Looking for a new light industrial job can be frustrating, especially if you don’t have much experience. But the truth is that while certain roles do require specific hard skills, soft skills can be even more important. Let’s take a look at the difference between hard and soft skills and what hiring managers are really looking for today.
Hard vs. Soft Skills
Hard skills are what most people think about when searching for a job. These are the technical skills that the position requires – see some examples here, such as driving a forklift or operating a certain machine. In light industrial, safety or operational efficiency may mean that you are ineligible for some roles if you don’t have experience (and in some cases certification) in a specific area.
But the vast majority of hard skills can be learned on the job. So, employers turn to soft skills to determine whether to make a hire.
Soft skills are those that make you a better employee, team member, and, ultimately leader – getting along with others, taking initiative and responsibilities, truthfulness and integrity, etc. And best of all, they are highly transferable. You might have picked them up in a previous unrelated job or even through extracurricular activities at school.
Top Soft Skills
There are three soft skills that hiring managers frequently cite as the most important to them:
- Problem solving. In any workplace, things can and do go wrong. If you have the critical thinking skills to calmly analyze an issue, consider solutions, and implement one that works, you’ll be extremely valuable to any employer.
- Active listening. Most people simply wait their turn to speak. But those with active listening skills know how to actually communicate. You’ll seek understanding through clarifying questions, summarizing the other person’s points, and reflecting on what you hear.
- Time management. The average workday is very busy, with a lot of conflicting demands. Those with excellent time management skills understand how to prioritize, to break down big jobs into manageable steps, and to remain focused throughout the day.
- Taking The Initiative. Business is not like being in the military or what you might see in the movies where people are “bossed around” a lot. In fact, the best businesses are run by motivated individuals who “take the initiative” to get things done and take ownership of projects and enjoy and feel responsible for taking more responsibility. Show your manager you are ready to take more responsibility.
Soft skills won’t necessarily get you every role you might want. But they are your foot in the door when you don’t have much experience. And as you progress in your career, soft skills can give you the edge you need to get that next promotion.
Ready for a new job?
If you’re ready for your next role, start searching for a new job with SURESTAFF today! We can help you find a industrial jobs in Illinois, Texas, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, Indiana, or Wisconsin.