135 Soft Skills List to Stand Out on a Resume or Job Application
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Want to stand out in your career?
The truth is, most job seekers exclusively focus on showcasing their education, degree, certifications, and technical skills. But what they don’t do is demonstrate what are commonly known as their “soft skills.”
Soft skills are critical for landing your dream job, and for helping you stand out as an employee.
In this article, we’ll provide a quick definition of soft skills, and then talk about 135 skills you should consider developing.
(Side note: Another positive
What You Will Learn
- What Are Soft Skills?
- Communication Soft Skills
- 1. Verbal Communication
- 2. Non-Verbal Communication
- 3. Visual Communication
- 4. Written Communication
- 5. Active Listening
- 6. Clarity
- 7. Confidence
- 8. Interviewing
- 9. Negotiation
- 10. Personal Branding
- 11. Persuasion
- 12. Presentation Skills
- 13. Public Speaking
- 14. Storytelling
- 15. Diplomacy
- 16. Empathy
- 17. Friendliness
- 18. Humor
- 19. Networking
- 20. Patience
- 21. Positive Reinforcement
- 22. Sensitivity
- 23. Tolerance
- Problem-Solving Soft Skills
- 24. Analysis
- 25. Artistic Sense
- 26. Brainstorming
- 27. Design
- 28. Design Sense
- 29. Divergent Thinking
- 30. Experimenting
- 31. Imagination
- 32. Innovation
- 33. Insight
- 34. Inspiration
- 35. Lateral Thinking
- 36. Logical Reasoning
- 37. Mind Mapping
- 38. Observation
- 39. Persistence
- 40. Questioning
- 41. Reframing
- 42. Troubleshooting
- Leadership Soft Skills
- 43. People Management
- 44. Project Management
- 45. Remote Team Management
- 46. Talent Management
- 47. Virtual Team Management
- 48. Meeting Management
- 49. Agility
- 50. Coaching
- 51. Conflict or Dispute Resolution
- 52. Cultural Intelligence
- 53. Deal-Making
- 54. Decision-Making
- 55. Delegation
- 56. Facilitating
- 57. Give Clear Feedback
- 58. Managing Difficult Conversations
- 59. Mentoring
- 60. Strategic Planning
- 61. Supervising
- 62. Team-Building
- 63. Versatility
- 64. Authenticity
- 65. Encouraging
- 66. Generosity
- 67. Humility
- 68. Inspiring
- 69. Selflessness
- Work Ethic Soft Skills
- 70. Attentive
- 71. Business Ethics
- 72. Calm
- 73. Commitment
- 74. Competitiveness
- 75. Curiosity
- 76. Dependability
- 77. Discipline
- 78. Emotion Management
- 79. Highly Organized
- 80. Independence
- 81. Initiative
- 82. Integrity
- 83. Motivated
- 84. Open-Minded
- 85. Optimistic
- 86. Perseverant
- 87. Professional
- 88. Punctual
- 89. Reliable
- 90. Resilient
- 91. Responsible
- 92. Results-Oriented
- 93. Taking Criticism
- 94. Tolerance of Change and Uncertainty
- 95. Trainable
- Teamwork Soft Skills
- 96. Accept Feedback
- 97. Collaborative
- 98. Cooperation
- 99. Coordination
- 100. Deal with Difficult Situations
- 101. Disability Awareness
- 102. Diversity Awareness
- 103. Emotional Intelligence
- 104. Idea Exchange
- 105. Influential
- 106. Intercultural Competence
- 107. Interpersonal Relationships Skills
- 108. Mediation
- 109. Office Politics Management
- 110. Personality Conflicts Management
- 111. Respectfulness
- 112. Sales Skills
- 113. Self-Awareness
- 114. Social Skills
- Time Management Soft Skills
- 115. Acuity
- 116. Allocating Resources
- 117. Coping
- 118. Critical Observation
- 119. Focus
- 120. Goal-Setting
- 121. Introspection
- 122. Memory
- 123. Organization
- 124. Personal Time Management
- 125. Planning
- 126. Prioritization
- 127. Recall
- 128. Scheduling
- 129. Sense of Urgency
- 130. Streamlining
- 131. Stress Management
- 132. Task Planning
- 133. Task Tracking
- 134. Time Awareness
- 135. Work-Life Balance
- What Soft Skills do you Have?
What Are Soft Skills?
