I t's usually easy to pinpoint what hard skills you earned in university. If you got a degree in engineering, you'd be able to show someone how to use a specific computer program. But what about abilities like independence and leadership? These soft skills matter, too.
Here's how to use university soft skills to find a job.
What Soft Skills Does University Teach You?
First, you should know what the term “soft skills” means. This way, you can identify yours. These abilities are non-technical, otherwise known as interpersonal or communication skills. It's sometimes a little harder to show soft skills on a CV, but you have options.
Let’s say you know how to use Microsoft Office. If you’re a pro at Excel, you have a hard skill — but you could call your ability to organize and distribute reports a soft skill. These talents are more emotion-based, so you may not be able to measure your knack for communication as well.
Endless soft skills exist. However, you should be able to identify the different categories regarding university soft skills to use for a job:
- Critical thinking
- Work ethic
- Time management
What soft skills do you learn in university? Students acquire time management, conflict resolution and self-reliance when completing group projects, meeting project deadlines and interacting with roommates. If you think back to your experience, you should be able to pinpoint specific moments.
Employers Want Soft Skills More Than Hard Skills
Employers tend to prefer applicants with soft skills over other candidates. Anyone can learn social media, but you can't develop a work ethic over a few months. It's evident in some cases that soft skills are more valuable than hard skills. If you were well-versed in financial literacy, you'd be a strong contender for specific roles — even when you weren't proficient in the required computer software.
This preference might vary. Employers may only look for applicants with hard skills. But more often than not, you can only benefit when you add soft skills to your resume. These abilities could be the difference between getting an interview.
How to Write Soft Skills on a Resume
Before you make a list of soft skills on your resume, you should consider another approach. Employers want to see how you've used your abilities. Be ready to apply the STAR method to help convey your interpersonal talents.
This trick builds a situation, task, action and result that shows how your soft skills lead to outcomes. For example, you might want to highlight your collaboration skills. Rather than just writing “teamwork,” you could say you worked on a semester-long chemistry group project and presented your findings at a competition, where you received third-place.
This example provides much more insight into your skills. It not only conveys teamwork — but highlights public speaking and leadership abilities, too. Plus, you can work your hard skills into the same statement. Each bullet point on your CV should employ the STAR method.
It helps to concisely explain your talents in a way that highlights your professional qualities. This technique takes practice and brainstorming. However, your resume will be more enticing and eye-catching as a result.
Ways to Build Soft Skills
If you want to develop university soft skills to use for a job, you can try a few methods. Remember soft skill development takes time. However, you should easily be able to build on whatever talents you currently possess.
It's beneficial to consider your weaknesses. Could you be a better delegator? Maybe you tend to bite off more than you can chew. Determine where you can improve so that you can take action. During your next class, you should take the initiative and divide work evenly.
Students who participate in apprenticeships, organizations and internships build soft skills quicker due to their experience. Try to be more involved. This way, you can start to think like a professional. It might not be another few months before you graduate, but you should always get a leg up when possible.
This process will evolve throughout your career — but learning how to use university soft skills professionally makes you a more versatile worker that companies want to hire.
Your University Soft Skills Are Valuable for Employment
Students acquire soft skills throughout their time in university. Even when you think you've only learned hard skills, you've probably also become a reliable leader and effective collaborator. If you identify your abilities, you can map them out on your resume — and land a job as a result.
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