Soft Skills Proposal

This business services proposal, prepared by Profwrite Inc. has been created exclusively for use by the Professional Writing Program.

Executive Summary

As requested by Professional Writing Program, the following proposal has been devised in order to promote the need for UL students to develop the “soft skills” that prepare them to be successful in a workplace.  

Situation Analysis

Students don’t fully understand the value employers place on “soft skills.” The situation that leads to this lack of understanding appears to be as follows:

  1. The broad definition of “soft skills” has made it difficult to come to a consensus on the nature of these skills.
    • The term originated in a 1972 U.S. Army training manual which defined “soft skills” as “skills, abilities, and traits that pertain to personality, attitude, and behavior rather than to formal or technical knowledge.”
    • “Soft Skills are defined by a number of names, including communication skills, leadership skills, employability skills, interpersonal skills and people skills,
  2. The misconception that “soft skills” are not teachable leads to an emphasis in universities on “hard skills” which are easier to define and measure.
  3. Even when courses help students build “soft skills,” the emphasize on “hard skills” in learning outcomes and in assessment tools mutes the value of “soft skills” in the classroom. The result is that students are uncertain about the “soft skills” they have developed in a course.
  4. Employers desire candidates with a range of “soft skills,” but don’t always emphasize them in their job advertisements. Employers don’t explicitly ask for these skills, but they expect recruits and employees to demonstrate them, which can result in confusion over workplace expectations. Recruits who meet all stated qualifications might not get a job because they don’t display “soft skills” in their interview. Employees who don’t have a range of soft skills find it difficult to rise within a company.

Goals

In conjunction with the Professional Writing Program the following goals have been set:

  1. Produce research reports that
    • Clearly defines particular soft skills
    • Demonstrates how the skills are used in the workplace
    • Provides examples of how the skills help workers succeed
  2. Produce blog posts from primary findings in research reports.
  3. Produce a Soft Skill White Paper organizes and presents soft skills in a concise document.
  4. Write Twitter posts and create flyers that introduce students to particular soft skills.

Objectives

1.Research a range of soft skills.
Conduct thorough research on soft skills in order to identify their features, their relevance in the workplace, and strategies for developing them.

2. Share research on soft skills with the public.
Write research reports that define soft skills, connect them to workplace processes, and provide examples of how they help workers succeed.

3. Share research on soft skills with students in a variety of digital and print formats.
Write blog posts and White Paper that define soft skills, connect them to workplace success, and guide students on how to develop them.

4. Promote individual soft skills through social and print media.
Write promotional content that uses rhetorical modes to appeal to the catalogs target audience.

Audience

UL students will be the primary audience for the blog posts, white paper, and promotional materials. The research reports will target a wider public audience, including employers and working professionals in a range of industries.

Deliverables

  1. Research Reports for each of the selected soft skills.  
  2. Blog posts for each of the selected soft skills.  
  3. One Soft Skill White Paperwith entries for each of the selected soft skills.
  4. Social and print media promotional materials for all of the softs skills.

Timeline

Planning

Employees will form three teams:

  1. Blog
  2. White Paper
  3. Promotional

Teams will develop model documents and decide on style features; and develop processes and procedures for publishing digital media.

Phase 1: Research & Report Writing

Each employee defines research questions; identifies and searches databases; collects sources of information; and writes research reports according to Profwrite Inc. content and style guidelines.

Phase 2: Defining Processes & Procedures

Groups create model documents and style guides for blog posts, a white paper, and promotional material; and define processes for creating and publishing documents.

Phase 3: Re-purposing Research

Each employee uses the model documents, style guides, and Profwrite Inc. writing standards to create blog posts, white paper sections, and promotional material aimed at a student audience.

Phase 4: Feedback & Editing

Review documents for adherence to set standards. If necessary, responsible employees will provide feedback that guides editing and rewrites.

Phase 5: Publication

Once documents are approved they will be published in appropriate applications.