Soft skills are qualities that are innate to your personality and aren't part of a formal education, like a college degree. While hard skills refer to the tangible and technical qualifications that you possess, soft skills are people based and are mostly fine-tuned as you interact with others. (Read this post to learn more about the difference between soft skills and hard skills.)
(Sidebar: If you'd like to learn how to build more skills into your life, check out our review of the Skillshare platform.)
Simply put, soft skills are personal skills. These are your natural abilities or character traits that influence your ability to carry out your job and, more importantly, interact with others.
Soft skills are also often referred to as “people skills” because they are strongly associated with a person’s emotional intelligence.
A strong set of soft skills on your resume is not only essential to getting the job you want but also necessary for career growth. Soft skills are so important that 94% of recruiters believe that having them would help promote you to a leadership position.
Now, you're probably wondering what kinds of soft skills you already possess, and where you could use some improvement. We have broken down everything into six categories so you can see areas in which you are strong and where you could use some improvement.
If you want to build soft skills for your resume, then here are 135 soft skill examples to help you get started:
Communication Soft Skills
Communication skills are perhaps the most important among all the soft skills listed here. No matter what your position is, you need to be able to communicate effectively with people you work with.
1. Verbal Communication
Having the ability to speak clearly and convey your thoughts and ideas to other people through speech is a vital part of success. Those who have good verbal communication skills are able to grab people's attention and communicate a specific and concise point to those around them. Strong verbal communication allows people to engage with each other in person and reach mutually agreeable conclusions. (Check out these tips on how to become a good communicator.)
2. Non-Verbal Communication
Over half of what people say is communicated through actions or gestures. Think about the instant connection you can make with someone just by locking eyes across a room.
You can use non-verbal cues like gestures or facial expressions to reinforce, complement, contradict, or substitute your verbal communication with non-verbal cues. For example, offering someone a bright smile when you say congratulations helps to reinforce your sincerity.
3. Visual Communication
Visual communication skills are those that use signals that are received by someone else's eyes to convey a message. With the increasing demand for collaboration in the workplace, the need for various methods of effective communication is also growing. Visual communication complements verbal communication, which increases its effectiveness. Using visual tools such as a graph or a picture can help people understand your point.
4. Written Communication
If you lack skills in written communication, people are likely to question your competence. It is important to know proper grammar and punctuation as well as how to write succinctly and purposefully.
You should offer specific examples in any written communication if you are trying to back up a point, along with a proposed action plan. Proper written communication also involves following up properly with others in order to close the loop of communication and show that you are actively working toward a goal.
Knowing how to write a professional “thank you” note is one way to show your competence in written communication.
5. Active Listening
Active listening is the ability to listen to someone else talk with the intention of hearing what they are saying, rather than having the intention of formulating a response.
This allows people to see you as a partner and someone who wants to develop solutions that benefit the most people. As an active listener, you allow short breaks in talking for interjections, you repeat back to other people what they have told you to confirm you understood correctly, and you ask additional questions for clarity.
When something goes terribly wrong in any organization, there is usually one common factor: a breakdown in communication. Usually, someone said something that was misinterpreted or allowed other people to make incorrect assumptions, and not enough questions were asked. Having a lack of clarity in your communication and failing to seek clarity can do a great deal of damage.
Workplaces are often full of challenges. When you have confidence, you are able to face these challenges head-on because you know that you're good at your job, you provide value to your company, and you can act in a way that shows that to others. When you present yourself as being confident, you demand the attention of other people and they listen to your opinions and ideas.
Strong interviewing skills are vital in today’s employment world. Even if you are not the best fit for a job, if you ace your interview, you are more likely to get hired than someone who lacks confidence in their interview or doesn't have the proper skills. With strong interviewing skills, you will make a good first impression.
Think about the amount of competition you face during an interview process. Employers scan through an abundance of applicants, many of which are indistinguishable on paper due to having similar work histories. Acing your interview will help you stand out from everyone else.
One way to stand out from the crowd is to know what to say when asked, “What are your personal strengths?”
Negotiation isn't just a good financial habit to have. Having the ability to come to a mutually beneficial agreement with someone with different motivations than your own is an important soft skill.
A mutually beneficial solution is one that works for both sides and helps each party maintain a positive relationship for future interactions. To do this, you have to be able to find out what factors are the most influential and acceptable for the other side.
10. Personal Branding
Personal branding is about customer perceptions and preferences and is mainly focused on improving yourself while you're establishing your own brand. It’s important to have a clear idea of the impression that you want other people to have of you and to be diligent enough to take the necessary steps to achieve that image.
