As the new year begins, many fourth/final year externs are beginning to look for job openings and apply for positions. Students not in their final year of graduate school may also browse job-posting sites like HEARCareers to see what opportunities may be available in the future. These postings have a list of technical skills required for the position that you have developed in your graduate program. While these skills are a must, it can be difficult to make your application stand out with these alone. Consider developing and advertising your soft skills to separate you from the rest of the competition.
Soft skills are general characteristics that impact how you interact with others and how you perform at work (1). Examples of soft skills include (2):
- Critical Thinking
- Problem Solving
Employers are interested in soft skills because it demonstrates your ability to maintain relationships, stay organized, develop leadership, and solve problems. These skills are transferable to all aspects of life. By developing them, you can improve your interactions in your academic and personal life too (3). Check out these tips for developing your soft skills (4):
- Identify which soft skills in which you excel, and which soft skills you could improve.
- Learn more about the soft skills you wish to develop.
- Practice your soft skills by intentionally putting yourself in situations that require a specific skill.
- Ex: If you want to improve your communication skills, don’t shy away from opportunities to engage with people you wouldn’t typically speak with.
- Seek feedback about your skills from a trusted friend or mentor.
It’s never too late to start developing your soft skills. Use the resources below to learn more!
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