21ST CENTURY JOB SKILLS BLOG


Highlight Your Soft Skills to Help You Land the Next Job after COVID-19


Oct 19, 2020






Did the pandemic leave you without a job? Or put you on a god knows for how long unpaid leave?

 

Unfortunately, you’re not alone. While usually, that’s a comfort, in this situation, it isn’t -- because it means that 13% of the workforce in most developed countries are unemployed and looking for new jobs or hoping to return to their old ones!

Businesses have shut down, permanently. Huge corporations are filing bankruptcy. In the short term, it’s hard to tell what things are going to look like. So where does that leave you?

 

It’s Been a Rough Few Months

 

Losing a job is never easy, but in the pandemic, it’s probably even worse because every other aspect of your life probably changed, too:

 

  • The usual coping mechanisms like restaurants and movie theaters were closed down.
  • If you have kids, they were always around and needed to share the computer for their school work.
  • Partners were probably home, too, dealing with the same stressors you were.
  • Even cafes or other places with wi-fi where you could study or job hunt were shut down indefinitely.
  • Or, if you’re single, when you lost your job, social interaction became close to non-existent. Even people who relish their time alone had more than their fill.

 

It isn’t just losing a job, EVERYTHING changed all at once. That’s a huge adjustment in an already stressful time.

 

Schools, work groups, even doctors appointments were reworked so they could take place online, but they didn’t completely replace the role of in-person interaction. Online meetings also don’t break up the day into segments the way our normal routines do. Some of us still had to deal with the feeling of being always alone (or if our family is around, NEVER being alone).

 

Financial strains -- they’re everywhere

 

Many governments came to the rescue with packages to supplement income, but many agencies struggled to handle the sheer mass of people filing for unemployment. Some state, provincial, or local governments suspended evictions and foreclosures, but what happens when all that expires?

 

Soft Skills are the Way The Way Forward

 

Things are opening up again! As we learned from the 2008 recession, things can get bad, but there’s always a way forward, and you can find it. At 21st Century Job Skills, we’re here to help you add the soft skills you need to make your resume shine through so that you can land your next job.

 

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

 

The First Step

 

The first step on this way forward is for you to decide what you want. Are you looking to do the same thing you were doing when you were laid off? Are you driven toward something different? Whatever the answer is, you must find out what you need to do to qualify for your dream job.

 

A good first start is to look at job postings. What are they asking for?

 

  • Someone who can compose an Excel Spreadsheet faster than a speeding bullet?
  • A salesperson who can deliver fabulous customer service that’s more powerful than a locomotive?
  • A technician who can install an HVAC in a single bound?

 

Do you have the skills you need? If you don’t, it’s time to investigate how to get them.

 

Bear in mind that even if you have the hard skills or technical skills you need, a lot of others have had the exact same training as you. So how do you stand out from the rest of the crowd?

 

Soft Skills -- The Other (and Often Overlooked) Skills on the Job Posting

 

Whatever job you’re looking at, the employer has listed the skills you need to qualify for the position. Along with computer skills, writing skills, and anything else, there are going to be items like:

 

  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Can work in teams
  • Self-motivated
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Leadership


These skills are called soft skills, employers are laser-focusing on them, and no they are not in there to make a recruiter look fancy or to fill out the word limit.

 

While hard skills are important to get the job done, Interpersonal skills contribute to a productive, happy workplace. Workers who look out for themselves and get along with their coworkers also make the boss’s job easier.

 

When you write your resumes and cover letters, find ways to feature these skills. They’ll project capability like a magnificent, glowy aura.

 

In your resume or cover letter, write your descriptions so that they highlight the skills the employer is asking for:

 

  • “I led a team of workers that devised a solution that solved the college campus’s flooding issue.” (leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, communication)
  • “While working on the NSAP project, I received an award for quality production while staying well under budget.” (able to meet deadlines, self-motivated, problem-solving ability)
  • “Worked remotely with a team to delegate tasks that allowed us to successfully complete the project two weeks before the deadline.” (self-motivated, able to work with deadlines, leadership, communication).

 

It’s these skills that will elevate you above the masses of other applicants and set you apart from the ones who have the same qualification on the hard skills front.

