Soft Skills get little respect, but will make or break your career

Peggy Claus

Soft skills are those that cannot be taught. Hard skills are those that you can learn or are taught, but soft skills are developed over time and highlight your personality and those skills that are important to all situations in life.

The following are six types of soft skill I’ve picked out. Within these headings are a number of methods that can be used to showcase your abilities in these areas. It’s important to understand your soft skills and to know how to highlight them when completing your CV and for interview. Whilst a company may not directly ask you about your soft skills, they will be assessing them through your demeanour and content of your responses in interview.

Of course I haven’t just plucked these out of thin air, and I’d like to state that I have used the following site to aid me in putting this post together: developgoodhabits.com

Communication Skills

There are so many ways that you can prove your communication skills. The following are a selection to give you examples of methods that we all use every day:

  • Verbal Communication
  • Non-Verbal Communication
  • Visual Communication
  • Written Communication
  • Active Listening
  • Negotiation
  • Influencing and persuasion
  • Presentation Skills
  • Networking
  • Storytelling Skills
  • Diplomacy Skills

Problem-Solving Skills

We’re all about solving problems aren’t we? I can’t think of a day that goes by that I haven’t had to come up with a quick change due to unforeseen circumstances (on the bus, off the bus springs to mind).

  • Analysis
  • Experimentation
  • Imagination
  • Innovation
  • Insight
  • Lateral Thinking
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Observation
  • Questioning
  • Troubleshooting

Leadership Skills

You don’t have to be in a leadership position to show that you have these skills – new person posted in? Mentor and coach them in their new role… have a word with your mates when they’re having an argument…

  • People Management
  • Project Management
  • Meeting Management
  • Coaching
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Decision-Making
  • Delegation
  • Mentoring
  • Supervising
  • Team-Building
  • Versatility

Work Ethic Skills

This section speaks for itself I think, you would hope that this is ingrained into the majority of serving personnel.

  • Commitment
  • Dependable
  • Discipline
  • Initiative
  • Motivated
  • Punctual
  • Reliable
  • Responsible
  • Trainable

Teamwork Skills

Do you work well in a team? Can you cooperate with others? If so, you have team work skills!

  • Accept feedback
  • Collaborative
  • Cooperation
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Influential
  • Mediation
  • Self-awareness
  • Social Skills

Time Management Skills

Do you get jobs done on time, set SMART objectives for your SJAR and plan your day according to priorities? Guess what – you have time management skills that you can talk about.

  • Coping
  • Focus
  • Goal-Setting
  • Introspection
  • Organisation
  • Planning
  • Prioritisation
  • Stress Management
  • Work-Life Balance

During our time in the Armed Forces, I believe we have ample opportunities to prove our abilities in all of these areas at varying degrees. I’d wholly recommend taking this list and having a think of where and when you have been able to show your capabilities in these headings. You could note them down and see where you might need to provide more evidence – this will be invaluable when you come to write your CV as well as when preparing for interview, you’ll have such a wealth of examples and evidence to draw on you won’t even need to think about it and you can switch them around in your CV dependent on the Companies requirements.