If you have the ability to persuade, you have the ability to influence other people. Persuasion is one of the most important skills to develop because, without it, your ideas won’t gain any momentum.
Having the ability to persuade stakeholders to buy into an idea, product or service is important for people in many different types of roles. Persuasive people can use their skills to influence others to help them with projects, choose their side, or benefit them in some other way.
12. Presentation Skills
Being able to present ideas and information in an effective way that engages and motivates the audience is a critical soft skill to have. This method of communication allows you to share evidence to back up an argument. A good presenter can influence an audience to take action toward their desired outcome.
13. Public Speaking
Effective public speaking skills are not only important for people who want to become public leaders—they are an important part of any successful interpersonal communication. Developing public speaking skills increases self-confidence and power. Strong public speaking skills put people in charge of their lives.
Being a good storyteller is an important skill because, with the right type of story, you can influence and persuade others. Stories can be powerful because they help you create a connection with other people that will help you build trust and rapport.
Not only are emotions central to effective storytelling, they are also helpful for building memories—and therefore strengthening the message you‘re trying to get across and helping people remember it. Anyone who is listening to a good storyteller is going to be an engaged, active listener.
Using diplomacy appropriately will improve your relationships with other people and help you build mutual respect, which can then lead to more successful outcomes and fewer incidences of strained communication. When you're diplomatic, you have an understanding of other people and you're able to be open to their ideas, opinions, beliefs, and feelings.
If you have empathy, you will be a better leader and a better follower. Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes helps you effectively understand their needs, motivations, and fears. Having empathy will help you experience the world more clearly because you will perceive it through your perspective and the perspectives of other people.
Business is really about relationships, and relationships are directly impacted by one's behavior. When you are friendly, it motivates and inspires people instead of turning them off. Being friendly is a good leadership skill and will grant you positive relationships that will benefit both you and your company.
Having a good sense of humor helps you make a good first impression with the people you meet, and it creates an emotional connection that not only allows people to bond but also makes each party happier. Humor can also be a constructive cure for disagreements. Sharing a moment of laughter can be enough to bridge a negative gap in a relationship.
Networking involves communicating with other people to develop personal or professional contacts, and to form a mutually beneficial relationship. To successfully network, you must be engaging enough for other people to want to work with you in some manner. Having a large network of business can also provide you with a safety net, and give you more people to turn to if you are in need of help or information.
Have you ever heard that patience is a virtue? In our modern age, many people have forgotten to practice patience, and easily get irritated over minor things. However, if you have patience, you can avoid making hasty decisions that lead to mistakes.
21. Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement increases productivity and improves the morale of employees. It also helps alleviate self-doubts and increase self-worth. If you are able to provide positive reinforcement to others, it demonstrates that you notice the quality of work that they are doing and you want to show your appreciation.
When you are sensitive to other people's feelings, you have less chance of hurting them. Sensitivity helps you be a good listener and speak kindly to people working with you. It also involves a great deal of respect because you have to be able to accept other people's feelings without judgment.
Being tolerant and respectful of everyone around you is a key part of being successful in life. Chances are, you will work with people who are very different from you, so it is important to respect those differences in order to have a successful partnership.
Problem-Solving Soft Skills
Creativity and the ability to solve problems and find solutions are traits many employers look for. The highest paying jobs usually require a lot of analytical and critical thinking.
Being analytical means you can break down large problems into smaller problems, gather and evaluate data, manage information effectively, understand complex reading materials, and create alternatives and solutions. Any data that is relevant to your job is essentially useless if no one knows how to analyze it.
25. Artistic Sense
With an artistic sense, you have the ability to appreciate creativity in work and explore and break conventional bounds. This can help you pursue a long-term vision that others may not be able to see, and it increases your innovative abilities because you are able to look at things in new ways.
Being able to work with other people to bounce ideas off of each other to create something collective that is worth more than any of its individual parts is very valuable to an organization. Learning about brainstorming and how to maximize your brainstorming sessions helps maximize your productivity at work.
Brainstorming requires teamwork, creativity, and critical thinking. This is an important skill to have because most innovative ideas and products start with a brainstorming session.
Design is a holistic skill that encompasses aesthetic, analytical, and functional properties. With this skill, you can figure out how many small parts fit together to create a working product.
28. Design Sense
In organizations, having a sense of design means you can match a consumer's needs to something that is feasible to create. However, while design sense as a skill is mainly valued in developing new products, businesses can also use employee's design skills to improve their current products, processes, or business models.
