Are you soft enough? The top 6 soft skills recruiters look for when assessing candidates

While your resume might look impressive enough to get you in the door for an interview, it’s your soft skills — those personality traits that allow you to interact effectively with other people — that will help you land the job.

I have interviewed thousands and hired hundreds of people. Just because someone looks good on paper, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are going to fit into the company’s culture. You could have someone who has all the technical skills, but the hiring manager doesn’t get the sense that he or she will be able to communicate with them. That person likely won’t get hired.

58% of hiring managers agree that the lack of soft skills among candidates is limiting their company’s productivity.

Conversely, someone who is a little light on the technical skills required, but says all the right things, and makes a great impression during the interview, might land the opportunity; the hiring manager might hire them “on a hunch.” I’ve done this many times, and found the latter group to be successful far more often than not.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent in March, according to the Labor Department. So more people are being hired today than before. This sub-5 percent level is half what is was just a decade earlier. There are entry-level cyber security jobs paying $80k, there are 10,000 newly created tech jobs. So what are the soft skills to help you increase your odds of landing a job?

Top six soft skills

LinkedIn found that the top six attributes recruiters and hiring managers are looking for when assessing soft skills are:

  1. adaptability
  2. culture fit
  3. collaboration
  4. leadership
  5. growth potential
  6. prioritization

To push ahead of your competition, it’s not just knowing what to do, but what to do next.

So what questions should you be asking, and what responses should you be looking out for during an interview? Let’s go through a few examples of how to find candidates who meet more than just the criteria listed in the job description.

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