13 January, 2024

Soft Skills for Automotive Jobs: What the Eff are Soft Skills?

Ryan from Promotive’s recruiting team shares his insights on required soft skills for automotive jobs: what are they exactly and how can they help you in your career?


There is a lot of buzz about the importance of certifications, trainings, and relevant experience. But when it comes to making offers or giving promotions, there is a whole other part that is factored in; that is the person’s soft skills. Let’s dive into this a little deeper.


First off, what are soft skills:

  • Soft skills are characteristic traits that affect how a person performs in their job and how well they interact with others.
    • For example, effective communication, teamwork, work ethic, leadership, patience, self-direction, time management, active listening are all considered soft skills.
  • Hard Skills are learned through training or education. Also, they are more technical in nature and allow a person to use a specific tool, machine or software. 
    • For example, the ability to use a diagnostics scanner, how to perform a transmission swap, oil change or tire rotations, ASE Certifications, State Inspection License are all examples of hard skills.

Why soft skills matter:

  • For Service Advisors, the importance of soft skills might be more obvious. Service Advisors work directly with customers so they should be able to communicate well and have patience when speaking with customers.
  • For Technicians, soft skills matter just as much. 
    • Hard Skills can be taught on the job through training and training is an expected expense of the shop.
      • Examples include training a new employee how to use the shop’s tire alignment machine or how to use the shop’s software system.
    • Soft skills are much harder to “coach”, as they take a life-time to develop, and coaching soft skills is not an expected expense of the shop.
  • Managers are okay with spending money for technicians to get ASE certifications (hard skill) but they are not okay with spending money to fix a candidate poor work ethic (soft skill).

How to improve soft skills:

Understanding the power soft skills play in the hiring and promotion process will give you a leg up in the industry

  • Soft skills can make up for any lack of hard skills and are often more valuable to managers.  
  • If you are looking for a way to separate yourself from other candidates, don’t just look for the next certification, work on your soft skills!
For more tips on navigating the job market and improving your soft skills for automotive jobs, reach out to Ryan.

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