29. Divergent Thinking
Divergent thinking involves developing innovative and unique solutions to a simple problem. It requires making decisions that have been thoroughly explored to meet the need of your organization.
With this skill, you can have “thought experiments” and think outside of the box to sort through possible solutions to problems and come up with new ideas that have not yet been explored.
With experimentation, you can be creative in your quest for a solution to a problem. This means you are willing to try new things and be flexible in your work until you find the answer you have been looking for.
Imagination encourages creativity and innovation. People with strong imaginations have the amazing gift of allowing their thoughts to grow and evolve, which has led to products that have altered the way we live today. Simply put, a sense of imagination is the principle ingredient in the advancement of society.
Innovation has become a critical skill for success in developed economies. It involves creative problem solving that addresses problems needing unique insights to find suitable solutions. There is no innovation without creativity. Often, the most cost-effective business solutions come from innovation.
Insight refers to the moment of clarity when you think of a solution or make a connection between new information and existing knowledge and you know right away that it is correct. Complex problems have more variables than our memory can grasp at one time, but having insight and discussing your thoughts with other people in the workplace can lead to fresh ideas.
Studies have found that people who have a high rating on the inspiration scale (meaning that they are easily inspired) also have high characteristics of evocation, transcendence, and motivation. They are often open to new experiences and have more creative skills than those who rarely feel inspired.
35. Lateral Thinking
With lateral thinking, you are able to be creative on demand and therefore develop new ideas. One uses lateral thinking to make a move from a known idea to a new idea by changing direction. Often, thinking more in the same direction is not as effective as changing directions entirely.
36. Logical Reasoning
Problems that require logical reasoning demand the ability to identify the relationships between facts and recognize patterns that make sense. With logical reasoning, you can quickly reject wrong answers and build upon the knowledge that you have on your own without requiring incremental guidance.
37. Mind Mapping
Mind mapping helps improve your memory through the use of imagery and color, and it encourages creativity and helps you generate new ideas. Those who know how to use this skill can make visual connections between thoughts and ideas, and organize their thinking before deciding on the best way to do things.
Improving your observation skills helps you notice details that will improve your decision-making skills. It also improves your ability to work with other people because not only do you listen well when you have good observation skills, but you are also aware of what is happening around you.
In order to be truly successful, you have to be willing to stick with something, even when times get tough. Hard work and long hours will allow you to get what you want and accomplish whatever you set out to do. If you are persistent, your greatest success may come right after your greatest failures.
Gathering information is something basic that people do to solve problems, learn, and help with decision making. Proper questioning is key when you want to learn new information. Without it, communications can fail. Questioning skills are a fundamental part of successful communication.
Leaders need to have the ability to view situations from different perspectives to fully understand what is really going on and therefore be able to deal with it effectively. Reframing expands your thinking by using a variety of mental models to figure out what’s going on and what you need to do in a complex situation.
With troubleshooting skills, you can better understand how systems work and what improvements can be made. Troubleshooting requires a balance of creativity and logic. When troubleshooting, you must compare all possible alternatives and analyze what is necessary for each approach. With this skill, you are more likely to be able to solve complex problems.
Leadership Soft Skills
No matter the size of the company or business you’re applying to, you will eventually encounter a situation requiring leadership skills. Leadership skills are more important if you’re looking for a promotion or even a career change.
43. People Management
Successful people are able to manage different personalities and opinions in order to get their group to work well together. With the ability to motivate and manage people, successful employees can handle regional, personal, and language differences, which are all common in businesses.
44. Project Management
Not only must you know how to see a project through to completion, you also have to be knowledgeable about every step that needs to be taken, and the realistic timeline that it must follow. A large part of project management is being able to multi-task and facilitate many moving parts working together.
45. Remote Team Management
If you often travel for work, who do you trust to watch over your employees to make sure that everything is going as planned in your absence? Being able to remotely manage a team and not have them fall apart as soon as you are out of the office is vital to a company's success.
46. Talent Management
Talent management is a leader's commitment to recruit, hire, retain, and develop the most talented team possible. With talent management skills, you can retain the most skilled employees by offering them opportunities to improve within their jobs and further develop their professional skills. Having the best employees helps businesses succeed.
47. Virtual Team Management
In our digital age, people often have to manage their employees from afar. You need to be able to hire a team that you trust to get the job done up to your standards and be able to have an influence on the work without being physically present.
