As a successful EA you’ve no doubt honed your technical skills and possess a range of competencies that see you thrive. But do you know that employers are now increasingly looking at a candidate’s soft skills when recruiting their next EA? In a survey of ours, almost a third of employers said soft skills have the highest impact on the effectiveness of their organisation.
For EAs, the soft skills that carry the greatest weight are organisational, collaborative, professional, communication, problem-solving and listening skills. So how can you prove yours in your next job interview?
Firstly, gather proof. Take every opportunity in your current role to demonstrate your soft skills. This gives you quantifiable examples you can add to your CV and share in an interview to prove your abilities. Next, make sure you know your story. Your unique selling proposition (USP) positions you in the candidate market based on your personal strengths, skills, experience and value. Often candidates focus their USP on their technical skills, so make sure yours also spells out your soft skill strengths to show hiring managers the full value you could provide. Be aware of your brand. Your collective professional online activity, such as your status updates, the people and organisations you follow and the content you like, personifies your ‘brand’. Use social media to demonstrate exceptional written communication skills and ask others for LinkedIn endorsements for your soft skills.
In a job interview, build rapport with your interviewer, be aware of your body language and answer questions with confidence and clarity to demonstrate your listening and communication skills. Following a job interview, respond quickly to emails and phone calls and be forthcoming in opening the lines of communication yourself, such as by reaching out via your recruiter to thank the hiring manager for their time.
Alex Jones is Senior Regional Director at Hays Office Support.