Soft Skills & the College Admission Process

College Admission

By Patricia Nehme, My College Career Plan

Before you embark on the college admissions process, try to further develop your soft skills. “Soft skills is a sociological term relating to a person's "EQ" (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, friendliness, and optimism that characterize relationships with other people. Soft skills complement hard skills (part of a person's IQ), which are the technical requirements of a job and many other activities)”, according to this definition.  

These skills are becoming more and more valuable not only to employers, future job markets, but also to college admission. Colleges want to know how and what a student will contribute to the well-being of its student body, academic discourse and campus life. Soft skills reveal a lot about a student’s possible college-life contributions. Co-curricular activities (also referred to as extra-curricular activities) such as service clubs, student council and athletic programs often foster soft skills.  In fact, Soft Skills are essential to the success of athletic programs, clubs, band, choir, theater, debate, student council and just about every activity.

Soft skills are also essential to networking - both during the admissions process and once you step foot on campus. Here’s a partial list of soft skills. Wise students transfer these skills from the co-curricular arena into the classroom, workplace and community in order to ready themselves for college and future success.

*Ability to listen and document what you have heard         
*Eye contact       
*Caring about seeing the team succeed              
*Willingness to be accountable                           
*Positive work ethic                            
*Staying with the job until it is finished      
*Willingness to play second and third position                   
*Communication skills                 
*Ability to follow regulations                                                         
*Accept & learn from criticism                                                        
*Commitment to continued training and learning  
*Willingness to take instruction and responsibility    
*Ability to relate to team members in a close environment  
*Willingness to be a good team member and go beyond what’s expected   
*Motivational skills   
*Good references   
*Confidence – accept your limitations; acknowledge strengths    
*Reliable attendance   
*Personal energy                    
• Use the same soft skills of teamwork, dedication and work ethic with every part of your life—academics, the work place, community volunteer opportunities and in relationships.

• Apply the same processes of setting goals and being diligent to achieving goals with your academic studies and community involvement.

• Remember, striving to win is healthy, but learn from defeat. Failure is never wasted when you take time to learn from it. Show good sportsmanship in every area of your life.

• Competition is a part of life. But always compete with yourself first—be your best! Do your best and your college options will grow.