Soft vs Technical Skills, What Should Job Seekers Prioritise?
The soft vs technical skills debate is as old as the Pepsi vs Coke discussion that has been around for as long as we can remember. Job seekers over the years have prioritised acquiring technical/professional skills, yes they have been told that soft skills matter. but academia has always emphasised the importance of technical skills. While there are some roles in different organisations that require the incumbent to be technically qualified, it is also true that in this digital era some people are being hired mainly because of their soft skills. So what are soft skills you may want to know, according to The Balance Career:
Soft skills relate to how you work. Soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, among others.
While one needs a certificate to get the job, the truth is many are qualified, there is a technical skills oversubscription in many parts of the world spread over different disciplines. Some technical skills are even becoming obsolete as the world steps two feet deep into the 4th Industrial Revolution. There is a high possibility that whenever you apply for a job, there are tens if not hundreds of other applicants and of course, technical skills will get you an interview. However, your ability to interact with others and your time management skills and empathy which will be part of your interview one way or the other get you through the door.
But enough rhetoric about soft vs technical skills, many have been hired without enough technical skills, some were told to go and upgrade a few technical skills and come back and when they did, their jobs were there. Some were hired on spot without the recruiters even seeing their portfolios or resume. Why, because they impressed recruiters with their soft skills more than with their technical skills. According to Legal Jobs, you only have 7 seconds to make a first impression on the recruiter. It is important to know that given the fact that there is high demand for many jobs, soft skills are more important than technical skills. Some companies like Ernst and Young, Google, and IBM will hire someone in some fields who does not have a certificate in that field but can prove their aptitude to do the tasks at hand. Given how Generation Z has pressed a major reset of how things are done in more ways than one, it is not surprising that more companies will hire more people with less technical skills certificates but with major soft skills.
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