Top Soft Skills Employers Love [90+ Examples for Your Resume]

9 September
9 min read

Soft skills are core skills sought after in every profession.

Whether you’re a server in a restaurant or a big-shot CEO, your soft skills will be as decisive for your success as your technical know-how. 

Motivation and time management, leadership, and open-mindedness - all of those are widely sought-after soft skills.

And these are just a few out of many! 

But you might be wondering which soft skills are relevant for YOUR career? And which ones should you focus on developing?

This is where this article comes in!

Read on to learn:

  • What Are Soft Skills?
  • Soft Skills Vs Hard Skills
  • Top 10 Soft Skills Employers Love (For Any Profession)
  • 90+ Soft Skills Examples for 10 Careers
  • How to List Soft Skills On Your Resume

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills consist of a combination of people, social, and communication skills, character traits, attitudes, and mindsets, as well as social and emotional characteristics, among others, which are sought for in all professions. 

Some examples of soft skills include:

  • Communication 
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving

If you’re applying for a job, soft skills are key in setting apart ideal candidates from adequate ones - especially when recruiters are deciding among applicants with similar work and education experience.  

Studies also attest to it - 97% of employers say that soft skills are either as important or more important than hard skills and that more than half of new employees that fail within 18 months do so because they lack soft skills. 

Soft Skills Vs Hard Skills 

There are two types of skills: hard skills and soft skills

Hard skills, also referred to as measurable abilities, include anything from mastering Photoshop to emergency care knowledge. You obtain hard skills through your education, training, certifications, and professional experience. 

Soft skills, also called people skills, are the mix of social and interpersonal skills, character traits, and professional attitudes that all jobs require. Teamwork, patience, time management, communication, are just a few examples. Soft skills can be personality traits or they can be traits obtained through life experiences. 

Usually, you’d include both hard and soft skills in your resume as follows:

skills on resume

But for the most part, skills are something a recruiter learns about you through an interview.

A good resume includes both soft and hard skills. Check our article on How to List Skills in Your Resume to learn how to do it right. 

Top 10 Soft Skills Employers Love (For Any Profession)

Soft skills can tell a lot about how a candidate will interact in the workplace, how they might react under pressure, or what their professional potential is.

As such, a lot of employers prioritize hiring employees with the right soft skills over hard skills.

But which soft skills are really important, and which ones are less so?

In 2021, the most in-demand soft skills are as follows:

  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Work ethic
  • Attention to detail

#1. Time Management

Time management involves the ability to use your time wisely to work as efficiently as possible. Some sub-skills related to time management are: 

  • Stress management
  • Organization
  • Prioritizing
  • Planning
  • Goal setting 

#2. Communication

Communication is the ability to convey or share ideas and feelings effectively and it’s among the top soft skills employers require across all fields. 

The most common communication skills are: 

  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Presentation
  • Constructive feedback
  • Active listening 

#3. Adaptability

Your adaptability shows how well you can embrace change and adjust to it. 

Companies and work environments constantly change: new team members come in, old ones leave, companies get bought or sold, and so on.

So, you need to be able to adapt to different situations at your workplace.

Here are some skills related to adaptability: 

  • Self-management
  • Optimism
  • Calmness
  • Analysis
  • Self-motivation 

#4. Problem-solving

Being able to analytically and creatively solve problems will come in handy no matter your job. 

After all, there’s no job in the world where you won’t have any problems to deal with. That is why creative problem-solvers are always in high demand. 

These are the skills associated with problem-solving: 

  • Analysis
  • Logical reasoning
  • Observation 
  • Brainstorming 
  • Decision making 

#5. Teamwork

Teamwork will never cease to be a must-have soft skill. It helps you work effectively in a group and accomplish tasks. Examples of skills related to teamwork are: 

  • Conflict management and resolution 
  • Collaboration
  • Coordination
  • Idea exchange
  • Mediation 

#6. Creativity 

We’re used to linking creativity with fields like art, or design, but creativity is a broad term that involves several sub-skills from questioning to experimenting. As such, any professional can make just as much use of creative skills as artists. 

Here are some examples of creative skills: 

  • Imagination
  • Mind-mapping
  • Innovation
  • Experimentation 
  • Questioning 

#7. Leadership 

Leadership refers to the ability to mentor, train, or guide. No matter the industry, employers prefer to hire applicants who show they have leadership potential for 2 reasons:

  1. Employees with leadership skills show more initiative and are more likely to invest themselves in helping the company grow.
  2. The company can eventually promote employees with strong leadership roles to better management positions.

Skills related to leadership include: 

  • Management skills
  • Authenticity 
  • Mentorship 
  • Generosity 
  • Cultural intelligence 

#8. Interpersonal Skills 

Interpersonal skills are all about how well you interact with others, tend after relationships, and make a positive impression on those around you. 

  • Empathy
  • Humor
  • Networking
  • Tolerance
  • Diplomacy 

#9. Work Ethic 

Work ethic relates to valuing work and putting in the effort to yield results. It’s a soft skill that employers in literally every job you’ll ever apply for will appreciate. Some soft skills related to work ethic are: 

  • Responsibility
  • Discipline
  • Dependability
  • Commitment
  • Professionalism

#10. Attention to Detail 

Here’s another skill no employer will reject - the ability to be thorough and accurate in your work. Paying attention even to minor details is what sets apart dedicated employees from those who just want to get the job done and go home. 

Some other soft skills related to attention to detail are: 

  • Scheduling
  • Introspection
  • Acuity
  • Questioning
  • Critical observation

90+ Soft Skills Examples for 10 Careers

Now sure which soft skills are good to mention for your profession?

Below, we compiled a list of 90+ best soft skills for 10 different career paths. Just find the one that’s relevant for you and plug the skills into your resume!

#1. Customer Service 

Customer service is all about soft skills, especially since it involves dealing with people. Be it in person, over the phone, or on the internet, your ‘people skills’ need to be on point if you are to work with demanding customers.  

Here are some of the most popular soft skills in customer service:

Customer Service Soft Skills

  • Communication
  • Listening skills
  • Self-control 
  • Positive attitude
  • Assertiveness
  • Conflict resolution
  • Empathy
  • Depersonalization
  • Taking responsibility 
  • Positivity

#2. Healthcare 

A career in healthcare takes years of studying, a lot of training, and a variety of hard skills. At the same time, healthcare workers also need to be able to work well under pressure or pay close attention to detail. 

Studies pointing to the importance of empathy in providing quality care, for example, are among many highlighting how soft skills are essential in developing a patient-centered approach. 

Here are some other examples of soft skills in healthcare:  

Healthcare Soft Skills

  • Work ethic
  • Stress management 
  • Teamwork
  • Positive attitude 
  • Flexibility 
  • Time management 
  • Confidence
  • Receptive attitude 
  • Empathy
  • Attention to detail 

#3. Digital Marketing

Marketing surely is one of the most popular career choices, but the fast development of new technologies and the transition to online work have brought digital marketing under the spotlight too. 

But just because the industry utilizes digital technologies to market products and services doesn’t mean a career in digital marketing doesn’t require its own set of soft skills. 

Here are 10 essential soft skills for a career in digital marketing:

Digital Marketing Soft Skills

  • Curiosity
  • Tenacity
  • Willingness to learn
  • Adaptability
  • Multitasking
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Work ethic
  • Honesty 
  • Accepting criticism

#4. Management 

An essential task of a successful manager is to coordinate and administer human resources. This makes soft skills all the more important for any type of management role. 

