On April 28, 2021, Tulsa Community College (TCC) Career Services conducted a Zoom meeting introducing students to the soft skills subject.
When companies look for specialists to hire, they evaluate candidates based on hard and soft skills. Hard skills include professional, technical, and academic qualifications. Soft skills are a combination of personal, social, and the communication sides of someone’s character.
Before getting into details about soft skills, Laura McNeese, director of Career and Retention Services, and Heather Crain, a career specialist, took students on an international virtual tour “Soft Skills Around the World.” Representatives from Northern Ireland, Spain, India, Czech Republic, and Australia shared their knowledge about how employers value soft skills in their countries.
Then McNeese walked everybody through the most important soft skills, which employers look for in employees. These are career and self-development, communication, critical thinking, equity and inclusion, leadership, professionalism, teamwork and technology.
McNeese stated that Tulsa area businesses consider the abilities of critical thinking to be a part of teamwork and to communicate successfully as the most important soft skills in employees.
During the Zoom seminar, Obadiah Harris, plant manager from Paccar Winch, located in Okmulgee, Okla., gave valuable advice to students. He said that his business is looking for individuals who can interact well with others, can stay involved and show flexibility at work, be respectful, be kind and nice to others, have a great attitude, display confidence facing obstacles; be positive, listen and engage with others, ask questions at an appropriate time, good in time management, maintain a personal calendar with planning two weeks in advance.
McNeese informed that TCC Career Services can help students to prepare for a job interview, and how to write a resume and cover letter. She added that students who have not chosen their career paths yet can take a self-assessment test that will evaluate an individual’s work interests, personality, and other aspects.
For more information about soft skills, contact Laura McNeese, TCC director of Career and Retention Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.