THE BLOG
11/18/2016 04:36 pm ET Updated Nov 19, 2017

9 Soft Skills Needed for Promotion and Hiring

You have taken the classes. You have learned all that you believe you need. Your abilities and competencies are a mile high, but you are still just 1 out of 157 others applying for a position. There seems to be one question everyone asks in this situation, "What makes me standout?" Ironically, applicants are not alone in asking this question. Recruiters, HR, the Talent Acquisition Directors, and anyone else responsible for hiring are asking a similar question. "Who will standout?"

Increasing Desire For Soft Skills

In a survey done by CareerBuilder, 77% of employers evaluate soft skills (less tangible skills - more personality, character, and interpersonal skills) just as important as hard skills (competencies - learned skills to accomplish job functions). Even more surprising is an additional 16% of employers view soft skills as more important than hard skills.

Employers and businesses are looking for people with character and the ability to function proficiently from a soft skill set. The frustration is rising for employers when they hire people lacking interpersonal skills or soft skills. According to Mark Murphy, the author of Hire for Attitude, 46% of new hires fail within the first 18 months and of those failures, 89% are due to their attitudes.

Most businesses can teach hard skills, but it requires much more time to develop the soft skills. According to this article from Bloomberg about soft skills managers want, they said, "Soft skills can't easily be learned, they need to be developed over time."

Millennials Are Lacking Soft Skills

By far, millennials have the reputation for not possessing sufficient soft skills when being hired. Employers are experiencing a disconnect with millennials' education and the needed skills for the business world. In an article about how to get hired at Google, the senior vice president of people operations at Google says, "G.P.A.'s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. ... We found that they don't predict anything."

When millennials are being interviewed and evaluated, businesses are testing the soft skills. These tests inform employers whether to hire or promote millennials. If you are looking to standout and be noticed in the workforce, you must develop your soft skills. If you already have a job, it does not mean soft skills should be ignored. You must keep growing these skills to advance in your career.

Do Something About It

If you are one that is irritated and disbelieve these assumptions about millennials, do something about it. In fact, your ability to overcome these stereotypes will be a determining factor to your development in soft skills. You will understand what that means as you read the list of the 9 soft skills leading to your hire and promotion below.

Career development is largely dependent on soft skills. Not only are you looking to get hired, but you are also wanting to know how to advance in your career. Soft skills will be an indicator to when and how fast you advance in your career and job.

Invest into your future and grow in all of these areas. Your next hire, raise, and promotion is dependent on your advancement in these skills.

9 Soft Skills Leading To Your Hire and Promotion

  1. Work-Ethic - The belief, standards, and values in place with work will be one of the largest ingredient to your success in business. This can't be evaluated as well in the interview process, but will be key in your evaluation for raises and promotions. Possess the resolve to have the highest work-ethic possible.
  2. Dependable - Employers have everything invested into their business. To many, it is a continuum of their whole life. They must be able to trust and rely on you to care for their business as they do.
  3. Positive Attitude - This might seem a little obvious, but you would be surprised. Most people would never say they are negative, but your evaluation is not what matters. What are you others perceiving about your attitude. See from your employer's perspective.
  4. Self-Awareness - Understand who you are and what you offer. You must possess the ability to look honestly in the mirror to evaluate the good and bad of your performances. "What are your weaknesses?" is a purposeful interview question. "Do you know yourself?"
  5. Self-Confidence - Do not wait for others to boost your confidence, that is conditional confidence. True self-confidence comes from deep within. Exercise your confidence and believe in your efforts.
  6. Communication - Beyond the words spoken, you must have the strong skill-set of communicating effectively. Be precise and clear when communicating. Communication is involved in all interactions with other people. Be a proficient communicator.
  7. Multi-Tasker - Much has been proven lately that people can't truly multi-task. It is impossible. What businesses are really wanting is the ability to manage multiple task during the day. It is not about doing 9 things at once, but can you manage all 9 items during the day and execute efficiently.
  8. Teamwork/Collaboration - Are you willing to share your toys? Much more than sharing, can you actively help your team members produce at their highest potential. Do not see teamwork as getting along with co-workers, but rather can you help them excel?
  9. Adaptability - Harness your expectations and your preconceived ideas. Resist the unwillingness to change and roll with the punches. You may never fully be prepared in all situations, but if you are ready to adapt and keep moving forward, you will grow.

What other soft skills should be included here? I have more to this list and would love to hear your thoughts.

This article originally appeared on Millennial Skills Coach.