Here are some examples of what’s required from managers in terms of soft skills: 

Management Soft Skills

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Stress management
  • Motivation
  • Task delegation 
  • Negotiation 
  • Planning 
  • Problem-solving
  • Innovation
  • Charisma 
  • Leadership

#5. Education 

Keeping up with the times is essential for a career in education since you mostly get to deal with younger people. This involves continuously upgrading your hard skills, especially when it comes to new teaching methods and online learning. 

The soft skills required from an educator, on the other hand, haven’t changed drastically over time. Here are some of the most popular ones: 

Education Soft Skills

  • Written and oral communication
  • Public speaking
  • Stress management
  • Patience
  • Critical thinking 
  • Enthusiasm
  • Motivation 
  • Work ethic
  • Conflict resolution 
  • Assertiveness

#6. Sales 

Soft skills are vital if you want to succeed in sales. After all, sales involve a combination of soft skills that range from negotiation to persuasion and empathy. It doesn’t matter whether you work over the phone or on the internet - doing sales will always require that your soft skills are on point.  

Let’s look at ten soft skills required for a sales professional: 

Sales Soft Skills

  • Public speaking
  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion
  • Communication
  • Sociability 
  • Empathy
  • Teamwork
  • Time management 
  • Critical thinking
  • Problem-solving

#7. Design

Being a successful designer is about a lot more than just remote design work behind your PC screen. In addition to creativity and attention to detail, a designer needs to be an active listener and open to feedback to bring the client’s vision to life. 

Here are the top soft skills for any designer:

Design Soft Skills

  • Visual communication
  • Verbal communication
  • Creativity 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Active listening
  • Patience
  • Aesthetics 
  • Time management 
  • Motivation 
  • Accepting criticism

#8. Accounting 

Maybe accounting and soft skills don’t feel like the right mix of words, but a career in accounting also requires its own set of soft skills. 

Here’s what they boil down to:

Accounting Soft Skills

  • Effective written and oral communication
  • Organization 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • System analysis
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Critical thinking 
  • Active learning
  • Accuracy

#9. Business Analytics 

Another in-demand profession in today’s digital world, business analysts are tasked with balancing and combining business knowledge with advancing technologies. 

Here are the soft skills required from a business analyst:

Business Analytics Soft Skills

  • Negotiation 
  • Active listening
  • Conflict resolution
  • Quality client service
  • Decision making
  • Problem-solving
  • Strategic thinking
  • Technical writing
  • Team building
  • Presentation and public thinking

#10. Web Development 

Being good at C++ or Java is not all it takes to make a career in web development. There are several soft skills required from developers too, such as creativity and problem-solving. 

In other cases, developers are required to collaborate with designers to bring an idea to life, and that’s where active listening comes in. 

The top soft skills for web developers consist of the following:

Web Development Soft Skills

  • Active listening 
  • Patience
  • Open-mindedness 
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Creativity 
  • Accountability
  • Confidence
  • Time and project management

If you’re looking for more soft skills to put on your resume, get inspired from these 100+ essential skills to put on your resume!

How to List Soft Skills On Your Resume 

The way you list your skills on your resume matters. 

For example, you need to ensure that you’re listing the right soft skills in the first place (and that they’re relevant for the role you’re applying for).

You should also back those soft skills up with experiences - you can’t just say “I’m a great leader” if nothing in your resume supports this claim.

So, here are our top 4 tips on how to list your soft skills in your resume and get an edge over the competition.

#1. Tailor Soft Skills to the Job

The more job-specific you are with the skills on your resume, the better. 

What we mean by this is, you should only list skills that are relevant to the position. 

For example, if you’re applying to be a server, you probably won’t need problem-solving and critical thinking skills as much as effective communication and teamwork. 

Tailoring your soft skills to the job is easier than you think - all you need to do is use the job description as a cheat sheet. Basically, just read the job ad in detail and make a list of the required skills. Then, add them to your resume.

Let’s assume you’re applying for a sales manager position. The requirements are:

  • Bachelor's degree in Business, Marketing, Communications, or related field.
  • 5 years of experience in sales.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Proven ability to lead a team to meet quotas.
  • Excellent leadership skills.
  • Experience setting sales goals.

