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    These 5 ‘soft’ skills could give young workers an edge, according to LinkedIn


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    By Goh Chiew Tong @CHIEWTONG_G

    The top soft skills young workers should focus on building for the new year ahead includes communication, time management and critical thinking, said LinkedIn.

    As recession fears and layoffs make the headlines, fresh graduates may find themselves stumbling into an uncertain job market.

    A recent survey of 1,000 U.S. graduates aged between 18 and 54 in the last 12 months indicated that many are anxious about their “career readiness.”

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    Almost half of recent graduates said they didn’t apply for entry level jobs because they felt underqualified, according to the survey.

    And that’s even more of a challenge for those new to the workforce.

    “One of the challenges that young workers may face is lack of experience as they enter the workforce,” said Pooja Chhabria, career expert and head of editorial for Asia-Pacific at LinkedIn.

    While Gen Z workers — those between 18 and 24 years old — may worry about their lack of experience, some industries are “aggressively” hiring, according to LinkedIn.

    For example, job postings on the platform have grown year on year in October 2022 for sectors like government administration — which registered a 52% growth in Australia and a whopping 88% in Singapore.

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    Retail job postings grew 114% in Australia and 49% in India, while openings in logistics and supply chain grew by 41% in Singapore.

    Those jobs may be from different industries, but they have one thing in common — an emphasis soft skills, which Chhabria stressed are valued across multiple sectors and jobs.

    How to stand out
    Companies have been shifting from a “traditional experience-based” hiring approach to a skills-first one, Chhabria said.

    That’s because of the “rapid pace of change and disruption” that industries are going through, and skills-based hiring helps employers to hire talent that matches businesses’ evolving needs, she added.

    “87% of recruiters believe skills are crucial as they vet candidates. A skills-based approach also creates a much broader talent pool, and diversity of talent is necessary for remaining competitive in today’s marketplace.”

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    “LinkedIn data reveals that across Asia Pacific, a skills-based approach to hiring will increase the overall Gen Z talent pool by 10.8 times in Australia, 14.1 times in India and 7 times in Singapore,” she said.

    Asia-Pacific hiring rate still relatively high despite recession fears: LinkedIn
    While hard skills remain crucial to securing a job, soft skills can help candidates stand out from the pack.

    “Hard skills can help you get a recruiter’s attention, but soft skills can help you land the job,” Chhabria added.

    “Hard skills are the technical skills required to do your job. For instance, if you are applying to be a sales professional, then you need to have knowledge of sales processes and how to use a CRM platform,” she said.

    ″[But] you also need soft skills such as presentation skills to deliver a great sales pitch to your customer or communication skills so you can communicate with confidence with your team and the customer.”

    These are the top five soft skills young workers should focus on building in the new year, according to LinkedIn:

    Communication: Being able to communicate your ideas, views, and opinions concisely so people can understand what you are sharing.
    Time management: With the rise of remote working, time management has become even more important for building trust with your employer and demonstrating the value you’re adding to the team.
    Critical thinking: Ability to understand and address a situation based on all available facts and information.
    Problem solving: Coming up with solutions and looking for new ways to resolve issues.
    Interpersonal skills: In a post-pandemic workplace, the ability to build relationships and collaborate with teams globally is an important skill.

    Taking on new assignments or projects can improve your ability to problem solve and provide opportunities to learn how to better handle stress, criticism, and conflict.
    Pooja Chhabria

    “One way to develop these skills is to step out of your comfort zone. Taking on new assignments or projects can improve your ability to problem solve and provide opportunities to learn how to better handle stress, criticism, and conflict,” Chhabria said.

    “Young professionals can also consider joining professional organizations or networking groups. These are excellent platforms for you to practice communication and interpersonal skills.” (CNBC)

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