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It is a no-brainer that employers hire the candidates with the required hard and soft skills. In fact, the main reason that employers conduct job interviews is to evaluate these skills and match them with their needs.

Unfortunately, the harsh conditions in jails and prisons are not ideal for developing hard and soft skills. So, ex-felons come out of prison with less developed employable skills. This post examines 10 soft skills that ex-felons can work on to increase their chances of getting hired.

What are soft skills?

Soft skill is a broad term that includes a person’s ability to liaise with workmates and to accomplish assigned tasks. Other terms that refer to soft skills are social skills, personal qualities, transferable skills, holistic skills, and many more. The term originated from the U.S military and denotes skills other than machine operation. The typical examples of soft skills include teamwork, communication skills, and work etiquette.

Differences between hard skills and soft skills

Unlike soft skills, which entail personal attributes, hard skills are competencies acquired through formal education. However, hard skills and soft skills are equally important and depend on each other in the job market. That’s why a technically qualified applicant can fail in a job interview, mainly because of a lack of soft skills, such as the inability to communicate appropriately.

10 soft skills that ex-felons can improve on to be more employable

Communication skills

Good communication is one aspect that recruiters assess in the early stages of job interviews. Companies prefer to hire workers who can pass and receive information appropriately.

Thus, effective communication is usually an added advantage when looking for a new job or aspiring to advance in your career. Therefore, ex-felons looking to succeed in their careers must improve their communication skills.


Growth requires creativity, and every business wants to grow. In addition, the work environment is full of daily obstacles that need a creative mind to maneuver. When you develop this sought-after soft skill will make you more employable.

Team playing

In a company setting, members of staff work together to achieve a common objective. Therefore, teamwork is a soft skill that every employee must-have. When looking for a job, you must work on your team playing skills. Learn to listen to your other people and react positively to all forms of criticism.

Problem-solving skills

If you can figure it out, you are undoubtedly more employable.  Employers need people who possess problem-solving soft skills. Reason? Problems arise from time to time in a typical working day. As a job seeker, you must gradually improve your problem-solving skills. Take, for example, a driver who can fix minor motor vehicle issues. As a result, he will cut avoidable maintenance costs, unlike the one who takes the car for servicing.


Before you submit that application, are you trustworthy? Integrity is a soft skill that comprises honesty, morals, and ethics at the place of work.

 It enables workers to do the right thing even when not under supervision. Therefore, employers prefer to hire people who require little supervision and can accomplish their responsibilities alone.


Employer organization is related to time management. Organized workers are likely to be more productive. So, employers are constantly searching for this soft skill as it increases business in the long run.

Time management

For a company to be successful, it has to deliver on time consistently. Meeting deadlines and timely delivery is only achievable when workers manage time correctly. For you to grow in your career path, you have to learn to manage your time correctly.

Leadership skills

Leadership is a highly demanded soft skill. Employers want workers who can motivate others to work towards the organization’s success. You do not have to be in a supervisory position to exhibit leadership skills.

As an ex-offender willing to grow your leadership skills, you need to;

  • develop a positive attitude.
  • Change your outward appearance, i.e., dressing and grooming.
  • work on making quick and accurate decisions
  • develop conflict resolution skills
  • learn to communicate appropriately
  • self-inspiration and inspiring others


This soft skill is essential for every employee. It involves adapting to changes that happen in the workplace—for example, working with whoever is hired, accepting new duties, and new working environments.

Ability to work under pressure

Pressure has to mount on the workers when trying to meet strict deadlines. As deadlines have to be met, employers will always prefer people who possess this soft skill and can withstand the effects of pressure.

Final thoughts

Soft skills are crucial in the workplace. They involve how we perform our duties and relate with others. Though it is impossible to teach or learn these soft skills in the formal education, we can know them through practice.

 If we want to career progression, we must improve on our soft skills. A good example of a soft skill is effective communication to determine whether we get hired in job interviews.

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