๐Ÿ™ Top Soft Skills Recruiters Desperately Want You To Have

Which soft skills are best for your resume? Check this long list of examples.

Photo by Nicholas Swanson

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in 2018 that the biggest skills gap in the US is not coding, it's soft skills such as โ€œwritten communication, oral communication, team-building, and leadership skills.โ€

LiveCareer went even further. They analyzed โ€œthousands of resumes and job ads across 12 different occupationsโ€ to realize that โ€œJob ads average just over 5 soft skillsโ€ but that โ€œjobseekersโ€™ resumes only matchโ€ฆ 62 percent of soft skills in job ads, which is evidence of the chasm between what employers and applicants see as valuable.โ€

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 โ€“ yes, over 100 years ago โ€“ by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center, found that โ€œ85% of a personโ€™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).โ€

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 โ€œCommunications Skillsโ€ and โ€œInterpersonal Relationships,โ€ 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.

  1. Accepts Feedback
  2. Adaptability
  3. Analytical
  4. Artistic Sense
  5. Assertiveness
  6. Attention To Detail
  7. Attentive
  8. Body Language Reader
  9. Business Etiquette
  10. Coaching Abilities
  11. Collaborating
  12. Competitive
  13. Conflict / Dispute Resolution
  14. Conflict Management
  15. Considerate
  16. Cooperative
  17. Courteous
  18. Creative
  19. Crisis Management
  20. Critical Thinking
  21. Cultural / Diversity Awareness
  22. Deal Making
  23. Deal With Difficult Situations
  24. Dealing With Difficult People
  25. Decisive
  26. Dedicated
  27. Delegation
  28. Dependable
  29. Design Sense
  30. Desire To Learn
  31. Developing Others
  32. Diplomacy
  33. Disability Awareness
  34. Easy-going
  35. Effective Communicator
  36. Emotion Management / Regulation
  37. Emotional Intelligence
  38. Empathy
  39. Energetic / Dynamic
  40. Enthusiasm
  41. Entrepreneurial Thinking
  42. Even keeled / Keeps cool
  43. Facilitation
  44. Flexibility
  45. Focus
  46. Follow Instructions
  47. Follow Rules
  48. Friendly
  49. Functions Well Under Pressure
  50. Gives Good Feedback / Constructive Criticism
  51. Growth Mindset
  52. Highly Driven
  53. Highly Organized
  54. Honesty
  55. Impulse Control
  56. Independent
  57. Influential
  58. Innovation
  59. Inspire Others
  60. Integrity
  61. Interpersonal Relationships
  62. Interviewing Skills
  63. Knowledge Management
  64. Leadership
  65. Listening
  66. Logical Thinking
  67. Make Deadlines
  68. Manage Others
  69. Manages Work-Life Balance Well
  70. Managing Difficult Conversations
  71. Meeting Management
  72. Mentoring
  73. Motivated
  74. Motivating
  75. Multitasking
  76. Negotiation
  77. Networking
  78. Nonverbal Communication
  79. Observant
  80. Office Politics Navigator
  81. Optimism / Positive Attitude
  82. Organizational Thinking
  83. Patience
  84. Perceptiveness
  85. Performance Management
  86. Perseverance
  87. Persistence
  88. Personal Branding
  89. Planning
  90. Polite
  91. Polymath
  92. Possess Business Ethics
  93. Powers Of Persuasion
  94. Presentation
  95. Problem Solving
  96. Process Optimization
  97. Professionalism
  98. Project Management
  99. Proper Business Etiquette
  100. Public Speaking
  101. Punctual
  102. Quick Learner
  103. Quick-wittedness
  104. Reliable
  105. Researcher
  106. Resilience
  107. Resourcefulness
  108. Respectable
  109. Respectful
  110. Results Oriented
  111. Safety Conscious
  112. Self Assessment
  113. Self Awareness
  114. Self Confidence
  115. Self Efficacy
  116. Self Leadership
  117. Self Directed
  118. Self Monitoring
  119. Sense Of Humor
  120. Social
  121. Storytelling
  122. Strategic
  123. Stress Management
  124. Strong Work Ethic
  125. Takes Criticism Well
  126. Teaching Abilities
  127. Team Building
  128. Teamwork
  129. Thinks Outside The Box
  130. Time Management / Scheduling
  131. Tolerance Of Change And Uncertainty
  132. Training Abilities
  133. Trend Awareness
  134. Verbal Communication Skills
  135. Virtual / Remote Team Management
  136. Visual Communication Skills
  137. Well Groomed
  138. Winner
  139. Work Well Under Pressure
  140. 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 ๐Ÿ‘ 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

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READ NEXT: ๐Ÿ’ป Top Computer Skills Your Resume Needs Today

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

View Comments

  • I'm sitting here with gritted teeth, clenched jaw, and fisted hands thinking this post is so wrong on so many levels, I can hardly think where to begin. So I'll just mention this: who cares if a resume matches a list of "soft skills?" Seriously, an employer can list 5, 10, 15, or all 140 of these skills in a job ad, and there will be hundreds (thousands?) of applicants who will simply paste them into their resume and send it in ... irregardless of whether or not they actually have the skills. Employers looking for purple squirrels, applicants gaming the system, both sides shirking their duty and due diligence, each hoping to fake out the other. Seriously? I mean really, seriously?

    • Good comment, Chris. It's ok, you can unclench :)

      Who cares if a resume matches a list of โ€œsoft skills?โ€ Recruiters, if the soft skills on that resume are the ones they're looking for and the candidate in question exhibits them well.

      I didn't say job seekers should aim to fit all 140 listed soft skills in their resumes, although after your comment, I'm curious if other readers take it that way and if I should clarify.

      I also didn't and don't recommend anyone include anything on their resume that isn't true but that isn't something I repeat every single time I give resume advice.

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