What soft skills list you need to put on a resume or to use in the workplace? How to improve them?
If these questions bother you, you are a person who is ready to develop yourself!
Also called ‘people skills’, ‘social skills’ or ‘transferable skills’, they can lead your business, job and /or career to new levels of success and growth.
No matter if you are a manager, IT professional, an accountant, a student or you work in the field of customer service and marketing, you need a range of people skills because their importance growing constantly.
The topic “ hard skills vs soft skills ” is widely discussed nowadays. The difference between these two main types of qualities we discussed in details in our previous post about hard skills.
Here you will find:
- What are soft skills? Definition.
- An ultimate list of soft skills with examples and tips for improving each of them.
- Download Soft Skills Infographic in PDF For Free
Soft Skills: The Ultimate List You Need in The Workplace and Business
Before seeing the list, let’s first see the soft skills definition.
According to Investopedia, “Soft skills are character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person’s relationships with other people. In the workplace, soft skills are considered a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person’s knowledge and occupational skills. Sociologists may use the term soft skills to describe a person’s “EQ” or ” Emotional Intelligence Quotient” (as opposed to “IQ”).”
Soft skills list includes:
- Listening skills (especially active listening skills)
- Written and spoken communication skills
- Verbal and non-verbal skills (body language)
- Patience and understanding other’s feelings
- Friendliness and being supportive
- Confidence in all of your interactions with others
- Open-mindedness to other person’s point of view
- Respect to people and their ideas
- Being able to appropriately give and receive feedback
- Presentation skills
- Public speaking skills
The ability to communicate effectively with colleagues, managers, and staff is among the best social skills you can possess, no matter what industry you work in.
These qualities are especially valuable people skills in advertising, sales, marketing, customer service, HR, and project management.
Communication abilities are always top people skills listed in any job advertisement and widely used in resumes. People with strong communication skills can build effective relationships, so make your best to improve and develop them.
Tips to improve your communication skills:
- Watch your body language and be careful with eye contact.
- Get rid of unnecessary and irritating words such as “um” or “like.”
- Use humor and tell stories.
- Ask questions to clarify.
- Get rid of distractions.
- Pronounce your words correctly.
- Always be polite and understanding.
Examples of problem-solving skills are:
- Analytical and lateral thinking
- The ability to take the initiative
- Logical reasoning
- Crisis management
One thing is absolutely clear in the business and personal life – the problems happen all the time!
That is why problem-solving abilities are among the best soft skills to put on a resume.
What person are you? One who is getting afraid of the problems or one who see opportunities in them? These opposite approaches make a huge difference and define your ability to make effective decisions.
- identify the problem;
- list the possible solutions;
- evaluate the options;
- select an option;
- implement the solution;
Problem-solving skills are very important for professions such as project manager, lawyer, team leader, teacher, mentor, seller, marketer and any other business area related to customer service and people relationship.
People can’t be expected to agree on everything, all the time! We all are different and often have contrasting points of view.
The ability to deal with conflicts (not to avoid them) is essential.
A particular conflict can be destroying for a business relationship or can provide opportunities. It depends on our ability to deal and manage conflicts.
By learning conflict-resolution skills, you can keep your personal and professional relationships strong and productive. That is why these abilities are among the top soft skills in the list.
Tips to improve your soft skills for conflict resolution:
- Manage stress quickly and stay calm.
- Learn to control your emotions and behavior.
- Be respectful to others.
- Listen carefully and try to understand what is really troubling other people.
- Attract and influence others.
- Use humor in conflict resolution.
Strong conflict resolution skills are required for any kind of manager and leader in business, finance, trade, teaching, administration, and etc…
The best examples of self-management skills are:
- Emotional intelligence
- Emotion management
- The ability to keep a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet
Effective self-management and self-motivation skills have the power to change dramatically almost every aspect of our life.
Self-management skills definition refers to our abilities to control our feelings, emotions, and activities.
How to improve your self-management skills. Tips:
- relax yourself by taking your mind off your stress;
- enjoy yourself, rest yourself as regularly as possible;
- go to vacations and holidays with the people you love;
- take walks in nature;
- do hobbies and take time to do activities that you love the most;
- balance work and leisure;
- organize well your time and tasks;
- find different sources of motivation and inspiration (music, books, activities);
- dear to have big dreams;
- remember that nothing is impossible.
Examples of team-building skills are:
- Collaborative skills
- Care for others
- Building confidence
- Creative thinking and idea exchange
- Supportive attitude
- Taking criticism
No matter for wich organization you are working for, you are a member of a team! And this team need to perform well in order to achieve company’s goals.
Team-working and team-building skills are among the most required soft skills by companies today.
- Do not make a habit of complaining.
- Focus on solutions.
- Listen carefully what others have to tell you.
- Be respectful to other members opinion, ideas and point of view.
- Share your enthusiasm.
- Use humor.
- Celebrate your team achievements.
Examples of decision-making skills are:
- The ability to gather and select information.
- Finding possible options and solutions.
- Analytical skills.
- The ability to select the best options.
- The ability to evaluate your plan.
No matter in which business field you are working in ( finance, marketing, sales, project management…), you have to make an array of decisions on a daily basis.
We always try to make good and effective decisions and we use all our knowledge and skills to pass the decision-making process in the right way.
The best way to improve your decision-making skills is to learn and implement correctly the decision-making process.
Examples of leadership skills are really numerous but some of the best of them are:
- Being proactive with a result-oriented behavior
- The ability to inspire and motivate
- Being confident
- Strategic Planning
- Conflict-resolution skills
- Effective delegation skills
- Negotiation skills
- Optimistic and positive thinking
- Planning and analytical skills
- Coaching and mentoring
- Talent management
Leadership skills are not skills only for leaders and managers! They are essential people and social skills for creating a successful career.
