Technical or job-specific skills are always important. But sometimes, when hiring for PA jobs in London, employers are after something else too. They may be prepared to teach you a technical skill but will want to know you have a certain soft skill in abundance. Recruitment agencies in London do their candidates a disservice if they don’t prioritise soft skills. Here, our PA recruitment agency explains what soft skills are and why employers place such importance on them.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills are those traits needed in the workplace that aren’t technical. They describe interpersonal skills and characteristics. Generally, they aren’t specifically gained through training or education. They’re closely linked to emotional intelligence and in many ways underpin your character as an employee.
Some examples of soft skills include:
- Communication: The ability to interact with others through listening and imparting information in various ways to various audiences.
- Time management: The ability to manage your available time in such a way that enables prioritisation, flexibility, and the ability to meet deadlines.
- Problem-solving: The ability to think creatively and analytically to solve problems, especially under pressure.
For PAs, soft skills are incredibly important. It’s not enough to simply know how to use a particular piece of software if you aren’t able to prioritise your workload, communicate effectively with senior leadership, or maintain discretion and optimism. It’s often your soft skills that showcase your professionalism and make you an invaluable PA to a senior executive.
As such, employers tend to place great value on the soft skills a PA candidate possesses and look to identify these in applicants in both CVs and interviews.
Can you learn soft skills?
There is a certain amount of inherent ability when it comes to soft skills. For example, you may naturally have an unflappable character. However, you can practice and develop your soft skills.
To develop soft skills, you need to be very deliberate and push yourself out of your comfort zone. It requires a degree of emotional intelligence in the first place to identify where you need work.
If you’re honest with yourself, then you can absolutely improve your soft skills. For example, you may be disorganised by nature, but by knowing that this is a weakness, you can develop strategies to become highly organised in the workplace. It’s about developing a conscious mindset.
Highlight your soft skills
On a PA CV, you must highlight your broad range of soft skills. The recruiting manager needs to see them shining through. They will be looking for an enthusiastic, engaged, confident individual skilled at managing a diverse workload with a flexible approach. Let them see that you can not only do the specific tasks of a job — you can do them with an efficient and productive attitude.
Need help with putting soft skills on your CV? Get in touch on 020 7870 7177.
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