How to Land Your Dream Job: Top Soft Skills to Help You Stand Out

Find out what are the key soft skills to have and how to acquire them.

9 Sep 2019

5 mins read

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In 2017, Singapore produced more than 18,500 graduates from five public universities alone.In neighbouring Malaysia, over 250,000 students graduate from universities each year. 2And in South Korea, about 300,000 degree holders enter the job market yearly. 3That's a lot of fresh graduates waiting to be employed, be it in Singapore or elsewhere in the world. How then do you stand out from the crowd after you graduate? While there are several ways to do so, one of the most effective is through soft skills.

Hard skills are learned through education and training. On the other hand, soft skills are character traits and non-technical abilities that help you work better with others. Take, for instance, a new batch of management trainees. They may all know the latest business tactics, but the one who is most willing to learn and take responsibility will likely be the one to excel among his colleagues.  Despite having little to no work experience, you can still shine on your resume and during interviews.

One of the ways to do so is through honing your soft skills as you pursue your interests by taking part in co-curricular activities. At SIM Global Education (SIM GE), we have a variety of exciting student clubs that will hone your soft skills as you pursue your interests. With over 70 student clubs available-from Arts & Culture to Sports & Fitness-you can gain some of the most valued soft skills in the workplace, as you're about to find out below!

 
Communication

Whether you're pitching an idea to investors or brainstorming with colleagues, you'll need to communicate with people on a daily basis. And communication isn't one-way. Good listening skills will help you understand the messages that others are trying to put across. For instance, when your manager briefs you on a new task, good listening skills will give you a better grasp of his expectations, and in turn, boost your ability to complete the task.

A sure-fire way to improve your communications skills is by organising events for your student club. As an event organiser, you'll work with different people with varying communication and working styles. No matter who you're liaising with, you'll need to clearly relay your instructions and accurately understand their feedback and more. Only then can you ensure that everything goes smoothly on the day of the event.
 
Creative Thinking

In a world where an increasing number of job functions are at risk of automation, having the ability to think creatively can be beneficial for your career as it is a skill that is future-proof. Employers look for candidates who are not only able to solve problems, but they're also looking for those who can suggest new and better solutions which may increase the organisation's efficiency.

The good news is - creative thinking can be developed. Let's say you have an annual Freshmen Orientation Camp that your student club organises, you can look for opportunities to plan the event in a more exciting way while also saving the cost of your club! To stand out among other job candidates, be sure to highlight these experiences as you head out for job interviews.
 
Leadership

Even if you aren't interviewing for a leadership role, it's important to have the confidence and capability to take charge of projects and make decisions when needed. People with excellent leadership skills are also often good motivators. In other words, they bring out the best in everyone around them and get others to do their job better-which employer wouldn't want that?

Taking up leadership positions in student clubs or group projects gives you plenty of opportunities to learn valuable leadership skills such as people management, empathy, and responsibility. All of these will give you an edge in the competitive job market.
 
Problem solving

When things go wrong, do you get flustered or take action to resolve them? Not surprisingly, employers in every industry want people who can think and act well under pressure.

You can develop your problem-solving skills through workshops and programmes offered by our Career Development Office. The Talent Development Programme, for instance, is an in-house internship that's good for both hard and soft skills training before you venture out into the real working world.

Have you picked up any useful tips from this soft skills list catered for students like yourself? If you're studying in SIM GE but have yet to participate in these useful soft skills development initiatives, why not start now?

1 https://www.singstat.gov.sg/find-data/search-by-theme/population/education-language-spoken-and-literacy/latest-data
2 https://eduadvisor.my/articles/what-didnt-know-fresh-graduate-unemployment-malaysia-infographic/
3 https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/dream-jobs-prove-elusive-for-south-koreas-college-grads