Our career services office recently received a job posting that typifies some of what employers look for, outside of the technical and major related skills. Yes, you have to know your field and have a certain level of skill to be hired, but there are many other aspects to being a good employee and a good fit at an organization. These personal strengths or characteristics are variously known as ‘soft’ or ‘transferrable’ skills (i.e. they transfer across any industry or occupation). They are skills you don’t necessarily learn in the classroom, but are just as important to your future employer.
Here is how one employer listed them on their job posting:
“In addition to the skills required to fill the position, the candidate must possess the following characteristics:
Grit – the ability to stick with it when things get hard and make sense of ambiguous situations.
Ownership – take initiative when things are not clear – work and live with integrity and conscientiousness
Curiosity – have an eye for detail and ask the right questions
Polish – ability to be an effective communicator – write effective emails, ask thoughtful questions
Teamwork – have the ability to collaborate to produce work and drive results
Impact – understand their contribution and impact to the larger organization – work efficiently and think about the success of the company instead of just their own.”