Soft skills… seems like such a silly term really? It’s what we call the personal traits that shape the kind of person you are. You weren’t formally taught these skills, but you have developed them as a natural result of growing up and experiencing life.
Once the HSC is done and you start looking for a job, you’ll soon realise EVERYONE seems to want someone with experience! But hey, you’ve literally been at school for the last bazillion years so when were you meant to slot that in right? As Group Training Organisation, we get it! And honestly, it’s OK! If you’re applying for an apprenticeship or traineeship, we don’t expect you to have experience. What we do expect is a few basic soft skills (also known as transferable skills).
We can teach you the technical stuff and all that you need to know about the industry you want to be apart of, but we’re looking for “employable” people…. people with the following:
1. A good attitude and a solid work ethic
If you show a positive and enthusiastic work ethic from the get-go, you’ll gain 10 points to Gryffindor immediately.
“Most supervisors, and indeed workmates, will spend the time to teach and train people who have the best attitude,” says Mrs Saunders, Novaskill General Manager.
Showing up on time, not shying away from the hard work, always looking for something to do and ways to help out others, and taking responsibility for your mistakes is just so important.
2. Stellar communications skills
It’s a bit of a cliche, but honestly, if you’re able and willing to listen, be taught, and ask questions, your value will sky-rocket! Different jobs will require different types of communication skills (business administration will require good written skills for emailing for example), but there are some basics that are just so important to get right.
“Make sure you have voicemail set up on your phone so I can leave a message. Actually, check those messages and return my call. Respond to my texts and emails. They’re all basic things, but I have found those candidates that answer calls and respond to correspondence are the proactive people I want to speak to” Mitch Maguire, GTO Specialist.
3. Genuine reliability
As an employer, there is nothing worse than somewhat expecting your staff to call in sick on a Monday. We can’t tell you how infuriating it is to hear a “Yeah I’m not going to be in today” from a person that has already taken 3 sickies this month. Being reliable and dependable is often taken for granted, but let us assure you, it’s certainly not forgotten!
4. Flexibility and adaptability
Change is a given in this crazy world and if the pandemic has been any good at all, it’s show us that businesses simply need to be open to it to survive. How you react to changing circumstances and conditions is a big deal!
We’re going to be impressed if you can embrace a new software upgrade, throw your hand up to swap days, or work with someone new for a change.
Furthermore, if you find yourself in a position where you’re not sure what to do next or who to ask, please, please, PLEASE use your initiative and have a go yourself. It’s how we learn.
As a trainee or apprentice, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s kinda just expected and we all learn. But how you deal with the feedback or criticism from your boss and colleagues is important.
“Something that has made the world of difference since I have started working is being open to constructive criticism. It has helped me grow and learn so many more things” says Trinitie Bell, HR Officer.
Being resilient (and indeed teachable), means being open to being told you’re wrong or need to do better or simply being able to cope and bounce back from a stressful situation. Showing you’re mature enough to move on with a positive attitude is highly regarded.
So there you have it. We could keep going but these are our top 5. All of these things make you employable, likable, and teachable. If you struggle with any of these traits, do your best to work hard to overcome them.
“Be responsible for your own career path and take charge of your own life! Too many people are waiting for someone to hand them their career rather than striving to achieve it themselves”. Deb James, Business and Leadership Trainer and Assessor.
If you’re looking for a new opportunity, then we would love to hear from you. Please ensure you’ve uploaded your resume (with a professional email address) to Apprentice and Trainee Shortlist!