"Soft skills" increasingly sought in job market - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

"Soft skills" increasingly sought in job market

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If you're new to the workforce, or about to enter it, consider web-searching " soft skills" before that job interview. Many job recruiters and work-assistant agencies throughout the country are emphasizing soft skills, which could also be referred to as people skills.

Unlike "hard skills", which are related to actual competency in specific job tasks, soft skills relate to courtesy, and how they can impact overall job performance. Soft skill include eye contact, ability to hold conversation, conflict resolution, being punctual, and the ability to get along with a wide range of personality types.

Southwest Virginia Business Services Director Rachel Patton says communication, eye contact, and the simple ability to hold conversation are among the important soft skill. She says that some (not all) in the younger generations are so immersed in technology as a means of communication, that they sometimes lack in the face-to-face skills important to any job field. Different generations also tend to communicate with each other in different ways, which can result in occasional misunderstandings.

Emphasizing soft skills is a relatively new concept, and Patton says they are mostly acquired, as opposed to taught, at the work place.

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