A lot of people still get confused with the difference between your soft skills and hard skills so allow us to clarify the definitions.
Soft Skills refer to your conversation and interaction skills that are put to use when communicating with an individual. They’re generally considered to be unteachable and unquantifiable. This means that you cannot measure whether an individual has better soft skills as compared to someone else.
Hard Skills refer to your technical know-how and skills that you learn through education and training. These can include skills like accounting, problem-solving, decision-making among many others. Hard skills are what you generally require to further your career.
Now the issue of acquiring and improving such skills is what we would like to focus on today. It is no secret that you will need both sets of skills during the course of your career if you’re someone that is serious about achieving success. And so, here is our list of tips for college students to improve their soft skills and hard skills:
For your Soft Skills:
1. Communication: Possibly the most important soft skill you will acquire. Communication can be carried through several mediums such as email, phone calls and speaking directly to someone in person. You must always focus on being a clear communicator. Make note of these points:
- Make eye contact with everyone present.
- Practice and be aware of your body language.
- Practice your informal and formal styles of speaking.
- In the case of emails or text-based communication, always be aware of the language you’re using and proofread before sending anything.
2. Creativity: Having a creative mind will open several doors for you during the course of your career. Work on your creativity in the following ways:
- Brainstorm as often as you can with others or by yourself.
- Catch enough rest every night.
- Look at other creative works such as books, movies, and TV shows,
- Try to interact with creative people more.
3. Teamwork: Teamwork is dream-work. But in all seriousness, you’re going to be involved with several team projects when you start working. It’s possibly the reason why your school and college teachers make you complete so many group projects. Try to take note of these points:
- Don’t take on too much work by yourself.
- Similarly, don’t dump too much work onto a team member.
- Always compliment your team members on their work whenever it is possible.
- Everyone in the team plays an important role. Make sure they’re treated as such.
For your Hard Skills:
- Practice: No type of hard skill is acquired or improved simply by waiting around and expecting these skills will develop on their own. You must take the initiative to practice whatever hard skills you are looking to acquire and improve. Here are some tips to practice to the best of your ability:
- Set up a practice regiment for yourself and stick to it every day.
- Analyze and evaluate your progress regularly.
- Test yourself with sample problems and scenarios.
2. Industry Professionals: Maybe you’re looking to improve your computer coding skills or maybe you’re someone who’s trying to improve their research skills. No matter what you’re focusing on, there will always be industry professionals possessing whatever particular skills you’re looking to acquire. Here are a few ways you can utilize industry professionals:
- Maintain relationships with such professionals.
- Ask them for feedback and criticism on your work.
- Ask them to introduce you to other professionals with similar skills.
- Ask them for their recommendations on how to improve your skills as well.
3. Coaching: The method through which most people acquire their Hard Skills. Coaching will not be scarce to come across, however, the amount you learn is dependent on you at the end of the day. Here are a few ways you can make your coaching classes more enriching:
- Take proper notes. Here is a link to our guide on note-taking.
- Always try to relate what your teacher is saying to real-life scenarios.
- Revise what you’ve learned.
- Practise and coaching go hand in hand. Make sure you practice what you’re being taught every day.
We hope this article helps you in developing both sets of skills. And once again,
Thanks for reading! 🙂
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