48. Meeting Management
Meetings can be a huge waste of time in an organization. If they are not run efficiently, employees don't benefit from meetings, and they lose valuable working hours. Being able to keep everyone on task and working toward a common goal in a meeting is a powerful skill.
Things in business these days change so quickly and so often that employees need to be able to work on their feet and quickly adapt to new circumstances. Employees need to be flexible and responsive to changing variables and be willing to let go of old methods of doing things in order to keep up with the rest of the world.
With coaching skills, you are using observational analysis and critical thinking to be the strategist on your team. With proper coaching skills, you can boost the growth of your team and mold them in a way that benefits your final vision. (Here's a list of critical thinking questions you can use.)
51. Conflict or Dispute Resolution
Leaders must often handle a wide array of interpersonal issues in their companies. In order to be a successful leader, you have to be able to see all sides of an issue make confident final decisions in matters.
52. Cultural Intelligence
Leaders with a high level of cultural intelligence can bridge the knowledge gaps in an organization by educating their co-workers about different cultures and helping to create interpersonal connections in a multicultural workforce.
Being culturally intelligent also gives you the potential to increase the innovation and creativity of your company because you can integrate diverse resources and perspectives.
Along with good deal-making skills comes the ability to negotiate and persuade. Doing these things can help an organization save money and get contracts from other companies that could instead consider the competition.
Being decisive is an important part of being able to move past the analysis phase once all needed information is available. Being a good decision-maker ensures that your company is prepared for a wide range of issues that present themselves unexpectedly.
Assigning responsibility and authority to other people is important for both efficiency and development. This means that you are able to allow other people to become experts while taking ultimate responsibility for the project's success. This is important because you are proving that you are able to release some control.
Facilitators get other people organized and focused to the point that they can come together when they need to and do what needs to be done in an efficient and effective manner. This helps other employees improve their accountability for their tasks between and after meetings.
57. Give Clear Feedback
Being able to articulate feedback to others helps them understand exactly what they must improve in order to move towards the company's ultimate goal. With proper communication, a leader can help employees understand exactly what they are doing well and what needs to be changed.
58. Managing Difficult Conversations
The skill of managing a difficult conversation has become an important factor in one's success. Avoiding difficult conversations can cause lasting damage to a business because the resulting conflicts may consume energy and destroy teamwork.
However, when difficult conversations are well-managed, learning is made possible, productivity is improved, stress is reduced, and better decisions can be made.
A mentor doesn't just try to have an employee improve at their job—they want to help the employee move up within the company. Having mentorship skills means you can offer insights about things outside of an employee's job description, which helps the employee work harder and recognize new opportunities as they open up.
[What is a mentor? How can they make a difference in your life? How can you find and approach a possible mentor? Find out this ultimate article on mentoring]
60. Strategic Planning
Strategic planning requires you to look forward, not backward. Instead of only looking at past successes, you must have the ability to look at the possibilities for the future. You have to be able to create a vision and plan it according to successful future business operations.
Supervisors are front-line managers who are down in the trenches doing work alongside the employees. If you have good supervising skills, it means you also have good leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills, which are all things that businesses look for in a great employee.
As a good team builder, you are able to motivate employees and facilitate proper communication. You can increase the amount of trust among your team members and help people work together to solve problems toward a common goal.
With versatility, you can remain with a company long-term and easily adapt to its constantly changing needs. You will be able to rise up to the organization's challenges and move into various roles to help the company in ways that are outside of your job description.
When you are authentic, people trust your integrity. Employers look for leaders who are able to manage their careers with intention and make choices that are aligned with their values, which ultimately helps them gain the commitment and loyalty of their co-workers.
Being able to encourage others can help employees who are unprepared or unwilling to complete a project. Managers have to find effective ways to encourage their employees to complete the necessary tasks in order to keep company morale high.
Generous people show compassion and loving-kindness. Generosity also fosters a sense of connectedness and improves relationships. This helps people work together in a business setting.
The best leaders are those who are selfless and concerned with their team's well-being more than they are with their personal titles. Effective leaders never act like they are better than their subordinates. Companies prefer to employ leaders with humility because they create teams that have high productivity and low turnover.
People want to be inspired by their leader and energized about the future. People who are inspiring are more likely to have others choose to follow them, which gives them a boost over their competition.
Inspiring leaders can help improve the performance of others as they work toward a common goal.
Need some inspiration for work? Here are some Inspiring Hard Work Quotes!
Companies look for employees who are selfless because they know it is these people who will put their own needs aside for the betterment of the company. Your own needs should seem insignificant compared to your passion.