You just got four skills tailored to the job just by reading the requirements:  

  • Oral and written communication skills 
  • Leadership 
  • Goal-oriented 
  • Teamwork 

#2. Back-Up Soft Skills With Other Sections 

Anyone can mention that they have amazing critical thinking and leadership skills in their resume.

Unless they back this up with some facts and experiences, though, the recruiter won’t take you seriously.

Now, this may not be as easy as tailoring them to the job, but there are certainly ways around it. 

Let’s say you’re applying as a creative director for an advertising agency.

Your required soft skills would probably include some of the following: 

  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Oral communication 
  • Project management      

First things first - you’d mention these skills in the dedicated skills section.

Afterward, you’d back them up as follows:

When listing your work experiences, mention achievements or responsibilities that show off these soft skills.

For example, to show off your project management skills, you can write:

Correct Example

Coordinated 10 people to create a YouTube video ad for a client that resulted in the client’s revenues increasing by over $50,000 within a month.

Or, to showcase your creativity, you can include the following bit:

Correct Example:

Conceptualized and pitched an ad idea that went on to win the Epica Award.

There’s a lot more to creating a compelling resume than listing your skills the right way. Check out our complete guide on how to write a resume to learn more.

#3. Use Transferable Skills When Switching Careers

Transferable skills can be particularly useful if you’re switching careers or changing directions within the industry. They include skills that are not job-specific, but still useful to the position. 

Let’s assume you are leaving your job as a news reporter and applying for a Public Relations position. Although the industries are different, both are communications-related professions. 

This means you can list some relevant soft skills acquired as a reporter on your new resume to show you’re not completely unfamiliar with the job. 

As a news reporter, your soft skills can include (but are not limited to): 

  • Communication skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Creativity

These are all skills you can easily ‘transfer’ into your PR resume and show you can take on the change. 

Soft Skills FAQ

Still have some questions about soft skills?

Check out our FAQ below!

Q — 

1. How are soft skills essential for career growth?

Soft skills consist of people and social skills, as well as career attributes, that define how you interact in the workplace, handle the responsibility or seek improvement, among others. As such, they are important for career growth no matter your industry, and employers often prioritize hiring employees with the right soft skills over hard skills. 

Q — 

2. How are soft skills different from hard skills? 

Hard skills are measurable skills that you obtain through your education, training, certifications, and professional experience. Soft skills, on the other hand, can be personality traits or they can be obtained through life experiences. All professions require a mix of both.

Q — 

3. What are recruiters' top 10 soft skills?

The top 10 soft skills all recruiters love despite your profession are the following: 

  • Time management
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork skills
  • Creativity
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Work ethic
  • Attention to detail
Q — 

4. Can soft skills be acquired?

Soft skills are non-technical skills, such as people, social skills, and career attributes, they’re not something that can be taught in an afternoon. 

That said, it IS possible to pick up new soft skills - it’s just going to require a lot of personal development from your end.

Q — 

5. Can you put soft skills on a resume?

Yep! Soft skills go under the “Skills” resume section.

When listing your skills, we recommend you add a skill level to them (e.g. beginner, intermediate, etc.). This way, the recruiter has a much better idea of how well you know any given skill.

Key Takeaways 

Phew! And that wraps up everything you need to know about soft skills and your career.

Now, let’s do a quick recap of the most important points we covered in this article:

  • Soft skills consist of a combination of people, social, and communication skills, character traits, attitudes, and mindsets, among others, which are sought for in all professions.
  • There are two types of skills: soft skills and hard skills. For the most part, skills are something a recruiter learns about you through an interview, although both go into your resume.
  • Although several soft skills are valued in every profession, each industry requires its own set of soft skills for a successful career in the field. So, when applying for a job, make sure to list soft skills that are relevant for YOU.