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Best 15 essential soft skills for your resume and profile

Best 15 essential soft skills for your resume and profile

  • Should I put soft skills on my resume?
  • Top 15 soft skills employers are looking for
  • 1. Adaptability
  • 2. Communication
  • 3. Teamwork
  • 4. Problem-solving
  • 5. Time management
  • 6. Leadership
  • 7. Work ethic
  • 8. Attention to detail
  • 9. Creativity
  • 10. Critical thinking
  • 11. Conflict resolution
  • 12. Relationship building
  • 13. Stress management
  • 14. Decision-making
  • 15. Interpersonal skills
  • 3 Tips for displaying soft skills on your resume
  • Continuous learning and how to grow your soft skills
  • Key takeaways

In today’s competitive market, both soft and hard skills are essential to a job seeker’s success. Discover the 15 best soft skills for a resume and learn how to integrate them to stand out to potential employers.

For those who want to thrive in their career, being a skilled worker is paramount. But, it isn’t just the hard skills required in your particular role that are important. Soft skills are also a crucial part of the equation. Having soft skills isn’t enough, however. You also need to decide which are the best soft skills for your resume and how to incorporate them into your experience.

In this article, we will cover:

  • Is it worth it to put soft skills on a resume?

  • Top 15 soft skills employers are looking for

  • 3 tips for displaying soft skills on your profile

  • Continuous learning and how to grow your soft skills

Should I put soft skills on my resume?

Skills have always been an important part of designing a resume. However, most of the time, we tend to focus on hard skills directly related to the position we want. Soft skills differ from hard skills because they are personal skills and abilities that affect your quality of work and how you interact with others.

Unlike hard skills, it’s best to include examples of how you use your soft skills to be successful. You can do this in every section of your resume from the professional summary to your work experience section and beyond.

There are many reasons why you should consider going through this process. For starters, your soft skills can show a hiring manager your attributes on a personal level. They will make it easier for the hiring manager to imagine how you can contribute to their team. Soft skills are what make you a productive, efficient employee who makes a positive impact on an organization.

Top 15 soft skills employers are looking for

Keep in mind that the best soft skills for your resume will vary depending on your industry and the specific role you are applying for. 

Here are 15 valuable soft skills at work: 

1. Adaptability

Being adaptable means you can effectively adjust to new conditions and situations. You are a flexible and open-minded person who can handle change and uncertainty. Being adaptable allows you to embrace change, learn new skills quickly, remain calm under pressure, and modify your plans as needed.

2. Communication

With any role, you must be able to convey information, thoughts, and ideas through verbal, nonverbal, and written means. Being a strong communicator also means you can convey information with clarity, know how important active listening is, seek and receive feedback, and remain respectful at all times, even during conflicts.

3. Teamwork

Collaboration is key in the workplace, which is why teamwork is such an important soft skill. You’ll need to show that you can work cooperatively with others, communicate openly, and contribute positively in a group or team setting. Effective teamwork revolves around respect, trust, accountability, and adaptability, which are all key aspects a hiring manager will be searching for.

4. Problem-solving

To be a valuable employee, you need to identify, analyze, and resolve complex challenges as they come up. As an effective problem-solver, you utilize critical thinking, creativity, and resourcefulness so you can find solutions to a variety of situations.

5. Time management

To meet deadlines, achieve your goals, and fulfill your responsibilities, you must allocate your time and prioritize tasks. Hiring managers love to see a candidate who has great time management skills; it shows they maximize productivity, making the most of their time.

6. Leadership

Leaders inspire, influence, and guide those around them in a way that helps achieve their goals and objectives. As an effective leader, you must show your ability to set goals, communicate, make decisions, and motivate and inspire other team members.

7. Work ethic

Having a good work ethic as a soft skill means that you are reliable and display a certain level of professionalism. You should show that you are committed to excellence and take initiative when new projects or problems show up in the workplace. Diligence and persistence are also key traits that someone with a strong work ethic should have.

8. Attention to detail

In any environment, being accurate, producing thorough work, and remaining consistent is key. You should also be able to identify errors and ensure any work you complete comes with a high level of quality. Attention to detail is the soft skill needed to meet this standard.

9. Creativity

Creativity is an important soft skill, even in non-creative positions. Having this skill allows you to generate new ideas and find solutions that others might not have thought about. You’re willing to step out of your comfort zone and take risks to experiment with new ideas, even if failure is possible.

10. Critical thinking

As a critical thinker, you can analyze, evaluate, and interpret information objectively and logically. You are the type of person who questions assumptions and considers multiple perspectives before making a decision. You also base your decisions on evidence and sound reasoning.

11. Conflict resolution

Managing and resolving conflicts and disagreements is crucial in just about any role in any company. You need to understand the root cause and find a way past them. This involves communicating, negotiating, and figuring out ways to prevent future conflicts.

12. Relationship building

A crucial component in the business world,  you need to form relationships with other co-workers, vendors, and customers. Having a background in relationship building informs a hiring manager that you have the skills needed to drive the business forward.

13. Stress management

Stress is a big part of every job, but there are ways to cope with it. If you work in a high-stress industry, showing you have stress management skills on your resume can make you stand out. Hiring managers will know you can endure the pressure of the job and still perform effectively.

14. Decision-making

Being able to effectively and efficiently make decisions involves assessing risks and the consequences while selecting an appropriate course of action. Ultimately, you know your goals and the right steps to reach them.

15. Interpersonal skills

You won’t find many jobs where you don’t have to spend time around other people. That’s why interpersonal skills are so important. You should be able to interact with others, effectively communicate, and positively collaborate with team members.

3 Tips for displaying soft skills on your resume

Unlike hard skills, soft skills shouldn’t be included directly on your resume. Instead, give specific examples of how you’ve used your soft skills to make a difference in your place of work. 

Here are three tips to do that:

  • Describe yourself in your profile. Your profile or career summary is one of the first areas where you can show your soft skills. Here, describe yourself and the type of work you do. Focus on only the most important soft skills directly related to the position you are applying to.

  • Incorporate skills in your employment history. In this section, go into a little more detail about your soft skills. It’s best to present concrete examples of how you used them in each role. Give specific examples and quantify them whenever possible.

  • List them in the skills section. You can add soft skills to your skills section. You should do so sparingly because this section is designed to include your hard skills. However, adding one or two soft skills may be key, depending on your industry.

Continuous learning and how to grow your soft skills

The soft skills you develop throughout your career can benefit you in numerous ways. They help you to become more adaptable and can even help you advance your career. This is just one reason why you should continue to develop them as you move forward on your career path.

One way to successfully do this is by committing to continuous learning. Also known as lifelong learning, the  term means you are constantly on a mission to gain new knowledge and skills. Focusing part of that learning on soft skills can make you a more rounded individual and an invaluable employee.

If you’re ready to put your soft skills to work on your resume, visit Career.io’s resume examples and writing guides for help crafting a winning resume.

Key takeaways

  1. Today’s job market is competitive, and soft skills can enhance your resume and profile in a way that makes you stand out to potential employers.

  2. Employers are looking for a diverse collection of soft skills, such as leadership, communication, and attention to detail.

  3. When including soft skills on your resume, do so strategically by giving specific examples of how you’ve used your soft skills in past roles.

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