Work Ethic Soft Skills
Although it’s more important to show rather than tell them how much you value your job, knowing the right words to use when presenting your work ethic is also important. These soft skills will reflect on your character and dedication. (Check out these great work ethic quotes for some inspiration.)
When information is being communicated, the sender and the recipient both have a responsibility. When you are attentive, you can avoid misunderstandings that inevitably lead to problems.
71. Business Ethics
Companies value employees who deal honestly with all people, from co-workers and customers to shareholders and vendors. Having business ethics helps companies succeed and maintain a positive reputation.
Calmness allows you to have clarity in your thinking and prevents you from making hasty decisions. If you remain calm, you can help co-workers do the same and exercise good judgment.
Practicing mindfulness and living in the present can help you stay calm through whatever situation you may face in life and at work.
Employers want to hire those who are committed to their mission. This helps ensure employee retention and loyalty.
You have to want to continuously improve in order to be the best. With competitiveness, you acquire more market share, greater profits, and long-term growth, which improves the welfare of the business.
Curious people actively seek out answers and are observant of new ideas. With the attitude that learning is a life-long process, curiosity is a soft skill that keeps you evolving as a person.
Companies want to be confident that you will get your work done on time and show up when you're expected. They want to be able to trust you with tough projects without feeling the need to look over your shoulder.
A disciplined worker is an efficient worker. Employees must discipline themselves to produce quality work. Businesses strive to cultivate a workplace with standards that everyone is called upon to meet.
78. Emotion Management
Leaders face the challenge of turning negative emotions into positive ones. In a business environment, negative emotions are often the rule rather than the exception, but those who are able to manage their emotions recognize the power beneath their negative emotions and change them into a powerful force for positive change.
79. Highly Organized
There are many benefits that come along with being organized, including being more focused, productive, efficient, professional, and confident. All of these are desired traits in an employee, along with an organized person's ability to meet deadlines.
Executives don't want to have to micromanage their employees. They want the people working for the company to be able to work independently and make decisions that benefit the company on their own. (Here's our adulting checklist to help you practice becoming independent.)
Whether you find an issue with a product or think of a new way to market something, taking initiative in the workplace is important because it improves the product or service that the business offers.
Integrity is one of the foundations of leadership, and it involves doing what is right because it is the right thing to do. Leaders only make promises that they can keep, which is what leads to success.
Motivated employees are productive and often exceed management's expectations. They actively seek out ways to improve the products or services being offered, and enjoy their jobs for more than just the paycheck.
Being open-minded means that you are adaptable to a new work environment and job. With this skill, you are likely better equipped to handle jobs and co-workers who are different from what you're used to.
Being optimistic is not only a strategy to help you feel good. When you are able to focus on your innate character strengths and abilities instead of your perceived failures, you can increase your level of success. Because of this, optimistic people view obstacles at work as being learning opportunities that can be faced head-on.
Many people fail because they give up as soon as a challenge arises. On the other hand, success stories often include some element of endurance and determination. Perseverance means leaning in to the challenges until you meet your goal.
When a company hires you, you will often represent that company to other people, clients, or businesses. They want you to be able to look and act in a professional manner in order to maintain respect in the community.
Not only do potential employers want you to show up to work on time, they also want your work to be completed on time. You have to be willing and able to respect deadlines.
The reliability of a worker has a major impact on their performance, as well as those with whom they work. A reliable employee is one who shows up for work on time, meets deadlines, and contributes to an excellent work product. A reliable worker's performance may suffer if influenced by an unreliable worker (through no fault of their own), so these unreliable employees are often weeded out.
If you are resilient in business, you are able to maintain your workflow in the face of disruptions. Having resilience is important because you can respond appropriately to chaotic situations and adapt to changes.
Business leaders prefer to promote employees who are able to work without constant supervision. It may be difficult to take responsibility if something goes wrong, but people trust and respect others who own up to their mistakes and then work to fix them.
Of course, businesses want to be results-oriented, but what does that really mean? If you are a results-oriented employee, it means that you can clearly define the results that you want to achieve and then make the necessary plan to make that happen.
93. Taking Criticism
Employees need to have thick skin in the business world. The key is to separate the constructive criticism that can help you grow from criticism that is simply telling you that you are wrong. Look for an opportunity to improve your work by looking at it in a different light.
94. Tolerance of Change and Uncertainty
Change and uncertainty are inevitable parts of business. Employers look for people who know how to deal with sudden opportunities or threats to ensure that the business will be sustained despite any changes. In our highly unpredictable world, you should be prepared for and expect anything to happen.
