When preparing for university admissions, we often overlook and forget about one of the most important success factors: soft skills. It may not seem like it, but universities and colleges want their students to be fluent and rich in these specific sets of skills. Admissions officers and interviewers often look for these particular skills set in very discreet ways. Whether through your essay, resume, or personal interview, the soft skills you possess will always shine through to the individuals evaluating you. In order to help you prepare for the university admissions process, we have highlighted the most critical soft skills to have, along with some tips on how to develop the skills necessary to be accepted into your dream school.
Teamwork and experience working in teams are by far some of the most essential soft skills you want to develop and showcase. The reasoning behind this is straightforward; you are preparing to enter an environment with thousands of other students and staff. And just like in every university and school setting, you will have to collaborate, work, and interact with all these different individuals on a daily basis. Whether it is your roommates or your classmates in biology class, you will always come across situations where you will have to work with someone else to complete a specific task. It is for this reason that teamwork is often highlighted the most. If you are being interviewed for admissions at a university, definitely count on being questioned about your experiences in your group, along with any challenges that you may have faced by doing so.
Leadership is another vital skill. This specific skill is not only needed upon entering college, but it is also essential when it comes time to enter the workforce. You may be questioning why, and this is because you are a lot more independent and on your own at a university and a job. What I mean by this is that you will be given specific tasks to complete, whether individually or in a group. And these tasks must be completed correctly, on time, and without any supervision or guidance from your professor or boss. As an individual, you must take the initiative to structure and complete specific tasks. And as a team member, you must lead by example and work effectively, responsibly, and respectfully to get the job done. Most of the time, these traits and habits are adopted by having a leadership position in your community or school. For this reason, many university interviewers will ask you to tell them about a time you were a leader or about a time that you led a group of people. It is imperative to have a genuine and good answer for this and showcase it on an essay or resume.
This isn’t a very common soft skill spoken about, but it definitely goes hand in hand with the previous skills discussed. Decision-making is a soft skill needed to succeed academically at a university and on a personal level. Entering college is accompanied by a lot of freedom and responsibilities. Due to this change, you will find yourself having to make very important decisions that may include choosing your major, where to apply for internships, or what classes to take every semester. As difficult as these decisions may seem, you will have to be excellent and fast in making decisions. For these reasons, the ability to make decisions is such an essential part of entering college.
Adaptability is another soft skill that is often overlooked. There is no doubt that there are some drastic changes between high school and college. Because of these differences, it is very important for students to be open to change and to be able to adapt without any difficulties. Whether it is adapting to a new location, environment, classes, or student body, it always comes easier to individuals who are familiar with the skill of adaptability. Now I know you are probably wondering how you can develop or practice this skill. Well, it is actually very easy. You enhance your adaptability by choosing to change your daily routine and going out of your comfort zone. Joining that theater club you have always been afraid to join or enrolling in that French course you think is interesting is a great way to start. Ultimately, entering a new environment that you are unfamiliar with ultimately helps you learn to adapt to new situations and people without feeling lost or overwhelmed. And of course, joining unique courses or organizations will always allow you to add more to your resume while having more experiences to talk about in a school or job interview.
Last but certainly not least, we have communication. Being able to clearly and effectively communicate a particular matter is extremely important, especially with an admissions officer, professor, job interviewer, or any other professional. In addition to this, communication plays an important role when it comes to your academics. In college, class participation and presentations are often a significant part of your final grade. For this reason, it is so important to be not only good at speaking but also very comfortable with it. Although this skill may seem very critical and stressful, it is actually very easy to practice and enhance. Joining extracurricular clubs, communication classes, or even practicing your delivery to friends and family members is extremely helpful. Anything related to talking in front of others will have a drastic impact on your communication skills. I definitely recommend getting a head start with this skill as early as you can.
You’re all set
Being aware of these soft skills and their impact already puts you in an advantageous position. Many students often are not aware that soft skills are just as critical as your college essays and resume. Moving forward, I definitely recommend that you take the time to enhance and practice these soft skills daily. After doing so, you will be a whole lot closer to being accepted at Harvard, MIT, or any dream school of yours.