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SOFT SKILLS EMPLOYERS LOOK FOR


The job market has become more competitive in the last few years. Here are some important soft skills to cultivate at university in order to stand out as a good candidate for employment.
 

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Communication skills
All students must be able to communicate effectively with their lecturers, coursemates and roommates to build good relationships. Good written and verbal communication skills in English, Malay, Mandarin or other languages are essential. Writing skills are needed to write clear and concise assignments and reports whereas speaking skills are important when conveying ideas during classes and presentations. Interpersonal skills, or how you interact with others, are needed at university as well. Individuals who are friendly and are comfortable around new people are more likely to adapt to the working environment in the future. A good way to meet new people is to join clubs and societies on campus.
 
Problem-solving skills
No matter what course is being pursued, each student will encounter problems or issues during their studies that need to be resolved as soon as possible. When faced with a problem, students need to use critical thinking and analytical skills to find ways to solve a particular problem effectively. This involves identifying factors that caused the problem, brainstorming solutions, implementing a plan and assessing whether the problem was solved in the end. It is normal for students to make mistakes in their studies or in their extracurricular activities. What is important is finding ways to fix problems and learn not to repeat them next time.
 
Time management
Every student is expected to make good use of their time at university. It is important to always be on time for lectures, tutorials, group discussions and for extracurricular activities. Also, it is important to honour deadlines set by lecturers to complete a particular assignment. If a task is part of a group project, it is imperative that your task is completed in the time given so that it will not affect the task of others and the overall piece of work. Students must make it a habit to schedule their tasks and learn how to divide their time properly for studies, extracurricular activities and social outings. Good time management skills are essential in the workplace. Therefore, students are encouraged to develop this habit while at university.
 
Leadership skills
Students can also hone their leadership skills during college or university. Those with strong leadership skills are able to motivate, direct and influence people to achieve a shared goal. These skills can be sharpened when students volunteer to lead a group assignment or take on more leadership roles in their extracurricular activities. A good leader is also a good communicator and listener. Furthermore. students in leadership positions develop a sense of responsibility, self-confidence and management skills. These skills will be much sought after in the workplace.
 
Good communication and problem-solving skills, good time management and leadership skills are essential to the workplace. Other valuable soft skills include the ability to work independently and in a team, and a positive attitude. Individuals must also have the willingness to learn new things and know how to accept constructive feedback.
 
Soft skills are transferable and can be applied in any job in the future. Although they are difficult to measure, soft skills are essential to stand out as a model student and employee.

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