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It’s evening. You’re looking through job descriptions online, being intentional about the positions you want to apply to. You’re focused mostly on the technical skills in each post. Your mind races to think through your qualifications. Can I use that software? Do I have experience with this niche clientele? While the technical skills might be important in a position, there are underlying soft skills that you might be skimming over. In fact, these soft skills may be even more important to the hiring manager than the technical skills. Your ability to highlight how you’ve used those soft skills in the past will be something interviewers want to know more about. Here are some skills that are commonly found on job postings that you can focus on in the new year.

Skill 1: Adaptability

If there’s one trend that’s being seen across industries, it’s the need for “jacks of all trades.” Swift advancements of technology are fueling this trend. Industries that are being especially affected by rapid change include: healthcare, higher education, and technology. A flexible mindset in a diverse work environment can be what sets you apart from other job candidates. If you’re currently interviewing for positions, this would be a great skill to highlight.

Skill 2: Communication

This skill seems obvious because it’s important every year, not just in 2024, but the fact is that communication skills will always be crucial to performing a job well. While communication may take different forms in different positions, having an understanding of effective ways to interact with your team and clients is crucial to your (and your organization’s) success.

Skills 3: Emotional Awareness

Having empathy, compassion, and understanding for people isn’t just a good life skill; it’s a critical career skill, too. Being on the same page as someone because you took time to understand their perspective could be the difference between you making that big sale, booking that first gig, or finalizing that partnership. This also ties in closely with communication skills. Chris Voss, the author of Never Split the Difference, claims that negotiating anything doesn’t start with the language you use (while that is important), it starts with “tactical empathy,” which is knowing what your counterpart is feeling and why.  

If you take these three skills with you into 2024, you’re bound to have a successful and enriching year. If you’re interested in understanding more about how these skills look in the real world and how they apply to jobs you might be interested in, reach out to Crosworks. The initial introduction is free and it’ll definitely be insightful to learn how they can be of help to you in your current and future career.

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