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Amit Kumar did his M Tech from IIT, New Delhi. He has an MBA from IIM, Ahmedabad.

But he still
could not get the job of his choice during campus recruitment. Reason: Blame it on his soft skills. Or rather the lack of them. These include communication, listening, negotiation, etiquette, language skills etc. Hence, he could not compete with his fellow students who got better jobs.  Part II: How to improve your soft skills

Soft skills play a vital role for professional success; they help one to excel in the workplace and their importance cannot be denied in this age of information and knowledge. Good soft skills -- which are in fact scarce -- in the highly competitive corporate world will help you stand out in a milieu of routine job seekers with mediocre skills and talent. The Smyth County Industry Council, a governing body based in the US, conducted a survey recently. The results of the survey was called the Workforce Profile which found "an across-the-board unanimous profile of skills and characteristics needed to make a good employee." The people most likely to be hired for available jobs have what employers call "soft skills". Here were some of the findings according to the workforce study: The most common traits, mentioned by virtually every employer, were: ~ Positive work ethic. ~ Good attitude. ~ Desire to learn and be trained. Mohan Rao, a technical director with Emmellen Biotech Pharmaceuticals Ltd, Mumbai defines a 'good attitude: "It is a behavioural skill, which cannot be taught. However it can be developed through continuous training. It represents the reactive nature of the individual and is about looking at things with the right perspective. You must be ready to solve problems proactively and create win-win situations. And you must be able to take ownership ie responsibility for your actions and lead from the front without calling it quits at the most critical moment." Most of the business leaders observed that they could find workers who have "hard skills" ie the capability to operate machinery or fulfill other tasks, but many potential hires lack the "soft skills" that a company needs. CEOs and human resource managers said they are ready to hire workers who demonstrate a high level of "soft skills" and then train them for the specific jobs available. The ever-changing impact of technology has given hard-skills-only workers a short shelf life. According to results of the Workforce Profile, (source: www.workforce.com) the more valuable employee is one who can grow and learn as the business changes. Soft skills "are as important, if not more important, than traditional hard skills to an employer looking to hire -- regardless of industry or job type. This could offer a major breakthrough as educators and training providers seek to develop and cluster training courses to fit business and industry needs." Top 60 soft skills

Willingness to be accountable. Good attendance. Adaptability. Personal energy. Work experience. 12. Flexibility. 10. 49. Personal integrity. 50. 4. 34. Follow rules. Reading and comprehension. Advanced math. 32. Good work history. Ability to make production quotas. 51. Interpersonal skills. and are the "personal traits and skills that employers state are the most important when selecting employees for jobs of any type. Courtesy. Wanting to do a good job. Reliability. Willingness to work second and third shifts. Basic manufacturing skills training. Basic spelling and grammar. Critical thinking skills. 16. Staying on the job until it is finished. 19. 42. according to the study.The Workforce Profile defined about 60 "soft skills". 9. 47. Willingness to learn. Team skills. 23. which employers seek. Valuing education. 22. Self-supervising. 43. 2." 1. Ability to measure. Ability to follow regulations. Math. Driver's license. Grammar. 30. 48. They are applicable to any field of work. Personal chemistry. 15. 7. Eye contact. 45. Honesty. 28. Writing skills. Self-directed. Knowledge of fractions. 14 Good attitude. Positive work ethic. 39. Reporting to work on time. 36. 27. Use of rulers and calculators. 6. 37. 24. 25. 8. 33. 5. 17. 18. Good references. 20. 26. Safety. 38. Good personal appearance. . Ability to fill out a job application. Common sense. 41. Being drug free. Awareness of how business works. Dependability. 35. 46. 40. 21. 29. 44. Ability to read and follow instructions. 13. Motivational skills. 11. 3. Cooperation. 31.

53. and customers. 56. Commitment to continued training and learning. 60. and is currently associated with aimkom consultrainers. 54. Caring about seeing the company succeed. Willingness to take instruction and responsibility. Understanding what the world is all about. 57. Ability to listen and document what you have heard. . Communication skills with public. Willingness to be a good worker and go beyond the traditional eight-hour day. fellow employees. Ability to relate to coworkers in a close environment. 55. 59.52. How many soft skills do you possess? Part II: How to improve your soft skills The author is a career management consultant and corporate trainer. 58. Not expecting to become a supervisor in the first six months.com. You may reach him at aim@aimkom. supervisors.