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Overwhelming Majority Of Companies Say Soft Skills Are Just As Important As Hard Skills, According To A New CareerBuilder Survey

CHICAGO, April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Don't skimp on soft skills when writing your resume. The vast majority of employers - 77 percent - believe that soft skills (less tangible skills associated with one's personality, such as a positive attitude) are just as important as hard skills (skills that are learned to perform a specific job function and can be measured, such as operating a computer program).  Sixteen percent of employers said soft skills are more important than hard skills when evaluating candidates for a job.

The national survey was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from February 10 to March 4, 2014, and included a representative sample of 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals across industries and company sizes.

"When companies are assessing job candidates, they're looking for the best of both worlds: someone who is not only proficient in a particular function, but also has the right personality," said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. "Along with responsibilities, it's important to highlight soft skills that can give employers an idea of how quickly you can adapt and solve problems, whether you can be relied on to follow through and how effectively you can lead and motivate others."

The top ten most popular soft skills companies say they look for when hiring include:
  1. Candidate has a strong work ethic – 73 percent
  2. Candidate is dependable – 73 percent
  3. Candidate has a positive attitude – 72 percent
  4. Candidate is self-motivated – 66 percent
  5. Candidate is team-oriented – 60 percent
  6. Candidate is organized, can manage multiple priorities – 57 percent
  7. Candidate works well under pressure – 57 percent
  8. Candidate is an effective communicator – 56 percent
  9. Candidate is flexible – 51 percent
  10. Candidate is confident – 46 percent

Haefner warns that it's not sufficient to just list soft skills when communicating with a potential employer. "Saying that you're a team player is not enough; you have to show it," Haefner added. "Provide an example of how you worked on a team to accomplish a particular goal. Provide an example of a high-pressure situation that you handled with ease. Try to make the intangible tangible."    

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