What are leadership skills? Are these type of soft skills learned or innate?
These are some of the most interesting questions in the business. Management and effective leadership skills are a combination of many abilities that allow you to lead, to motivate, to inspire, to create and to build respect. And Yes. They can be learned!
- Know and utilize your strengths and gifts.
- Be positive.
- Be passionate.
- Set clear goals and follow well-developed action plans.
- Do not scare from failures. Be willing to learn from weaknesses.
- Never stop to educate and to improve yourself. Be up with new tendencies and technologies.
Time management and organization skills
- Planning skills
- Scheduling skills
- Meeting management abilities
- Process improvement
- The ability to set right goals
Time management skills are among the people skills that can help you to improve your productivity in a significant way.
How many times you feel like you have more tasks on hand than you have time to do them?
There is a good solution for that problem – developing time management skills. You have to learn to organize your time and tasks to get more things done each day.
- Set goals
- Learn to prioritize your tasks and goals.
- Create a schedule.
- Make lists of tasks and goals.
- Use business optimization tools.
- Break large tasks into smaller tasks.
- Balance work and leisure.
Flexibility / Adaptability
Examples of adaptability skills:
- Self-management skills
- Keeping calm in the face of difficulties
- Positive thinking and optimism
- Dealing with changing priorities/workloads
You know that almost any job description requires flexibility as one of the top 10 work skills. It is among the best soft skills you can possess and use.
Are you able to adapt to new situations and business environments? Are you open to new ideas? Do your best to make the answer YES.
The only constant you can be sure of in the business is change.
Adaptability skills are some of the most valuable soft abilities that a person can possess because these skills allow you to survive, develop, create, learn and to achieve success. You have to be open to changes without fear but with positive thinking and desire to learn.
Main careers which particularly require flexibility: sales, marketing, advertising, event management, PR, media jobs, management consultant, hotel manager and more.
Stress management skills
We tend to think of stress as something horrible that want to destroy our life.
However, the point is not to eliminate the stress completely because it is impossible. On the other side, a little stress may have a positive influence on our work and life.
The main point here is to keep the stress under control or in levels that will help you to make your life a bit less nerve-wracking and more enjoyable.
You need stress management skills to learn to cope with your personal fears and demons.
- You have to understand that any stress triggers are within your power to control and tackle.
- Identify or forecast your stressors. Make clear to yourself which are your main fears (people, situations, tasks, and etc.)
- Be positive and realize that the stress is never entirely beyond your control.
- Instead of bottling up stress, try to release it. Do not be afraid of the stress. Use it as a power to create. Stress can give you energy to make things better.
- Reduce your negative stress-dealing habits, such as smoking, drinking, overeating, and etc.
- Eat healthy and live healthy.
Being creative and innovative
- Critical thinking
- Design sense
- Artistic sense
Whether you are an employee such as an accountant or art director, creativity is what can take your career and business life to new levels of success and growth.
Being creative and innovative is among the top soft skills the companies want to see in your resume. These abilities allow you to come up with new ideas and to resolve problems in the most effective and productive way.
- Try to create something every day – articles, paints, business models, logos and etc.
- Take breaks when you feel stuck with an idea or activity.
- Make a list of your ideas and determine which one you think is the best.
- Have fun with your friends and the people you love.
- Be positive and believe in your skills and ability to create and resolve problems.
Influencing and Persuasion Skills
These skills are a great power! Why? Because people believe what you say and you can make them follow or you can influence people in the most beneficial way for you.
Influencing and persuasion skills are among the best abilities in the soft skills list.
- Understand and focus on the needs of the other side. Find out their interests and expectations.
- Always show logic when you talk or argue.
- Do not use hesitant language and irritating words such as “isn’t it”, “you know”, “um mm” and “I mean”.
- Always be positive and show polite attitude.
- Compliment the other site’s skills, achievements and work.
- Try to remember the names of everyone you meet.
- Always be respectful to the other side.
Management, Sales, Marketing, Coaching, Teaching, are among the top business fields that require strong persuasion skills.
Being in a close relationship with persuasion abilities, good negotiation skills involves being able to discuss and reach a satisfactory agreement.
Effective negotiation skills can lead your business or career to high levels and achievements.
How to develop and improve them? Tips:
- Listen carefully to the arguments of the other side and try to clearly understand the logic of their reasoning.
- If you do not understand something, ask questions until it is completely clear to you.
- List the key issues and problems.
- Use tact and diplomacy. Always keep calm during business meetings and negotiations.
- Develop and improve your verbal communication skills and your body language.
- Know when to compromise.
- Plan for alternative options if you can’t reach an agreement.
Nowadays, networking skills have an absolutely crucial role in the success of your business or career (no matter in wich business area you are working in).
Networking skills are far beyond simple activities such as setting up LinkedIn or Twitter profile. You need a huge set of skills and activities to be able to use the whole potential that networks can provide you nowadays.
Networks are the place where you can create great opportunities for your business.
- Take a deep look at the network that you use now and think about creating new opportunities.
- Be proactive and start conversations. Do not wait for others to start the communication with you.
- Keep the conversation interesting. Follow your audience needs and interests.
- Always try to make benefits for the people you communicate with.
- Do not stuck to the computer and online networks. Use also the potential of offline relationships.
- Try to listen more than you talk, be thoughtful in your interactions.
Which of the listed above soft skills you possess and which of them you have to develop and improve?
Decide it and take actions to boost your personal and social skills because they are what open most of the doors to business and career success.
If you are finding that some of these soft skills do not come naturally to you, do not worry. They are learned. It depends entirely on your desire and willingness to learn.