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9 Top “Soft” Skills that CSV Job Adverts Want

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There are 4 main areas to consider when you’re analysing your suitability for a job:

  • Education
  • Employment history
  • Technical Skills
  • “Soft” (or Transferable) Skills

It’s usually pretty easy to see if you stack up against the first 3. But what about soft skills? That’s not always so clear cut.

So whether you’re considering CSV as a new career option and want to know if you’re suitable, or you’re job hunting for a new CSV role and want to know what employers are currently looking for – this article’s for you!

We’ve been analysing CSV job adverts in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries – let’s take a look at the top 9 soft skills that employers want …

9. Organisation

About this skill: Organisation can be seen as a rather generalised skill that encompasses a lot of other soft skills such as time-management, task prioritisation, and multitasking.

Why it’s important in CSV: CSV tasks often occur on a project basis. The person in charge of them has to be able to keep an eye of the “big picture” outcomes as well as managing the day-to-day tasks and priorities to make sure that deadlines and objectives are met.

Example wording from a real job advert: “Effective time management and multi-tasking skills”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • Have you taken charge of organising a project?
  • Do you have responsibilities around scheduling?
  • Have you had to consider a “big picture” using smaller deliverables to track progress?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Have you organised an event?
  • Or taken part in a fundraiser?
  • Do you participate in any committees or groups that work on projects?

8. Analytical

About this skill: Analytical skills can be thought of as the ability to look at data and spot patterns and outliers, as well the ability to see causes or potential “fixes”. You might also consider analytical skills in terms of problem-solving.

Why it’s important in CSV: Depending on the specific role CSV professionals might be required to review and analyse data, often compiling it into reports. They also have to be able to successfully investigate issues and troubleshoot problems as they arise. They will often be the team member required to “own” a problem and work to fully understand it, as well as leading the effort to resolve it.

Example from a real job advert: “Demonstrable analytical and systematic problem-solving skills”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • Did you solve a problem with a novel idea?
  • Do your work tasks require analysis of data in any form?
  • Have you found a new way to do a work task and implemented it with success?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Do you have any hobbies that require the collection and analysis of data?
  • Have you been able to analyse an established problem and come up with a new solution?
  • Have you taken charge in a difficult situation and looked for more information to understand it better to resolve it?

7. Attention to Detail

About this skill: Paying attention to the smallest details, working with precision and accuracy, and taking great pride in doing things right first time are all components of this skill.

Why it’s important in CSV: CSV professionals are working in a highly regulated environment where there are clear rules and regulations that must be followed at all times. They must also be able to quickly spot when something isn’t right and take effective action to correct it.

Example from a real job advert: “Ability to work with a high level of detail and to a high standard”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • Do you have experience working in a regulated environment?
  • Have you had to follow strict rules and protocols before?
  • Have you noticed when something wasn’t right and taken corrective measures?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Do you have a hobby that require close attention to detail?
  • Has your “right first time” mindset saved you time, money, or prevented an accident?
  • Is there an area of your life where you have to stick closely to rules or regulations?

6. Team Working

About this skill: Team working is an important skill in many jobs. Communication, finding compromise, and working in collaboration with others towards a shared goal are all parts of success within this skill.

Why it’s important in CSV: While a CSV professional will likely be the person running a CSV project. Success within the project will require input and close working with other team members and those from across the manufacturing site. A CSV professional will regularly be involved in training, coordination, or liaising with others to achieve their goals.

Example from a real job advert: “A proven ability to work without direct supervision within a complex project team.”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • Where can you show team working from within your employment history?
  • Do you have any examples of leading change or driving success with colleagues?
  • When have you worked with others to achieve a common goal?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Do you take part in any team sports?
  • Are you a member of a club that requires you to work with others?
  • Have you worked with others in your community to achieve a common goal?

5. Verbal Communication Skills

About this skill: Verbal communication skills are about how well you can verbally explain your point to others or persuade someone to your way of thinking. Successful verbal communication usually requires that someone can achieve these things with a wide range of people, adapting their verbal communication style to fit the audience.

Why it’s important in CSV: A CSV professional might act as a point of contact for troubleshooting or problem solving within the team. They might also be responsible for relaying information to senior stakeholders or attending team meetings as the subject matter expert. Finally, they might be expected to train non-experts on the rules and regulations to ensure compliance. All of these tasks mean that a CSV professional has to be able to clearly and concisely deliver technical information in a way that less knowledgeable people can understand, adapting their tone and level of detail to match their audience.

Example from a real job advert: “Excellent communication, presentation and interpersonal skills, to interface effectively with all levels of colleagues and with external customers in a team orientated manner”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • What previous duties have required you to interact verbally with other staff members or customers?
    Do you have examples where you’ve had to change your presentation style or level of detail to match different audiences?
  • Have you been responsible for training colleagues previously?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Do you have experience talking about/explaining a complex matter with different groups of people, requiring different approaches?
  • Are you involved in any groups that require you to present?
  • Do any of your hobbies require you to relay information verbally in a clear and concise way?

