Brushing up on your soft skills

Soft skills are more important than hard skills. There, I said it. Showing your future employer who you are, what you value, and why your personal qualities matter is more important than the experience you have. If you’re trying to move up in your current company, or are looking to branch out into other industries, knowing what soft skills are and then brushing up on them will be key. In this blog, we’ll break down what they are, how you know which ones you have, and how to add to your list to improve your job prospects…

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are like your personal attributes – the qualities that make you who you are.

Many of us may share similar soft skills, such as being well organised or having a strong work ethic. But what sets us apart is how we craft these into impactful, meaningful statements of worth.

It’s important that you outline them on your resume for a couple of reasons…

  • So your future employer can evaluate whether you’d be the right fit for the company
  • They demonstrate how you handle varying people and situations
  • They show others the way you view yourself

How do I know what soft skills I have?

This is a tricky question to answer because we’re all so different.

But your soft skills are essentially the elements of you that make you different from everyone else.

So, for me? Some of my soft skills might include…

  • Ability to be accepting and understanding of others from diverse backgrounds
  • Strong empathetic skills
  • A resilient work ethic

It can actually be really hard to figure these out for yourself (that’s where we come in!) because most of us are pretty shy when it comes to tooting our own horns! And that’s really what you have to do when you’re writing out your own soft skills!

You have to be really clear on why you’re the best pick for this role.

Why you’re going to be a positive match with their work culture.

Why you want to make a difference.

What are some soft skills examples?

In no particular order, here are some examples of basic soft skills…

  • Communication and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent time management
  • Ability to work well under pressure

Now the thing is, writing them out in simple terms like this may not be enough to get you seen.

You don’t want to blend in with the crowd.

At KLCC, we’ve been working through career histories and identifying unique skillset for years now. We know what works, and we know when to cut the fluff.

So, how can you build on your soft skills if you feel your resume is lacking?

Well, while we all have our own unique set of soft skills, identifying them and putting them into words can be tricky (and often times left to the professionals!). And even then, you may feel as though your resume won’t stack up against some of the other, potentially more experienced, applicants.

To brush up on your soft skills, you’re going to have to put yourself out there.

Whether you’re still in a role where you have a little space to grow, or have just started a new position and are hoping to show your worth… here are 3 little ideas that may be helpful:

  1. Contribute more to staff meetings and briefings. This will boost your public speaking confidence and demonstrate your skills in innovation and creativity.
  2. Ask to see how an efficient colleague schedules and prioritises their tasks. If you are lacking a little in the department of organisation and multitasking, taking a peek into how someone else does it may give you some more ideas.
  3. Nominate yourself to take on a time-sensitive project. Not only will those show your willingness to learn and take on challenges, but it will also demonstrate your ability to work under pressure and effectively manage your time.

How can KLCC help?

As I said, identifying your own personal soft skills can be a pretty daunting task. Especially for those among us who are modest and humble.

At KLCC, and particularly when you take advantage of our one-on-one coaching, we dig deep into what makes you tick and what makes you different from every other resume in the pile.

We are experts at overhauling your resume and giving you back the confidence to apply for the roles you deserve!

What we don’t do is personality tests and cookie-cutter job matching. Definitely none of that… KLCC is not a recruitment agency and we are not here to tell you what you should do with your life.

But we are here to guide you, prepare you, and show you that we believe in you.

So, if you’d like some personalised support to get you back on track, click here!

Managing mental health during a job search

Losing your job at any stage of your life is a stressful, upsetting experience. Whether it’s due to the current health crisis, or to a range of other potential factors, there are many things you can do to protect your mental wellbeing.

Before we get into it, it’s important to note that I am not claiming to be a mental health expert. But I am using my many years of experience in recruitment and career consulting to provide you with practical management strategies.

Time for a check-in

If you are not someone who is ordinarily in touch with the state of their mental health… there’s no better time to start than now.

Even if you are aware and protective of your mental wellbeing, this is still a useful exercise.

Let’s start by checking in with ourselves.

Take a moment to sit with your feelings. You might feel angry, scared, or maybe a little lost. Let yourself really listen to these emotions for as long as it takes.

The first important step is to recognise that this is ok. No one expects you to be fine with this. And fighting these feelings will often make the situation much more overwhelming.

Once these negative feelings have settled, let’s turn our attention to making a list.

Yep, get a pen and piece of paper, we’re all going to do this. This list can be just about work, just about your personal life, or a healthy mixture of both. Don’t worry about feeling silly – this list is for your eyes only!

3 things you’re grateful for…

These could be your health, your family, your pets, or maybe even the fresh food you’ve got in the fridge or the phone call you just had with a friend.

Focusing on gratitude (even on an everyday scale, but especially now) is such a great way to shift negative tension.

2 goals you have…

So these might be obvious goals like finding another job or getting back some of your income. Maybe it’s even just to have a more positive attitude.

Remember that what you put out into the world is what you will get back.

1 thing you’re looking forward to…

Ok so again, this could be “I’m really looking forward to that job interview I’m going to get” or even “I’m looking forward to my afternoon walk in the fresh air.”

This little strategy is really helpful for pulling you out of a slump and moving your attention to something positive to come.

And don’t get hung up on it!

Sounds SO MUCH EASIER than it really is.

Focusing all of your energy and attention on how you don’t have a job, how you can’t get an interview, or how no one is calling you back is going to take its toll.

YES, you need to put in the effort.

YES, you need to take the right steps (which we can help you with).

YES, finding a job is VERY important!

BUT, so is your mental health and wellbeing. So many times I have had clients come to me in a poor mental state which has affected their confidence.

We’re here to help!

