Published on May 18, 2023
Soft skills are becoming increasingly important in today’s job market. They refer to the personal attributes that enable you to interact effectively with others, such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management. Employers are looking for candidates who possess these skills in addition to their technical expertise. In this article, we will guide beginners on how to showcase their soft skills on their resume.
What are soft skills?
Soft skills refer to a set of personal attributes, behaviors, and social attitudes that enable individuals to interact effectively with others in a workplace or social environment. These skills are essential for building healthy relationships, communicating effectively, solving problems, and collaborating with others. Soft skills are intangible and subjective qualities that cannot be measured or quantified like hard skills. They include
- critical thinking
- time management
- emotional intelligence
(More examples below)
Developing soft skills is crucial in today’s job market, where employers value employees who can demonstrate a range of interpersonal skills that can help organizations thrive in a fast-paced, competitive environment. Moreover, soft skills are not just limited to the workplace. They also play a significant role in our personal lives, helping us build meaningful relationships, manage conflicts, and navigate social situations effectively.
Soft skills are often developed through life experiences, practice, and self-reflection, and can be honed through various methods such as attending workshops, reading books, or seeking feedback from others. In summary, soft skills are a vital component of personal and professional success and are essential for individuals looking to achieve their goals and make a positive impact in the world.
How to share soft skills
1. Identify the soft skills required for the job
The first step is to research the job requirements and identify the soft skills that are essential for the role. This information can be found in the job description or by speaking to people in the industry. Once you have a list of required soft skills, you can focus on highlighting them in your resume.
2. Incorporate soft skills into your resume objective or summary
Your resume objective or summary is the first thing that recruiters will read. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your soft skills. You can incorporate them by using phrases such as “I am a highly motivated individual with excellent communication and teamwork skills.”
3. Provide examples of your soft skills in the experience section
In the experience section of your resume, provide specific examples of how you have used your soft skills in previous roles. For example, if you are applying for a customer service role, you could highlight how you have resolved customer complaints by utilizing your problem-solving skills. Use action verbs such as “managed,” “coordinated,” “facilitated,” or “led” to describe your soft skills in action.
4. Highlight soft skills in the skills section
The skills section of your resume is an excellent opportunity to showcase your soft skills. List them under a separate heading and use bullet points to describe each one. For example, under the heading “Teamwork,” you could list bullet points such as “collaborated with team members to achieve project goals” or “supported team members in achieving their individual goals.”
5. Provide additional evidence of your soft skills
Finally, provide additional evidence of your soft skills in your resume by including any relevant certifications or awards. For example, if you have completed a leadership course or received an award for outstanding teamwork, be sure to include it in your resume.
Examples of Soft Skills
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful professional relationship. Being able to articulate your thoughts and ideas clearly and concisely in written or verbal form is crucial for maintaining productive working relationships. This soft skill also encompasses active listening, understanding and interpreting non-verbal cues, and adapting communication style to suit different audiences.
Teamwork is about working collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal. It involves sharing ideas and resources, taking on different roles and responsibilities, and being willing to support and assist team members as needed. A strong team player also understands the importance of building trust and rapport with colleagues, communicating effectively, and being receptive to feedback.
The ability to identify, analyze and solve problems is an essential soft skill in any workplace. A skilled problem-solver has a logical and systematic approach to identifying the root cause of issues, as well as the creativity to generate and implement effective solutions. This skill requires a combination of critical thinking, research, data analysis, and innovation.
4. Time management
Effective time management is vital for meeting deadlines and achieving business goals. It requires a proactive approach to planning, prioritization and organization. This soft skill also involves the ability to stay focused and avoid distractions, delegate tasks when appropriate, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others to achieve a common objective. A skilled leader can provide direction and guidance, manage resources and people effectively, and make difficult decisions when necessary. This soft skill also encompasses effective communication, problem-solving, strategic thinking, and the ability to foster a positive and inclusive team culture.
Adaptability is the ability to adjust to change and new situations with ease. A highly adaptable person can work effectively in diverse environments, be flexible with changing priorities, and learn new skills and systems quickly. This soft skill also involves being open-minded, creative and innovative, and able to think on one’s feet.
Creativity involves the ability to generate new ideas, think outside the box, and approach problems from different angles. This soft skill requires imagination, curiosity, and the ability to see connections between seemingly disparate ideas. Creativity is essential for innovation, process improvement, and finding new solutions to complex problems.
Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to others’ emotions and experiences. This soft skill involves active listening, showing compassion, and being able to put oneself in others’ shoes. Empathy is crucial for building strong relationships, resolving conflicts, and creating a positive and inclusive workplace culture.
9. Conflict resolution
Conflict resolution is the ability to manage and resolve conflicts effectively. A skilled conflict resolver can identify the underlying causes of conflict, communicate clearly and empathetically, and negotiate win-win solutions. This soft skill also involves active listening, problem-solving, and the ability to remain calm and objective under pressure.
10. Active listening
Active listening is the ability to focus on and understand the speaker’s message fully. This soft skill involves paying attention to non-verbal cues, asking clarifying questions, and providing feedback to the speaker. Active listening is essential for effective communication, building trust and rapport, and resolving conflicts.
