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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 [ Images ] 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 The Workforce Profile defined about 60 "soft skills", which employers seek. They are applicable to any field of work, according to the study, and are the "personal traits and skills that employers state are the most important when selecting employees for jobs of any type." 1. Math. 2. Safety. 3. Courtesy. 4. Honesty. 5. Grammar. 6. Reliability.

7. Flexibility. 8. Team skills. 9. Eye contact. 10. Cooperation. 11. Adaptability. 12. Follow rules. 13. Self-directed. 14 Good attitude. 15. Writing skills. 16. Driver's license. 17. Dependability. 18. Advanced math. 19. Self-supervising. 20. Good references. 21. Being drug free. 22. Good attendance. 23. Personal energy. 24. Work experience. 25. Ability to measure. 26. Personal integrity. 27. Good work history. 28. Positive work ethic. 29. Interpersonal skills. 30. Motivational skills. 31. Valuing education. 32. Personal chemistry. 33. Willingness to learn. 34. Common sense. 35. Critical thinking skills. 36. Knowledge of fractions. 37. Reporting to work on time. 38. Use of rulers and calculators. 39. Good personal appearance. 40. Wanting to do a good job. 41. Basic spelling and grammar. 42. Reading and comprehension. 43. Ability to follow regulations. 44. Willingness to be accountable. 45. Ability to fill out a job application. 46. Ability to make production quotas. 47. Basic manufacturing skills training. 48. Awareness of how business works. 49. Staying on the job until it is finished. 50. Ability to read and follow instructions. 51. Willingness to work second and third shifts. 52. Caring about seeing the company succeed. 53. Understanding what the world is all about. 54. Ability to listen and document what you have heard. 55. Commitment to continued training and learning. 56. Willingness to take instruction and responsibility. 57. Ability to relate to coworkers in a close environment. 58. Not expecting to become a supervisor in the first six months. 59. Willingness to be a good worker and go beyond the traditional eight-hour day. 60. Communication skills with public, fellow employees, supervisors, and customers.

The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) identified five workplace competencies and a three-part foundation of skills and personal qualities that are needed for solid job performance: Resources how to allocate time, money, materials, space and staff Interpersonal Skills work on teams, teach others, serve customers, lead, negotiate, and work well with people from culturally diverse backgrounds Information acquire and evaluate data, organize and maintain files, interpret and communicate, and use computers to process information Systems understand social, organizational, and technological systems; they can monitor and correct performance; and they can design or improve systems Technology select equipment and tools, apply technology to specific tasks, and maintain and troubleshoot equipment Foundation Skills competent workers in the high-performance workplace need: Basic Skills reading, writing, arithmetic and mathematics, speaking and listening Thinking Skills the ability to learn, to reason, to think creatively, to make decisions, and to solve problems Personal Qualities individual responsibility, self-esteem and self-management, sociability, and integrity