 

Step 2: Getting the Skills to Land the Job and Keep It

 

If you’re looking to acquire hard skills -- skills that are specific to particular jobs and roles, there’s a world of options out there for you:

 

  • Books
  • Online courses or programs
  • Skills bootcamps
  • Certification programs
  • Colleges or universities

 

Building soft skills is a whole other ball game. career attributes are relational, so the best thing is to find a program that will open your mind, give you guidance, so that you can then put those new skills to use in your daily life. The great thing about non technical skills is that while they’re essential in the workplace, you can also use them as you squabble over dinner plans with your partner or when you teach your kids how to tie their shoes.

 

So take a look at the job postings and pay attention to what employers are looking for. You don’t have a lot of time because you need a job -- but you can still do it. This is the reason why 21st Century Job Skills provides concise, informative courses that you can complete in less than 90 minutes, while leaving you with a ton of resources. It’s also why we make them affordable so you can work on them even when money is tight.

 

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

 

Using your soft skills in your interview

 

In many ways, interviews are more about your social intelligence than your hard skills. The interviewer is trying to get a feeling for what working with you will be like. Do you get along with others? Do you have self-perspective? Are you going to eat too much candy from the bowl on the receptionist’s desk? (Okay, maybe not that last one...maybe.)

 

Those questions that begin with “Tell me about a time when…” are questions where they want you to describe how you think, how you work, and how you interact. Use them to show how you demonstrated problem-solving ability, leadership skills, empathy, grit, etc. Even when they ask about situations where you dealt with stress or where you failed… employers want to know how you evaluate situations, what you’d change, and how you learn.

 

Let Your Soft Skills Land You That Next Job

 

A few months from now, hopefully paychecks will be coming in, you’ll be catching up on things, and you’ll be in a more secure situation for what comes -- for your sake and for your family’s sake.  Right now is about how you get there. So take the steps to stand out even in a job market that’s still trying to find its bearings. Work on hard skills that will set you up for the job you need, but build up those personal qualities, because they’ll make you an invaluable employee and colleague. Sign up for a course now. In two hours, you’ll have a different perspective on a current problem.

Did the pandemic leave you without a job? Or put you on a god knows for how long unpaid leave?

 

Unfortunately, you’re not alone. While usually, that’s a comfort, in this situation, it isn’t -- because it means that 13% of the workforce in most developed countries are unemployed and looking for new jobs or hoping to return to their old ones!

Businesses have shut down, permanently. Huge corporations are filing bankruptcy. In the short term, it’s hard to tell what things are going to look like. So where does that leave you?

 

It’s Been a Rough Few Months

 

Losing a job is never easy, but in the pandemic, it’s probably even worse because every other aspect of your life probably changed, too:

 

  • The usual coping mechanisms like restaurants and movie theaters were closed down.
  • If you have kids, they were always around and needed to share the computer for their school work.
  • Partners were probably home, too, dealing with the same stressors you were.
  • Even cafes or other places with wi-fi where you could study or job hunt were shut down indefinitely.
  • Or, if you’re single, when you lost your job, social interaction became close to non-existent. Even people who relish their time alone had more than their fill.

 

It isn’t just losing a job, EVERYTHING changed all at once. That’s a huge adjustment in an already stressful time.

 

Schools, work groups, even doctors appointments were reworked so they could take place online, but they didn’t completely replace the role of in-person interaction. Online meetings also don’t break up the day into segments the way our normal routines do. Some of us still had to deal with the feeling of being always alone (or if our family is around, NEVER being alone).

 

Financial strains -- they’re everywhere

 

Many governments came to the rescue with packages to supplement income, but many agencies struggled to handle the sheer mass of people filing for unemployment. Some state, provincial, or local governments suspended evictions and foreclosures, but what happens when all that expires?

 

Soft Skills are the Way The Way Forward

 

Things are opening up again! As we learned from the 2008 recession, things can get bad, but there’s always a way forward, and you can find it. At 21st Century Job Skills, we’re here to help you add the soft skills you need to make your resume shine through so that you can land your next job.