11. Critical thinking
Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information objectively and make informed decisions. This soft skill involves evaluating evidence, identifying assumptions, and recognizing biases. A skilled critical thinker can synthesize complex information, consider multiple perspectives, and make logical and evidence-based conclusions.
12. Cultural competence
Cultural competence is the ability to interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. This soft skill involves understanding and respecting cultural differences, being aware of one’s own biases, and adapting communication and behavior to suit different cultural contexts. A culturally competent person can build strong relationships with people from all walks of life.
13. Customer service
Customer service is the ability to provide exceptional service to customers and clients. This soft skill involves actively listening to customers’ needs, providing accurate and timely information, and resolving issues in a timely and professional manner. A skilled customer service provider can build strong customer relationships, foster loyalty, and enhance the company’s reputation.
Decision-making is the ability to make effective decisions based on available information. This soft skill involves weighing different options, considering potential outcomes, and evaluating risks and benefits. A skilled decision-maker can make timely and effective decisions, communicate their reasoning clearly, and be accountable for their choices.
15. Emotional intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage one’s own emotions and the emotions of others. This soft skill involves being aware of one’s own emotional state, being empathetic towards others, and responding appropriately to emotional cues. A person with high emotional intelligence can build strong relationships, resolve conflicts effectively, and lead with empathy.
Flexibility is the ability to adapt to changing circumstances and handle multiple tasks simultaneously. This soft skill involves being open-minded, responsive to feedback, and able to adjust to new situations with ease. A flexible person can work effectively in fast-paced environments, handle unexpected challenges, and maintain a positive attitude.
Goal-setting is the ability to set achievable goals and work towards achieving them. This soft skill involves being proactive, organized, and focused on results. A person who sets effective goals can prioritize tasks, track progress, and maintain motivation in the face of challenges.
18. Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills are the ability to build and maintain positive relationships with others. This soft skill involves effective communication, active listening, empathy, and conflict resolution. A person with strong interpersonal skills can build rapport, establish trust, and collaborate effectively with others.
Negotiation is the ability to negotiate and resolve conflicts effectively. This soft skill involves identifying common ground, being persuasive, and finding win-win solutions. A skilled negotiator can build relationships, resolve conflicts, and achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Patience is the ability to remain calm and composed in challenging situations. This soft skill involves self-control, emotional regulation, and the ability to take a long-term view. A patient person can stay focused on goals, maintain relationships, and handle difficult situations with grace and resilience.
Persuasion is the ability to convince others of one’s ideas and opinions. This soft skill involves effective communication, building trust, and being able to present a compelling argument. A skilled persuader can influence decisions, build consensus, and negotiate win-win outcomes.
22. Positive attitude
A positive attitude is the ability to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook. This soft skill involves being resilient, adaptable, and solution-oriented. A person with a positive attitude can motivate others, foster collaboration, and build strong relationships even in difficult circumstances.
23. Presentation skills
Presentation skills are the ability to present ideas and information clearly and persuasively. This soft skill involves effective communication, organization, and the ability to engage an audience. A skilled presenter can influence decisions, build credibility, and create a lasting impression.
24. Problem analysis
Problem analysis is the ability to identify and analyze problems to find effective solutions. This soft skill involves critical thinking, data analysis, and the ability to think creatively. A skilled problem analyst can identify root causes, develop effective strategies, and implement sustainable solutions.
Self-motivation is the ability to motivate oneself to achieve goals and overcome obstacles. This soft skill involves being proactive, focused, and disciplined. A person with high self-motivation can stay on track, take initiative, and achieve success in the face of challenges.
26. Stress management
Stress management is the ability to manage stress effectively and remain calm under pressure. This soft skill involves self-awareness, emotional regulation, and coping strategies. A person with strong stress management skills can maintain productivity, build resilience, and manage relationships effectively even in high-pressure situations.
27. Time management
Effective time management is vital for meeting deadlines and achieving business goals. This soft skill requires a proactive approach to planning, prioritization, and organization. A skilled time manager can maintain focus, avoid distractions, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Trustworthiness is the ability to maintain the trust and confidence of others. This soft skill involves being honest, reliable, and accountable. A person with high trustworthiness can build strong relationships, foster teamwork, and promote a culture of trust and respect.
29. Verbal communication
Verbal communication is the ability to articulate ideas and information clearly and effectively. This soft skill involves effective listening, tone, and the ability to adapt communication style to different audiences. A person with strong verbal communication skills can build rapport, resolve conflicts, and motivate others effectively.
Writing is the ability to write clearly and effectively to convey ideas and information. This soft skill involves grammar, syntax, and effective communication. A skilled writer can communicate complex ideas clearly, persuade readers, and create compelling content that engages and inspires.
31. Attention to detail
Attention to detail is the ability to notice small details and ensure accuracy and quality in work. This soft skill involves being meticulous, thorough, and focused on delivering high-quality results. A person with strong attention to detail can minimize errors, enhance productivity, and maintain customer satisfaction.