4. Project Management

About this skill: Project management ties together many other skills such as communication, organisation, leadership and team working. The reason it gets its own place (and so high up our list) is because employers see it as important enough to call out on its own. More than just bringing together these different skills, project management puts a clear focus on responsibilities for deliverables.

Why it’s important in CSV: Most CSV work is done on a project basis. While the CSV professional will be responsible for their own workload and timelines, they also act as manager to the project more widely, keeping others “on track” for deliverables and maintaining ultimate responsibility for final outcomes.

Example from a real job advert: “Ability to effectively manage complex projects across multiple disciplines”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • Have you previously led any projects in a workplace?
  • Have you been responsible for others and their delivery of outcomes towards a shared goal?
  • Do you have examples of motivating others to complete a project successfully?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Have you successfully managed a project involving other people?
  • Do you have experience in leading a team of people to achieve a complex outcome?
  • Have you planned and coordinated with others to achieve a successful outcome?

3. Results Orientated

About this skill: Employers talk about this skill in several ways – successful, achiever, results orientated. And more than most of the other on the list, this is a mindset or an approach rather than a traditional skill. But it’s one that is highly valued by employers (hence it being number 3 on the list!)

Why it’s important in CSV: As outlined in the previous point, many CSV activities operate on a project basis. Having a successful outcome is important for any project. Having someone with a focus on achieving success manage such a project makes sense. It’s also important to keep in mind that “failure” of CSV usually puts companies in violation of the rules and regulations of the industry. No company wants that.

Example from a real job advert: “Goal/results orientated”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • Can you demonstrate previous success for an employer?
  • Where can you show that you met or exceeded workplace expectations?
  • Are there examples of you changing approach to a problem as a result of your focus on the end goal?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Are there areas you can demonstrate personal success?
  • Have you achieved something unusual or after a lot of work?
  • Do you have examples of goal setting and achievement?

2. Self-Motivation

About this skill: Self-motivation is often closely linked in job adverts to initiative, drive and the ability to work on your own. 

Why it’s important in CSV: As we’ve discovered, the CSV professional is often the team member that is leading many colleagues through a CSV project. As such, while they have outcomes, timelines and deliverables set by their management, it’s typically up to them to “get the job done” and keep the project moving forward.

Example from a real job advert: “A high level of initiative, energy and motivation are key role requirements”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • Do you have examples of where you’ve gone “above and beyond” within the workplace?
  • Can you describe times where you’ve been set goals and shown self-motivation to achieve them?
  • Was there a time where you showed initiative to make sure a positive outcome was achieved?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Do you have any hobbies that take lots of practice and self-motivation?
  • Have you ever taken the lead to initiate change within a group?
  • Can you talk about any successes that took a long time to achieve or required you to overcome many obstacles?

1. Written Communication

About this skill: Written communication skills refer to the ability to clearly and concisely relay information in writing.

Why it’s important in CSV: Written communication is the most mentioned skill within the CSV job adverts we analysed. And that’s really no surprise. Documentation is a key feature of CSV roles and an essential requirement of industry compliance. It’s also vital that CSV professionals can effectively communicate with other team members, making clear points – often about technical information.

Example from a real job advert: “Strong technical writing and communication skills”

How you might demonstrate this (employment examples):

  • Have any of your previous roles required you to communicate in writing?
  • Do you have examples of a successful project that required clear written communication?
  • Can you demonstrate praise from previous employers (perhaps through appraisals) of your written communication skills?

How you might demonstrate this (extra-curricular examples):

  • Do any of your hobbies rely on written communication?
  • Are your responsible for written communication within any groups or committees?
  • Can you show any examples of achieving a successful outcome as a result of written communication?

So I know the soft skills… Now what?

It’s just as important that you can demonstrate soft skills to employers as it is that you are able to discuss your technical expertise or education background.

As you write your CV to apply for a job, you should keep the above soft skills in mind (as well as any others mentioned in that specific job advert). You need to highlight these throughout your CV so that someone reading it can easily see the soft skills you have. Use the words and phrases used by the advert wherever you can to make it clear that you meet their criteria.

And when it comes time for interview, have clear examples of how you can demonstrate those skills. Employers are most likely to ask about soft skills using competency based questions. You can read more about that style of question and the format you should use to answer, in our Guide To Interviewing.

CSV Training & Courses

If you’re considering a career in CSV and think you have the necessary soft skills, you’ll still need to get your technical skills up to scratch. Check out our 10 week Computer System Validation (CSV) Training Course for a comprehensive training option.

Further Reading

You might also be interested in reading the following articles:

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