Which soft skills are best for your resume? Check this long list of examples.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in 2018 that the biggest skills gap in the US is not coding, it's soft skills such as “written communication, oral communication, team-building, and leadership skills.”
LiveCareer went even further. They analyzed “thousands of resumes and job ads across 12 different occupations” to realize that “Job ads average just over 5 soft skills” but that “jobseekers’ resumes only match… 62 percent of soft skills in job ads, which is evidence of the chasm between what employers and applicants see as valuable.”
In other words, there's a good chance you're not including enough soft skills on your resume, or even the right soft skills on your resume.
Which are the right soft skills for resumes?
Simple: at the very least, the ones mentioned in the job listing you're applying for.
However, those required soft skills are often just the bare minimum and since they're posted publicly, every candidate competing with you can also include them in their resumes.
To stand out, you'll need to do company research to learn which other soft skills their recruiters care about, and this list will give you ideas of what to look for.
Why are soft skills important?
A 1918 study – yes, over 100 years ago – by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center, found that “85% of a person’s job success is a product of interpersonal (soft) skills and that only 15% of his success is the result of technical knowledge (hard skills).”
Does that still hold up today? It certainly feels right, give or take.
What is true is that many recruiters prefer candidates having all the desired soft skills while missing some of the required hard skills rather than vice-versa. Hard skills training is a lot easier than soft skills training.
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All the Soft Skills You Need in One List
I was tempted to organize these into categories such as “Communications Skills” and “Interpersonal Relationships,” but so many soft skills overlap or are related, so this one list is just simpler and easier to refer to.
As with my list of positive personality adjectives, reading this list of soft skills examples quickly should have an uplifting effect, regardless of whether they all apply to you.
- Accepts Feedback
- Artistic Sense
- Attention To Detail
- Body Language Reader
- Business Etiquette
- Coaching Abilities
- Conflict / Dispute Resolution
- Conflict Management
- Crisis Management
- Critical Thinking
- Cultural / Diversity Awareness
- Deal Making
- Deal With Difficult Situations
- Dealing With Difficult People
- Design Sense
- Desire To Learn
- Developing Others
- Disability Awareness
- Effective Communicator
- Emotion Management / Regulation
- Emotional Intelligence
- Energetic / Dynamic
- Entrepreneurial Thinking
- Even keeled / Keeps cool
- Follow Instructions
- Follow Rules
- Functions Well Under Pressure
- Gives Good Feedback / Constructive Criticism
- Growth Mindset
- Highly Driven
- Highly Organized
- Impulse Control
- Inspire Others
- Interpersonal Relationships
- Interviewing Skills
- Knowledge Management
- Logical Thinking
- Make Deadlines
- Manage Others
- Manages Work-Life Balance Well
- Managing Difficult Conversations
- Meeting Management
- Nonverbal Communication
- Office Politics Navigator
- Optimism / Positive Attitude
- Organizational Thinking
- Performance Management
- Personal Branding
- Possess Business Ethics
- Powers Of Persuasion
- Problem Solving
- Process Optimization
- Project Management
- Proper Business Etiquette
- Public Speaking
- Quick Learner
- Results Oriented
- Safety Conscious
- Self Assessment
- Self Awareness
- Self Confidence
- Self Efficacy
- Self Leadership
- Self Directed
- Self Monitoring
- Sense Of Humor
- Stress Management
- Strong Work Ethic
- Takes Criticism Well
- Teaching Abilities
- Team Building
- Thinks Outside The Box
- Time Management / Scheduling
- Tolerance Of Change And Uncertainty
- Training Abilities
- Trend Awareness
- Verbal Communication Skills
- Virtual / Remote Team Management
- Visual Communication Skills
- Well Groomed
- Work Well Under Pressure
- Written Communication Skills
Is it necessary to explicitly list soft skills on a resume?
I polled over 200 recruiters on Twitter about that exact question, and included the results and my recommended best practice in 👏 How To Properly Include Soft Skills On Your Resume.
Question of the article
Did you consciously think about soft skills when you last updated your resume? Tell us in the comments.
What others are saying
- The Most In-Demand Hard and Soft Skills of 2019
- Top 10 Soft Skills for 2019 in the Workplace
- How can I improve my soft skills?
- Realize the Value of Soft Skills in Healthcare
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Expert resume writer Lisa Rangel explains 5 ways how to list soft skills on your resume: