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Friday, January 27, 2012

IELTS essay question of 14th Jan 2012, Australia

People nowadays put more emphasis on social skills. Some people believe that social skills are important in addition to good qualifications for job success. To what extent, do you agree or disagree?

I definitely agree that today social skills are considered as important as good qualifications while recruiting new employees. Hiring the right candidate based on technical knowledge without looking at social skills is like designing a race car with a powerful engine but substandard steering and braking systems. The car may go fast, but in the wrong direction and may even hurt a lot of innocent bystanders along the way.

A few years ago, when it came to recruiting strategies, hiring decisions often focused largely on candidates’ technical skills and expertise, with relatively little attention given to soft skills. This resulted in hiring employees who had the intellect to succeed but lacked the social skills required to work effectively. This resulted in interpersonal conflict and frustration and sometimes such employees had to leave the job. What is more, such employees were unable to handle the social demands of leadership and so had to remain at lower level jobs.  

Social skills reflect a person’s ability to work with others in a way that strengthens long-term working relationships. Social skills depend primarily on four fundamental characteristics. The first is self-awareness, which means monitoring how our actions affect the behavior of those around us. The next is sensitivity to others which implies concern toward the needs and feelings of others. Then there is social intelligence through which the person understands how to influence others’ behaviors and finally there is self-control because of which a person is able to control his actions and emotions, particularly when under stress.

There are several methods for assessing job candidates’ social skills. An interview is one good method. Other ways are group discussions or luncheons that require candidates to display social skills. Social skills can also be assessed using standardized questionnaires such as personality tests. Many of these measures are relatively straightforward to use, fairly inexpensive and can be highly valid. 

In summary, it is clear to understand why social skills are given a lot of importance in addition to qualifications. Such skills are the key to success at work.

Plan followed
Intro: Agree
Para 1- the disadvantages of not considering social skills
Para 2 – The type of social skills and their importance
Para 3 – How to assess social skills


  1. the best of the bests espacially introduction is of the mark

  2. Sir I want to comment in order for you to improve also. Personally, I believe that the question is asking to what extend do you agree or disagree. Basically it is asking which is important social skills or good qualification for job success.
    Honestly I admire some words and ideas but somehow you were confused and answered four fundamental characteristics in the 2nd paragraph. You have talked a topic which is out of the context of the question so the task response is affected, you should have presented how social skill results to job success, such as interpersonal relationship results to effective team management and success, or good interpersonal relationship with others provide, as you have mention, influence which is needed at work achievement.
    I notice again in the third paragraph you have talked about several methods for assessing job candidates’ social skills. Don't you think it is better instead to talk about how good qualification affects job success such as credentials are needed in certain jobs or qualifications needed are essential because certain specialized skills acquired through trainings from schools.
    That is it sir, I do think you have good insights they are immensely top notch. For changes, I guess other relevant ideas should have been presented. I am a fan of your site sir, love the contents in my preparation for the exam.

  3. Thanks anonymous. Honestly, I am in the learning phase. I do appreciate such criticisms. I am overwhelmed that you gave such a serious thought to the essay. I definitely agree that adding a para of importance of qualifications would make the essay lots better. Thanks. May I have your e-mail id

  4. Well honestly if you are in the learning phase then what's the reason to start such an effective blog for IELTS , where people first visit to gain some insight and have a reference for beginner



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