Developing your Soft Skills

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Following on from our Soft Skills TikTok Live Event – we wanted to share ways you can develop your soft skills that you may not have realised. While technical and academic expertise is crucial, employers are placing a growing emphasis on soft skills as they contribute to a well-rounded and effective workforce, especially as the working style varies significantly between companies. Being able to adapt to change and effectively communicate is vital for graduates entering the workforce. Developing these skills is not only beneficial but can be done seamlessly without even realising it.

Defining soft skills:

Soft skills refer to character traits and people skills that affect people’s ability to interact with those around them.

Soft Skills include:

• Communication

• Adaptability

• Teamwork

• Leadership skills

1. Engage in Extracurricular Activities:

One of the most effective ways to build soft skills is through extracurricular activities. Joining clubs, societies, or sports teams fosters teamwork, communication, and leadership skills. These are great for interviews as well as they can provide evidence of experience outside of your course. Whether it's a debating club, a volunteer group, or a sports team, these activities provide a rich environment for the development of people skills.

2. Networking Opportunities:

Attending networking events, career fairs, or industry conferences is an excellent way to enhance soft skills. Engaging in conversations with professionals and peers not only improves communication skills but also helps in building confidence and the ability to adapt to various social settings. To find your universities’ next career fairs head to their events page or speak with a career advisor, even if you’ve graduated already.

3. Part-Time Jobs and Internships:

Part-time jobs and internships offer real-world experiences that contribute to the development of soft skills. Customer service roles, for example, hospitality, retail, or delivery work, can enhance communication and critical thinking skills, while internships expose individuals to professional environments, fostering adaptability and critical thinking. These opportunities are great for showing examples of times you’ve used soft skills outside of the academic world. Head over to see current internship opportunities on our site.

4. Online Learning Platforms:

Taking advantage of online learning platforms provides an opportunity for continuous personal development. Platforms like Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, or Udemy offer courses specifically designed to enhance soft skills such as leadership, emotional intelligence, and effective communication.

5. Reading Widely:

Reading a diverse range of materials, including books, articles, and blogs, exposes you to different perspectives and ideas. This enhances empathy, critical thinking, and the ability to understand and connect with people from various backgrounds. Being able to discuss real-world topics and how they can relate to your industry are great talking points for interviews or networking opportunities.

6. Embrace Leadership Roles:

Taking on leadership roles, even in small capacities, can significantly improve leadership and management skills. This could involve leading a project group, organising an event, or being a team captain in sports – all of which contribute to the development of leadership, decision-making, and organisational skills.

7. Reflect and Seek Feedback:

Regularly reflecting on experiences and seeking feedback from others can be instrumental in identifying areas for improvement. This self-awareness is crucial for personal growth and the continuous refinement of soft skills.

TOP TIP: Being able to talk about an instance where you received feedback and took it on board to improve can be a fantastic way to answer the interview question “What would you say your biggest weakness is?”


Building soft skills is a gradual and continuous process, and you may be surprised how seamlessly you can incorporate these strategies into your daily life. By engaging in a variety of activities, seeking diverse experiences, and being open to learning, graduates can develop a robust set of soft skills that will not only serve well in starting a career but also contribute to personal growth and success.