Hard skills are incredibly important for job seekers to demonstrate to potential employers. However, employers value soft skills, or personal traits that affect how you interact with others in the workplace, just as much. These skills are not so easy to measure, but they make a candidate a more well-rounded choice. In your cover letter, focus on these top soft skills employers are seeking.
Communication skills are an absolute necessity in any line of work. It is not just about speaking; good communication involves excellent writing skills, being a great listener and using effective body language. You can demonstrate your communication skills by making sure your cover letter is impeccably written with no grammatical or spelling errors, as well as by using a clear, professional tone of voice when talking over the phone or during the interview.
Companies are looking for candidates who can work well as part of a team. This means not allowing egos to get in the way and being able to cooperate with different people and different personalities. Your cover letter should mention a situation in which you successfully completed a project as part of a team.
An open-minded employee is an asset to any company, as she is more likely to accept feedback and constructive criticism with grace. Open employees are generally easier to manage and support a happy, healthy work environment. In your cover letter, discuss a time when you accepted constructive criticism and write about how you adjusted your work performance based on that feedback.
A long list of professional accomplishments and skills means little if you are an awful person to work with; companies care about a positive work environment for their employees and bringing on a new worker with a negative attitude can affect the corporate culture and lower morale. Do not be afraid to convey your enthusiasm and interest in your cover letter, and use positive, upbeat language.
Employers want to know you are ambitious because it often means you are willing to work hard to get a job done and advance your career. By doing so, you simultaneously help the company grow and reach your goals as well, without a lot of managing or coaching. By demonstrating your ambition in your cover letter, you are telling the employer you are likely to hit the ground running and perform well in the position.
During a job search, it is important to discuss the same hard skills and qualifications included in the job description in your resume and cover letter. Communicating skills such as teamwork and adaptability can be more difficult, so use a subtle approach. Instead of stating you are a good listener or team player, provide actual examples in your cover letter of times when you had to utilize those skills.
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