the soft skills they have and do not highlight those acquired soft skills.
Think long term
A lot of the hard skills are job-specific and tend to change as technology advances. On the contrary, Soft skills become a part of your personality and will only increase with time and experience. What that means is that the soft skills you build today can remain your special job-seeking tool for years to come.
These eight tips will surely help you develop your soft skills while you’re in college and help you achieve the career that you desire.