I’m Dr. Hassan, a Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own profitable practices so they can achieve financial independence and live without limits.

You have to have the skills to pay the bills. For many physicians, describing their soft skills can be very difficult when applying for a new position. You’re prepared to send your CV and discuss patient care philosophy, publications, and other accomplishments, but how do you prove that you’re a team player or early adopter?

In case you don’t already know, hard skills are the job specific education, medical knowledge, and experience you can quantify. Soft skills are more intangible qualities, like how you relate to others and your patients.

Consider these tips for how to develop and demonstrate soft skills that will be important to your career. Different organizational cultures and job positions may require different soft skills. Still, here are some qualities that almost every employer will be seeking.

 Consider these important soft skills:

1. Communicate skillfully. Strong communications can require many different abilities. You might excel at making presentations but need to work on active listening.

2. Solve problems. Rising to challenges and addressing business needs is central to any job description. Think about how you react when you encounter a setback.

3. Express creativity. A physical therapist can be just as creative as a sculptor. Think about what makes you an artist.

4. Radiate confidence. Feeling sure of yourself and your abilities encourages others to see you more favorably. Believing in yourself also makes it easier to be assertive and take risks.

5. Think positive. Whatever position you’re applying for, your future supervisor and coworkers will be asking themselves if you’re someone they want to work with. An upbeat attitude suggests that you’ll be pleasant and helpful.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: How do I develop these soft skills? Few colleges offer majors in time management or resilience, and even fewer residency programs offer these same skills. However, you can strengthen any soft skill through practice.

Try these effective practice techniques:

1. Ask for feedback. Your family, friends, and coworkers are a good place to start. See what they have to say about your strengths and areas where you might want to grow.

2. Study a role model. Find someone you admire for their work ethic and strategic thinking. Look for ways to adapt their methods to suit your own personality.

3. Use your job. If you’re currently employed, seek out opportunities to practice your soft skills. Starting a green office or clinic program could showcase your leadership potential. 

4. Take a course. Adult education programs at your local university or community college or even online cover any topic you can imagine. Learn more about conflict resolution or basic grammar.

5. Volunteer your services. Support a worthy cause while you pick up new skills. Contact a group that interests you and propose a project that suits your mutual goals.

Now once you’ve done this, how do you demonstrate your soft skills? While you may not need to explain how you passed the bar, achieved your medical degree or won the Pulitzer Prize, listing your soft skills usually requires supporting evidence. 

Try these ideas to help you convince employers that you are a strong candidate. Use these strategies to show your expertise in soft skills:

1.  Read carefully. Position descriptions may state the soft skills desired or offer plenty of clues. See if the company focuses on attention to detail or grasping the bigger picture (or even both).

2. Provide examples. When you claim to have a soft skill, back it up with a compelling story. Use examples in your CV or your interview.

3. Be on time. If you want your hard and soft skills to have a chance to be evaluated, you need to be punctual. Arriving a little early to your interviews shows that you’re responsible and considerate. 

4.  Follow through. Delivering on your promises is another sign of strong work ethic. Be sure to return phone calls and send thank you letters. 

Job offers and career success often depend on soft skills even if you have an advanced degree or know how to code in five languages. Make yourself a more valuable asset by enhancing your communications and thinking abilities.

I am Dr. Hassan, Board-Certified Physiatrist and Independent Practice Owner. I help physiatrists start and grow their own independent practice so that they can achieve financial independence and live without limits. Please go to businessofrehab.com/contractnegotiations to pick up the free guide to help you negotiate the contract after you have killed it during your interview.


Have an interview coming up? Here are some tips to help you land the job.


Attention, Physiatrists! Stop leaving money on the table. Sign up for the free video series: How To Build A Profitable Practice in 90 Days or Less: http://www.sixtytosuccess.com

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