 

Photo by Esteban Lopez on Unsplash

 

The First Step

 

The first step on this way forward is for you to decide what you want. Are you looking to do the same thing you were doing when you were laid off? Are you driven toward something different? Whatever the answer is, you must find out what you need to do to qualify for your dream job.

 

A good first start is to look at job postings. What are they asking for?

 

  • Someone who can compose an Excel Spreadsheet faster than a speeding bullet?
  • A salesperson who can deliver fabulous customer service that’s more powerful than a locomotive?
  • A technician who can install an HVAC in a single bound?

 

Do you have the skills you need? If you don’t, it’s time to investigate how to get them.

 

Bear in mind that even if you have the hard skills or technical skills you need, a lot of others have had the exact same training as you. So how do you stand out from the rest of the crowd?

 

Soft Skills -- The Other (and Often Overlooked) Skills on the Job Posting

 

Whatever job you’re looking at, the employer has listed the skills you need to qualify for the position. Along with computer skills, writing skills, and anything else, there are going to be items like:

 

  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Can work in teams
  • Self-motivated
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Leadership


These skills are called soft skills, employers are laser-focusing on them, and no they are not in there to make a recruiter look fancy or to fill out the word limit.

 

While hard skills are important to get the job done, Interpersonal skills contribute to a productive, happy workplace. Workers who look out for themselves and get along with their coworkers also make the boss’s job easier.

 

When you write your resumes and cover letters, find ways to feature these skills. They’ll project capability like a magnificent, glowy aura.

 

In your resume or cover letter, write your descriptions so that they highlight the skills the employer is asking for:

 

  • “I led a team of workers that devised a solution that solved the college campus’s flooding issue.” (leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, communication)
  • “While working on the NSAP project, I received an award for quality production while staying well under budget.” (able to meet deadlines, self-motivated, problem-solving ability)
  • “Worked remotely with a team to delegate tasks that allowed us to successfully complete the project two weeks before the deadline.” (self-motivated, able to work with deadlines, leadership, communication).

 

It’s these skills that will elevate you above the masses of other applicants and set you apart from the ones who have the same qualification on the hard skills front.

 

Step 2: Getting the Skills to Land the Job and Keep It

 

If you’re looking to acquire hard skills -- skills that are specific to particular jobs and roles, there’s a world of options out there for you:

 

  • Books
  • Online courses or programs
  • Skills bootcamps
  • Certification programs
  • Colleges or universities

 

Building soft skills is a whole other ball game. career attributes are relational, so the best thing is to find a program that will open your mind, give you guidance, so that you can then put those new skills to use in your daily life. The great thing about non technical skills is that while they’re essential in the workplace, you can also use them as you squabble over dinner plans with your partner or when you teach your kids how to tie their shoes.

 

So take a look at the job postings and pay attention to what employers are looking for. You don’t have a lot of time because you need a job -- but you can still do it. This is the reason why 21st Century Job Skills provides concise, informative courses that you can complete in less than 90 minutes, while leaving you with a ton of resources. It’s also why we make them affordable so you can work on them even when money is tight.

 

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

 

Using your soft skills in your interview

 

In many ways, interviews are more about your social intelligence than your hard skills. The interviewer is trying to get a feeling for what working with you will be like. Do you get along with others? Do you have self-perspective? Are you going to eat too much candy from the bowl on the receptionist’s desk? (Okay, maybe not that last one...maybe.)

 

Those questions that begin with “Tell me about a time when…” are questions where they want you to describe how you think, how you work, and how you interact. Use them to show how you demonstrated problem-solving ability, leadership skills, empathy, grit, etc. Even when they ask about situations where you dealt with stress or where you failed… employers want to know how you evaluate situations, what you’d change, and how you learn.

 

Let Your Soft Skills Land You That Next Job

 

A few months from now, hopefully paychecks will be coming in, you’ll be catching up on things, and you’ll be in a more secure situation for what comes -- for your sake and for your family’s sake.  Right now is about how you get there. So take the steps to stand out even in a job market that’s still trying to find its bearings. Work on hard skills that will set you up for the job you need, but build up those personal qualities, because they’ll make you an invaluable employee and colleague. Sign up for a course now. In two hours, you’ll have a different perspective on a current problem.



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