While you may have been in a relevant field for 10 years, employers want to hire people that they can train to do things their way. You have to be willing to possibly give up some methods that you know in order to work in line with a company's policies and procedures.
Teamwork Soft Skills
Even if you work remotely or in a virtual setting, almost all jobs require you to work in a group setting at some point. Having soft skills that show you work well with others will give employers the assurance that you can fit in.
96. Accept Feedback
Feedback should not be mistaken for criticism and can be used to improve one's job performance. It is an important tool for continued learning that employees must be open to using so they can grow alongside the company they are with.
Collaborating with others involves working together toward a mutually beneficial goal. To successfully collaborate, you must engage enough with other people to make them want to work with you and be willing to give as much effort as the others in the group.
Having cooperation is important when you are working with other people to achieve a common goal. Employers want to hire a team of people who will work together and empower each other rather than compete against each other.
Coordination is a critical part of any successful business because it promotes efficiency and helps to ensure that people will work together when faced with obstacles. Being able to coordinate with others means that you can be a part of an integrated and working unit.
100. Deal with Difficult Situations
As an employee, you will likely be faced with difficult situations that can impact the well-being of the company. You have to know how to deal with these issues to protect your brand instead of allowing them to fester and lead to further problems.
101. Disability Awareness
One-third of people who are currently entering the workforce will become disabled by the time they retire. Having disability awareness means you can educate people about disabilities and teach others how to perform tasks related to disabilities. Not only is learning acceptance important, but businesses must also understand compliance with the ADA in order to differentiate between what is good practice and what isn't.
102. Diversity Awareness
Having diversity awareness helps you improve the effectiveness of any team that you are on and therefore promote its overall success. By recognizing the unique capabilities of each member of a team, you can capitalize on the individual differences with the goal of improving team success.
103. Emotional Intelligence
Decades of research show that emotional intelligence is what sets extremely successful people apart from others. Emotional intelligence is the intangible quality in people that affects one's behavior, personal competence, and social competence. The flexible skills that make up emotional intelligence set the foundation for critical working skills that you need for success.
104. Idea Exchange
When you are willing to exchange ideas with other people, new and better concepts can develop as you are exposed to opinions you never considered before. Just one brain can't think of every angle, so when people are willing to cooperate and share their ideas, they can work together to reach a larger goal.
To be successful, you likely have to be able to sell a product or idea to constituents, colleagues, or co-workers in some way. The ability to sway others to achieve your desired objectives is top-quality in a leader.
106. Intercultural Competence
Intercultural competence is a critical skillset to have in today’s diverse workplace, where you're likely to interact with people from different cultures than your own. Employers want to hire people who can work productively with others who have a different set of values, beliefs, and experiences.
107. Interpersonal Relationships Skills
This involves understanding other people's views and then incorporating them into your own ideas. Having relationships skills allows you to show that you value other people's opinions and you're open to accepting new concepts.
Having the ability to mediate a situation with varying motives involved is an important soft skill. Finding a beneficial solution for all parties involved helps maintain a positive working relationship. To do this, you must uncover the most influential factors for each side.
109. Office Politics Management
Having political competence in the workplace is necessary for success because it helps you get recognized, manage interpersonal relationships, and know when and how to speak up. The more politically proficient you are, the better you will be able to fit in with any company.
110. Personality Conflicts Management
When you can manage personality conflicts, it means you have an ability to accurately sense what someone else is thinking or feeling, and then communicate that in a way to another employee to help avoid negative feelings. You are also able to voice your opinions and feelings to firmly yet delicately make a final decision and end the conflict.
Disrespectful behavior in the workplace is common, but everyone wants to avoid being the target of it. In the face of disrespect, people often rebel or shut down. Having a respectful leadership style is contagious and can lead to improved employee collaboration and confidence.
112. Sales Skills
With sales skills, you can persuade other people to buy into a product or service, therefore making your company money. Sales skills require people and persuasion skills, which are both also highly sought after.
Leaders need to have the necessary self-awareness to identify the skills they're lacking, and subsequently fill that knowledge gap with the people they hire.
114. Social Skills
Because relationships are important in business, your social skills need to be fine-tuned for success. Having proper social skills will allow you to have positive relationships that can benefit you and your company.
Time Management Soft Skills
Productivity and efficiency are vital in any workplace. Show employers that you know how to manage your time, your work, and yourself well without losing any attention to detail.
