Job Skills: Highlighting the Best of Your Best

When applying for a job, there is always the lingering uncertainty of whether or not you will be the chosen applicant. It’s a simple fact, no more…no less. We’ve all had the experience where an interview went very well and yet someone who was lesser qualified managed to snag the job, in our own opinions. This choice leaving us to ponder why that was the case. Ponder no more! This, friend, is a simple case of soft skills versus hard skills.

A scholarly person who has just graduated from their chosen university is full to the brim with the new found knowledge they have obtained. Now take the seasoned employee who has been working in a similar position for the past some odd years. This seasoned worker also has a knowledge base and repertoire of skills at their disposal, yet they may lack the additional degree of education held by the former. Which one will prevail in gaining an open position in their given field? In the end, it comes down to the soft skills held by each applicant. Confused? Let me explain.

Soft skills are those skills that do not come purely from a text book. They are things that stem more from the personality of the applicant as opposed to their book smarts. Skills of this nature include leadership skills, self motivation, and critical thinking. To put it simply, they are more socially related job skills. The simple ability to make a new acquaintance at any given venue may come to the aid of a potential salesman. Punctuality and acceptance of others are also key traits to being able to work in a team environment. The problem with these types of skills can be in their uncovering. Not everyone is as informed about the soft skills they possess and, in fact, may have a wealth of them yet to be discovered. In interviewer’s job is to assess the potential in an applicant as well as their education. Finding the right balance between both types of job skills can be a rather hard task, but when carried out successfully, may lead to the best and brightest new members of a company.

So the next time you are out job hunting, ask yourself if you are presenting everything that you are capable of. If the answer is no, take a step back and uncover the gold mine of talents you have yet to display and see the doors of opportunity swing wide open upon your arrival.


Originally developed by Bill Smith at Motorola in 1986, the Six Sigma Training program was created using some of the most innovative quality improvement methods from the preceding six decades. The term "Six Sigma" is derived from a field of statistics known as process capability. The term 6 Sigma refers to the ability of manufacturing processes to produce a very high proportion of output within specification. Processes that operate with "six sigma quality" over the short term are assumed to produce long-term defect levels below 3.4 defects per million opportunities. Six Sigma's goal is to improve overall processes to that level of quality or better.