Employability or ‘soft’ skills (sometimes also called ‘people skills’ or ‘life skills') are the skills, personal qualities and values that enable you to quickly adjust to a new workplace.
Employability skills include things like:
- Good communication: being able to express your thoughts and ideas (verbally or in writing) as well as being able to actively listen to those around you.
- Motivation and initiative: showing enthusiasm for the tasks you do and being proactive in approaching new tasks and environments.
- Leadership: being able to inspire and support others.
- Reliability/dependability: arriving at work on time and being committed to your job.
- Following instructions: being able to listen and understand your employer’s requirements and complete tasks to their specifications.
- Team work: getting along with people around you and/or putting aside differences in order to achieve a common goal.
- Patience: being willing to alter your working pace to assist others or as circumstances around you change, for example when training a new staff member or when learning a new skill.
- Emotional control: keeping calm, polite and professional in stressful or frustrating situations, for example when dealing with a difficult customer.
- Resilience: being able to ‘pick yourself up’ after a disappointment or setback.
By demonstrating these skills to an employer, you will show them that you will be able to work well with others and help the employer meet their business goals.
You can develop your employability skills through paid or unpaid work such as volunteering, or through extracurricular activities like team sports.
You can also show your employability skills when contacting employers or when networking with friends and family for possible job opportunities.