What are soft skills, and why do you need them?
Soft skills are the personal attributes you need to succeed in the workplace. Regardless of the job you're applying for, you need at least some soft skills. The other type of skill set employers seek are hard skills directly relevant to the job they are hiring for. There is a difference between each type of skill, and how they prepare you for employment.
Hard skills often get more attention in job search advice, because they’re easier to acquire. That might sound strange, given that hard skills can include things like data analysis, project management, and very specific and highly technical coding and programming skills. How can something be “easy,” if it takes years to learn?
No skills are really easy to pick up, even if you’re talented and dedicated to learning. But, the fact is, if you have the aptitude, you can acquire almost any technical skill, given enough time and practice. Soft skills, on the other hand, take more awareness. For instance, you can take a class in effective communication, but unless you’re attuned to your coworkers and interested in listening as well as talking, you won’t become adept.
The Skills Employers Want
Recruiters and hiring managers want both hard and soft skills in their new hires. To find out which ones will help your resume stand out, review the job description for keywordsyou can incorporate into your resume and cover letter.
Matching your resume and cover letter to the job description, as closely you can, will help you get chosen for a job interview.
Of course, it helps to know what you’re looking for, so here's a list of soft skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications, and interviews. Because required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, and you can’t always count on job descriptions to give you the full picture, it’s also in your best interests to review our list of skills listed by type of skill.
Soft Skills List
A - DAble to Listen Accept Feedback Adaptable Artistic Sense Assertive Attentive Business Storytelling Business Trend Awareness Collaborating Communication Competitive Confident Conflict Management Conflict Resolution Cooperative Courteous Crisis Management Critical Observer Critical Thinker Customer Service Deal Making Deal with Difficult Situations Deal with Office Politics Deals with Difficult People Decision Making Dedicated Delegation Dependable Design Sense Desire to Learn Disability Awareness Dispute Resolution Diversity Awareness
E - GEffective Communicator Emotion Management Emotional Intelligence Empathetic Energetic Enthusiastic Ergonomic Sensitivity Establish Interpersonal Relationships Experience Dealing with Difficult Personalities Experience Facilitating Flexible Follow Instructions Follow Regulations Follow Rules Friendly Functions Well Under Pressure Giving Feedback Good at Networking Good at Storytelling Good Attitude
H - OHigh Energy Highly Organized Highly Recommended Honest Independent Influence/Persuasive Innovator Inspiring Intercultural Competence Interpersonal Interviewing Knowledge Management Leadership Listening Logical Thinking Make Deadlines Management Managing Difficult Conversations Managing Remote Teams Managing Virtual Teams Meeting Management Mentoring Motivated Motivating Multitasking Negotiation Nonverbal Communication Organization
P - RPatience Perform Effectively in a Deadline Environment Performance Management Perseverance Persistence Persuasion Physical Communication Planning Positive Work Ethic Possess Business Ethics Presentation Problem Solving Process Improvement Proper Business Etiquette Public Speaking Punctual Quick-witted Read Body Language Reliable Research Resilient Resolving Issues Respectful Respectable Results Oriented
S - USafety Conscious Scheduling Self-awareness Self-directed Self-monitoring Self-supervising Selling Skills Sense of Humor Social Stay on Task Strategic Planning Stress Management Successful Coach Supervising Take Criticism Talent Management Team Building Team Player Technology Savvy Technology Trend Awareness Thinks Outside the Box Time Management Tolerant of Change and Uncertainty Train the Trainer Trainable Training Troubleshooter
V - ZValue Education Verbal Communication Visual Communication Well Groomed Willing to Accept Feedback Willingness to Learn Work Well Under Pressure Work-Life Balance Writing Experience Writing Reports and Proposals Writing Skills
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