Your soft skills matter when applying for a job

Share this article

Your soft skills matter when applying for a job

By now it seems like the distant past when employers hired for IQ (intelligence quotient) only. The importance of EQ (emotional intelligence) in the hiring process has become so common that it is standard practice to include your soft skills on your CV or resume.

EQ is represented in a range of soft skills which many employers specify in their job descriptions. Some of these might look familiar to you:

  • Ablility to work independently as well as in a team
  • Self-driven or self-starter
  • Highly organised
  • Deadline oriented
  • Good time management
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Detail oriented
  • Entrepreneurial or conceptual thinking

Taking communication skills as an example, some financial managers will have the technical or hard financial skills required to do the job, but not all of them will have the same proficiency in communicating, so as to foster a healthy team dynamic and inspire a motivated team.

EQ is especially vital within small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) where employees need to be more flexible in their roles, and where the team dynamic is essential.


What are soft skills, and how do you identify which ones you have?

Soft skills defined

Soft skills are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character traits, attitudes, career attributes, social and emotional intelligence quotients that enable people to work within various environments effectively.

Here are just a few examples of soft skills that most mothers have in commom:

  • Effective communication
  • Leadership and accountability
  • Practical thinking
  • Compassion
  • Emotional maturity
  • Empathy for others
  • Reflective listening

Soft skills are those skills inherent to who you are, as well as those you have learned through experience over time. It is only natural that there are specific soft skills that parents and particularly moms have learned through experience, like resilience, adaptability (aka damage control), and emotional maturity.


How to identify your soft skills when applying for a job

Self-awareness is vital to knowing yourself and your strengths. You can become self-aware through self-reflection or by asking close friends and family what they observe to be your soft skills.

You can also reflect upon some behavioural characteristics that you have shown in your place of work: How do you handle a situation of conflict with management or peers? How do you feel and what action do you take when you are overlooked or unfairly treated? What do you describe as a great accomplishment - why did you identify that particular example as a great accomplishment?

There are amazing tools out there that you can use to get to know yourself better. For instance, the Gallop Strength Finder test and Discovery Insights are some trusted tools to help you identify your strengths and soft skills.


Getting to know yourself better and being aware of your soft skills is essential when entering the job market, but more than that, it is invaluable to know yourself and your strengths.

We all have unique soft skills. Being mindful of them can help you maneuver through life’s situations with confidence, and it can help to guide you in seeing which job opportunity is best suited to you.

Ready to apply for the job of your dreams? Register on our award-winning recruitment site and fill in your detailed CV.