If you’re struggling right now, please know that you are not alone. There are so many people and organisations out there that can help.

We are here to help you with your job applications, resumes, and interview tips.

Book in for a free 20-minute chat to find out more and get started on your next career journey.

Kate.

Is job-hopping affecting your job application? Plus, what you can do about it…

Job-hopping is a very common career trait among my clients. Some potential employers see this is as a red flag when assessing your resume, so it is important that we understand why this happens. This is something that we can help you with. More often than not, the reason behind your job-hopping is to do with internal patterns you subconsciously create for yourself. Read on to find out how to identify these patterns, and what you can do to improve your chances of landing that dream job…

First, what is job-hopping?

Job-hopping occurs when you only stay in a job for a short amount of time. If you find yourself jumping from one job to the next and you are always on the hunt for the next opportunity… chances are, you are a job-hopper.

Some common traits of job-hoppers are:

  • a very ‘full’ resume
  • surface-level experience
  • lacking clarity in career goals
  • a constant feeling of being unsettled at work

So, how could job-hopping affect your application?

It is true that some job-hopping cannot be helped. We may find ourselves in a situation that we aren’t expecting, or maybe we are promised the world in an interview and soon find that the wool has been pulled over our eyes.

However it happens, a history of job-hopping is generally an undesirable trait on a resume. Employers like to dream up their own stories and make assumptions about why you can’t ‘hold down a job.’

On top of this, being a job-hopper can also affect your ability to enjoy your work. How? Well, if you are unclear about your career goals and have a history of short stays, there’s a strong chance that you are constantly looking for reasons to jump ship. Not only that, but you are more likely to continue to find yourself in similar roles.

What can you do to stop this?

It’s time to take a look from the outside in…

  1. What is your pattern? If you can begin to identify the WHY behind your job-hopping, you can take steps to fix it. Are you going for the wrong industry? The wrong type of management? Big businesses instead of small?
  2. What is it that you REALLY want? A supportive boss? A friendly team environment? The autonomy to make the role your own? Find that intention and go for it.
  3. Ask questions. Once you’ve identified your pattern and objective, you MUST ask the right questions in your next interview. For example, “what is the management style at Company XYZ?” If you are able to find out what an ordinary day may look like in your new role BEFORE you accept it, you will give yourself time to evaluate the position. Is this the right fit?

Next career steps…

So, do you think you’re a job-hopper? If you’re concerned about it affecting your applications… take a moment to assess your patterns and identify what it is that you really want in your next role. What will keep you there for years to come?

And if you’re unsure of how you’ll answer an interviewer’s questions, or you don’t know how to appropriately word your job-hopping past on your resume…

Jump on a free 20-minute CareerCall with one of our experts. We can help you move forward in your career, assist you in developing stronger job searching techniques, and stop your job-hopping patterns in their tracks!

CLICK HERE!

Kate.

The 3 Things you MUST have in order to secure an interview… besides a Resume

When you are selling yourself on paper into a role, it’s not easy. Writing something about yourself that is powerful, persuasive and intriguing isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Hearing Crickets back from applications is extremely disheartening but most people look at the Resume as being the problem.

But today I wanted to share with you the 3 MUST have’s to secure that job interview, besides a kickass Resume.

#1 – Know where the train is headed

All aboard the Hogwarts express! I know what you’re thinking, what are you talking about? Well, let me explain.

When HR or recruiter is looking over your Resume they become the reader.

And a reader is who you are trying to impress or sell your story too.

When you write your resume and apply for jobs you need to know what type of roles you want and for which companies, that way you can write the right words on the paper.

Just imagine JK Rowling trying to sell her story to men and women who liked documentaries or science-based genres.

They wouldn’t be the right audience and her words wouldn’t suit the reader’s goals or expectations, which equals zero successful outcomes.

Instead, she writes from the heart and knows who they are and what they want.

Because of that… they are hooked. They must know more…

Okay, I know a Resume is hardly a Harry Potter Adventure.

But dragons or not, you still need to engage your reader and by knowing what you want so you can impress and create a need to meet with you.

Increase chances… here you come!

Need some help to know what you want or need a complete career change click here for some hot tips.

#2 – Think outside the box with job searching

Everybody is trying to fit inside the box… you know the one I mean right?

SEEK of course. The number 1 platform for landing a job. And don;t get me wrong, it’s a very powerful tool but if this is your only source of applications, well my friend you are in for a longgggg job searching process.

The reason it will take so long is that over 1.5 million people search seek every month and each application can have between 100-500 applications at one time.

Let’s be honest, even the best HR staff don’t have that much time.

Therefore, it’s pretty hard to stand out, even with a great Resume!

Do some homework and start brainstorming where-else you could find jobs, getting talking to people and start thinking of how you can be unique in a sea of applications.

If you would like more help with this click here to chat with our team and unlock our Job Searching secrets to save you the hassle.

#3 – Resilience

The job searching process takes TIME. I had a client come to me the other day so frustrated that he couldn’t find a job… it had been 3 weeks.

Yes, he needed a job but these things take time. You have to apply for jobs and keep applying.

If you aren’t hearing back you need to reassess the 2 points above plus your Resume.

To check it’s not your Resume holding you back click here and download our Resume essentials guide.

Then get your mindset in a healthy place. Because the job searching world isn’t easy and can be disheartening.

You MUST keep going, be resilient and do the strategies that work. You got this 🙂

If you need any help or want to ask questions on how we can best serve you to make your career goal a reality…

Take advantage of one of our free consult slots, reserved just for people like yourself who are serious about getting results, without the fluff… book in today by clicking here.

Hope this helps

Kate & team

KLCC – Career Specialists

07 5322 4086

What Does Your Resume Say About You?