When you have acuity, you're able to be sharp and efficient in your thinking. You are able to understand things quickly and pick up on new concepts, which helps employers save time.
116. Allocating Resources
Businesses often face resource constraints. There is often a discrepancy between the available resources and the required resources. Being able to plan and allocate business resources is essential for optimum utilization of the tools or personnel on hand.
Gaps in coping skills limit an employee's ability to solve problems and make effective decisions. Studies have found that employee's coping skills are indicative of their willingness to engage in work and take initiative in projects.
118. Critical Observation
Critical observation refers to the ability to recognize subtle details that impact how you handle situations. With this skill, you can notice patterns and behaviors that may otherwise be overlooked. These observations may seem small in the moment, but they make a big difference over time to the company's bottom line.
Employers seek candidates with a high level of focus because they can manage their time and organize their priorities. With focus, you can work independently and complete tasks in time using a strong work ethic.
Goal-setting is important because it requires you to have confidence in your abilities, in addition to an attitude of hopefulness. Further, being skilled in setting realistic goals demonstrates self-awareness and time management skills.
Introspection is critical to emotional intelligence, relationships, and productivity. Employers value people who are able to address personal problems rather than allow them to fester. Having introspection goes hand-in-hand with self-awareness in that it results in the ability to pinpoint internal problems so they can be addressed.
Having a good memory will help you keep up with the fast-paced business world. It will also prevent you from forgetting deadlines, facts, and the names of clients and business associates, which will help save you the time of having to constantly look things up.
Your workload will run smoothly if you are organized. Employers want to hire an organized team so time isn't lost in trying to find documents or getting projects together at the last minute.
124. Personal Time Management
Having a sense of balance in your time is a critical part of success. This involves being able to recognize how long a task will take, and take the necessary breaks in your work to keep your motivation level high.
When you plan, you plan to succeed. This allows you to make progress with your job and forecast your results. People who can plan effectively are also able to prepare for possible obstacles.
Employers want you to be able to recognize tasks that are time-sensitive, and get them accomplished before those that aren't. Being able to prioritize your work helps you avoid missing deadlines due to pushing a project off until the last minute.
When you are able to properly recall facts or information, you save yourself the time and trouble of having to reference written information. This can also allow you to help others who are struggling to remember information if you can provide them with it right away.
Scheduling is often about prioritizing, but it is also about being able to estimate how long tasks and meetings will take. Scheduling is a critical part of time management because you have to take into account many moving parts in order to work efficiently.
129. Sense of Urgency
Having a sense of urgency leads to results because it requires bursts of creativity and activity. If you are working with inflexible deadlines, it is imperative to work with a mindset that things must be accomplished immediately.
Streamlining your work involves cutting out unnecessary tasks and reducing the amount of paperwork and excess information that isn't required for progress. This is an important business skill because it enables you to work efficiently by recognizing the ways you are wasting your time.
131. Stress Management
A little bit of stress gives you motivation and a sense of urgency, but too much stress can cause you to feel like you are losing control. Employers want to work with people who can effectively manage their stress to avoid employee burnout and turnover.
132. Task Planning
Task planning involves setting goals, finding necessary resources, and scheduling events that are related to certain tasks. When you are able to do this effectively, you can achieve your goals in the amount of time that you have available.
133. Task Tracking
Keeping up with your progress is an important skill that employers look for, especially when hiring for a leadership position. Not only is it important to be able to track your own progress, it is also imperative to keep up with your employees’ tasks to make sure that everyone is working on a schedule.
134. Time Awareness
In order to be successful in business, you need to have an idea of how long things take to accomplish and how much time has passed as you are working. You cannot contribute to the success of a project if you think a task will take 30 minutes and it ends up taking 5 hours without you even realizing it.
135. Work-Life Balance
You need to be able to make time for other aspects of your life aside from work in order to be an effective employee. With the availability of technology, it is easy to never disconnect from work, even if you are on vacation. However, it is important to be aware of self-care and take the breaks that you need to recuperate from work.
What Soft Skills do you Have?
Did you find a soft skill or two that you think will add value to your career efforts? If so, I recommend taking the time to master it and turning it into a habit. You’ll discover that the more effort you put into your personal growth, the farther you’ll get in your career. (Use these worksheets to learn these life skills better.)
Pick out a few of these soft skills that apply to your field and explore ways you can improve yourself in those areas. Try picking out some skills where you know you have room for growth, and focus on specific things you can do to improve yourself in these areas.
Finally, if you want another positive