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Soft skills

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Engineering and coding are all well and good, but some of the most in-demand skills right now are less about what tasks you can do and more about how you do them. Even in the current job-seeker market, soft skills like communication and emotional intelligence are key differentiators when companies recruit.

No matter how much employers expand their use of technology, AI and cloud platforms can’t inspire colleagues, charm potential clients or come up with creative new product ideas. And being a good team player may be more important than ever when remote workers and global teams are a factor.

LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends report found that 92% of employers view soft skills as at least as important as hard skills. But many say they can’t always find candidates with the abilities they need: skills like creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability and time management. Some modern workers may be developing great technical abilities at the cost of interpersonal grace.

“The more the younger generations communicate electronically, the less practice they'll have communicating in person, and the more often that lack of skill will be noticed,” Jane Snipes, managing partner at NorthStar Recruiting in South Carolina, told the Society for Human Resources Management.

None of this means that you should jettison that engineering degree. But for an unbeatable combination, work on your people skills too.

This is one of the 101 indispensable things you need to know about work today. Click here to see the rest.

Image credit: Piero Zagami and Michela Nicchiotti.

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