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Soft Skills Matter

The Hiring Process Success on the Job


I've been told that I need to improve my soft skills. What does that mean, exactly?


Soft skills are also called people skills, or self-management skills. They are very popular with employers, and everyone needs them.

According to, the soft skills in highest demand from employers in 2019 include:

• Time management: the process of planning and exercising conscious control of time spent on specific activities, especially to increase effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity, according to It’s the ability and willingness to use your time efficiently, doing well what the employer is paying you to do.
• Adaptability: changing to meet the variable demands of the workplace, and the world at large, and to do it quickly, without complaint.
• Collaboration: working well with others to achieve the goals of the team or company. It involves creativity, assertiveness and understanding the bigger picture.
• Persuasion: convincing people to do what you want, for the good of all concerned.
• Creativity: the ability to see things from a different angle, to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems.

Daniel Bortz, at, adds a few more: communication, problem solving, critical observation, conflict resolution and leadership.

There are three skills that every employer looks for in every candidate, no matter what the job title is: likeability, dependability, and the ability to do whatever the job is (coding, carpentry, phlebotomy, whatever.) If you can’t get along with your colleagues, or don’t show up on time as expected, it really doesn’t matter how good your job skills are. You won’t be there long enough to show them off.

Hopefully this information will give you some ideas to grow on. Either way, everyone needs soft skills, and everyone can improve them at any time.


About the Author

Beth Davis-Reinhold

Beth Davis-Reinhold is an instructor at Frederick County Workforce Services, where she has worked for over 20 years. She teaches job search seminars and basic computer skills. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer, and is Internet and Computing Core Certified (IC3). Beth has been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 15 years, and is an Advanced Communicator Silver. A graduate of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania, Beth has also studied American Sign Language for many years. In addition to many sundry projects for FCWS, Beth writes its “Ask the Career Coach” blog.