32. Coaching and mentoring
Coaching and mentoring is the ability to guide, teach and mentor others to achieve their goals. This soft skill involves providing feedback, modeling behavior, and supporting others in their professional development. A skilled coach and mentor can build relationships, inspire growth, and promote a positive team culture.
33. Conflict management
Conflict management is the ability to manage conflicts effectively and reach win-win solutions. This soft skill involves effective communication, active listening, and negotiation. A person with strong conflict management skills can resolve disputes, build consensus, and promote collaboration in a team environment.
34. Cultural awareness
Cultural awareness is the ability to understand and respect cultural differences in the workplace. This soft skill involves recognizing and appreciating diverse perspectives, beliefs, and values. A culturally aware person can work effectively in a global environment, build relationships across cultures, and promote inclusion and diversity.
Decision-making is the ability to make informed and timely decisions. This soft skill involves analyzing data, evaluating options, and considering the impact of decisions on stakeholders. A skilled decision-maker can make sound decisions, take calculated risks, and achieve business objectives effectively.
Dependability is the ability to be reliable and trustworthy in completing tasks and meeting deadlines. This soft skill involves being accountable, punctual, and responsive. A dependable person can maintain high standards, meet expectations, and build trust and respect among colleagues.
37. Diversity and inclusion
Diversity and inclusion is the ability to work effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and foster an inclusive workplace culture. This soft skill involves being open-minded, respectful, and supportive of differences. A person with strong diversity and inclusion skills can build a sense of belonging, promote creativity, and enhance business outcomes.
Enthusiasm is the ability to approach work with passion and energy. This soft skill involves being optimistic, engaged, and committed to achieving results. A person with strong enthusiasm can inspire others, promote positive attitudes, and drive success in a team environment.
39. Financial management
Financial management is the ability to manage financial resources effectively. This soft skill involves understanding financial principles, analyzing data, and making sound decisions. A person with strong financial management skills can optimize resources, minimize risk, and achieve business objectives.
Humility is the ability to admit mistakes and learn from feedback. This soft skill involves being open-minded, reflective, and willing to grow. A person with strong humility can build credibility, promote a culture of learning, and maintain positive relationships with colleagues.
Initiative is the ability to take proactive steps to solve problems and improve processes. This soft skill involves being self-motivated, creative, and willing to take calculated risks. A person with strong initiative can drive innovation, enhance productivity, and achieve business goals.
Innovation is the ability to create new ideas, products, or processes. This soft skill involves being creative, adaptable, and willing to take risks. A person with strong innovation skills can drive growth, solve complex problems, and enhance customer satisfaction.
43. Intercultural communication
Intercultural communication is the ability to communicate effectively across different cultures and languages. This soft skill involves being aware of cultural differences, using appropriate language and tone, and adapting to cultural norms. A person with strong intercultural communication skills can build strong relationships, promote understanding, and enhance global business outcomes.
44. Interpersonal communication
Interpersonal communication is the ability to communicate effectively and build strong relationships with others. This soft skill involves active listening, empathy, and effective use of non-verbal cues. A person with strong interpersonal communication skills can build trust, resolve conflicts, and promote collaboration in a team environment.
45. Learning agility
Learning agility is the ability to adapt to new situations and learn quickly. This soft skill involves being open-minded, curious, and willing to experiment. A person with strong learning agility can acquire new skills and knowledge, adapt to changing circumstances, and enhance personal and professional growth.
46. Organizational skills
Organizational skills are the ability to manage multiple tasks and priorities effectively. This soft skill involves being organized, efficient, and able to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. A person with strong organizational skills can meet deadlines, maximize productivity, and achieve business goals.
47. Presentation skills
Presentation skills are the ability to deliver compelling and engaging presentations. This soft skill involves being articulate, persuasive, and confident in delivering presentations to different audiences. A person with strong presentation skills can influence decisions, build credibility, and enhance business outcomes.
Resilience is the ability to cope with stress and bounce back from setbacks. This soft skill involves being adaptable, positive, and able to maintain perspective in difficult situations. A person with strong resilience can maintain productivity, overcome obstacles, and maintain positive relationships with colleagues.
49. Strategic thinking
Strategic thinking is the ability to think ahead and plan for the future. This soft skill involves being able to identify trends, anticipate challenges, and develop effective strategies to achieve business objectives. A person with strong strategic thinking skills can maximize opportunities, minimize risk, and enhance business outcomes.
50. Work ethic
Work ethic is the ability to work hard, be persistent, and demonstrate a strong commitment to work. This soft skill involves being reliable, responsible, and willing to go the extra mile to achieve results. A person with strong work ethic can maintain high standards, build trust with colleagues, and achieve success in their career.
In conclusion, showcasing your soft skills on your resume is essential in today’s job market. By identifying the soft skills required for the job, incorporating them into your resume objective or summary, providing examples in the experience section, highlighting them in the skills section, and providing additional evidence, you can set yourself apart from other candidates and increase your chances of landing the job.
Reposted with permission from Handshake student blog