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    According to a survey of CareerBuilder of 2014, 77% of employers seek this skill in candidates, while 16% of the respondents consider it more crucial than hard skills. While employers expect that fresh graduates haven’t applied their learned hard skills yet, they expect that fresh graduates are already masters of this skill. Unfortunately, not many fresh graduates are familiar with the importance of this skill called ‘soft skills’.

    What are Soft Skills? 
    Soft skills are the intangible set of skills that are rooted in the personality and general disposition. They are the specific skills needed to cooperate and collaborate with others. These skills are harder to evaluate and teach as they are based on the emotional intelligence of a person.

    But, what specific soft skills should you have? How would you develop it? Below is a soft skill list that every fresh graduate such as yourself should have and ways to improve it:

    Critical Thinking and Communication
    Critical Thinking refers to one’s ability to solve problems in a calm and rational manner and with contingency plans at hand. On the other hand, Communication refers to one’s ability to comprehensively relay information to others with the use of a wide array of vocabularies and ability to adjust the tone of the voice depending on the situation.

    You can develop this skill by reading, discussing, and reviewing. Reading lets you deepen your knowledge, learn new vocabulary, and determine how information can be communicated effectively. Discussing not only lets you think critically about an issue but also practice safely conversing it. Meanwhile, reviewing your speech allows you to identify your strengths and areas for improvement.

    Curiosity and Creativity
    Curiosity and Creativity is a soft skill that requires you to be innovative and to think ‘outside the box’.  This soft skill allows you to be flexible, optimistic, and open-minded towards new tasks and challenges.

    If you want to develop this skill, try researching a topic or writing a story over the weekend. By researching with a due date, you’re able to peak your interest in all sorts of subjects. On the other hand, writing allows you to enhance your creativity through imagination. But, if you’re too busy to do these exercises, just simply unwind and relax. Creativity is cultivated by space, and the best way to let it flow is by a good rest.

    Responsibility and Conflict Management
    Responsibility and Conflict Management is all about awareness.  Responsibility refers to one’s ability to be self-aware about their strengths and mistakes in the workplace. Meanwhile, Conflict Management refers to one’s ability to reach a mutual benefiting resolution that is sensitive to the needs of both parties.

    Improving these skills involves listening and being open to your failures. By listening, you get to see the perspectives of both sides to see the full picture. Talking about your mistakes allows you to have a space for reflection where you can identify your areas of improvement and what you can do about it.



    Contributed by: Allison Julianne Macasaet
    She is a freelance writer on the side, a student of international relations on the other. Interests include fantasy books, international relations, and lifestyle.