4 Ways to Emphasize Soft Skill Development for Students

Monique Mahler | January 13, 2015

According to CareerBuilder, 77% of employers say that soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Yet students often will focus exclusively on their classroom work while neglecting to develop their soft skills. Many students assume that a degree is sufficient by itself to get their dream job.

In reality, students must focus on professional communication, interview skills, and other soft skills that will both help them get the job and succeed on the job.

Here are four ways to help students understand the importance of soft skills and to fully utilize the resources from their career center.

  1. Start Early

A recent blog by Jade Perry, Coordinator in the Office of Multicultural Student Success at DePaul University describes how their program makes sure to engage first-years about building soft skills. By starting early in students’ college career, it emphasizes the importance of these skills and ensures that students value their development in soft skills just as much as their grades in the classroom. This also helps students focus on building toward their career while completing their classes.

  1. Build Confidence

Along with starting early, building confidence with soft skill development gives students what they need to apply their hard skills in the workplace. The confidence to communicate effectively will help them succeed on the job and also help them to get the job in the first place by nailing their job interview.

  1. Keep it Career-Centric

Many students go to college because they know it’s their ticket to better career prospects for the rest of their lives. However, many students assume their degree will automatically lead to their dream job. Make sure that students realize early on that they will need soft skills to both get the job and effectively communicate to succeed on the job. By tying soft skill development to their career goals, they will take it more seriously and give it more effort.

  1. Communicate on Their Time

Since Soft skill development doesn’t immediately affect their grades, students will inevitably focus on homework and other classroom-based activities in the time that they are spending studying. This means that you have to connect with them in ways that are convenient and accessible for them. Whether this means adopting creative hours for the career center or the use of video tools such as pre-recorded practice interviewing, students will appreciate the convenience.


InterviewStream¬†helps students and job-seekers prepare for job interviews by creating a no-pressure environment to practice and review their skills. If you’d like to learn more about enriching your mock¬†interview program with video, click here to request your free demo.

About The Author

Monique Mahler is the CEO of interviewstream. She is an avid researcher of facts, a self proclaimed marketing geek, and an equestrian in her spare time.


interviewstream is dedicated to the success of more than 900 clients from K-12 school districts, emerging businesses, midsize companies, large enterprises, colleges, and universities.

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