Soft Skills: What Employers Want
The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified the following core competencies as a measure of career-readiness. Evaluate whether you possess these competencies and where you can improve. When writing your resume and/or cover letter, be sure to highlight experiences that demonstrate these competencies.
Career & Self-Development
- Identify areas for continual growth while pursuing and applying feedback. Display curiosity; seek out opportunities to learn.
- Assume duties or positions that will help one progress professionally.
- Establish, maintain and/or leverage relationships with people who can help one professionally.
- Understand the importance of and demonstrate verbal, written and non-verbal/body language, abilities.
- Employ active listening, persuasion and influencing skills.
- Frame communication with respect to diversity of learning styles, varied individual communication abilities and cultural differences.
- Make decisions and solve problems using sound, inclusive reasoning and judgement.
- Gather and analyze information from a diverse set of sources and individuals to fully understand a problem.
- Effectively communication actions and rationale, recognizing the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of stakeholders.
Equity and Inclusion
- Solicit and use feedback from multiple cultural perspectives to make inclusive and equity-minded decisions.
- Advocate for inclusion, equitable practices, justice and empowerment for historically marginalized communities.
- Seek global cross-cultural interactions and experiences that enhance one’s understanding of people from different demographic groups that leads to personal growth.
- Inspire, persuade and motivate self and others under a shared vision.
- Use innovative thinking to go beyond traditional methods.
- Plan, initiate, manage, complete and evaluate projects.
- Act equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others and the organization.
- Be present and prepared.
- Demonstrate dependability (e.g., report consistently for work or meetings).
- Effectively manage conflict, interact with and respect diverse personalities and meet ambiguity with resilience.
- Collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
- Build strong, positive working relationships with supervisor and team members/coworkers.
- Navigate change and be open to learning new technologies.
- Manipulate information, construct ideas and use technology to achieve strategic goals.
- Identify appropriate technology for completing specific tasks.
Source: “What is Career Readiness?”; National Association of Colleges and Employers.