Top Soft Skills to Have on Your Resume
If you’ve read the last blog article, you’ll already know what Soft Skills are and that everyone has some of them. This article is intended to inspire you to recognize some of the soft skills you may have that are valuable to employers (though it’s not intended to be an all-encompassing list) and to encourage you to consider developing those skills you do not have or that could use some work.
Communication Skills – This includes written, verbal, and non-verbal communication as well as active listening. One can also include empathy, presentation skills, friendliness, and constructive criticism. Communication Skills are one of the most useful skills as most jobs and industries rely on communication to operate smoothly.
Customer Service – Closely related to communications, it uses many of the same skills, such as verbal communication and active listening. Customer Service is another of those skill sets that lends itself to many jobs and industries. It isn’t just for retail and the restaurant trades! Many employees deal with customers even if they are not serving the public in some way. You can have internal customers as well, such as Bob in accounting who relies on you to get him your sales figures each day.
Teamwork – Few of us work in a bubble, meaning that we work alone with our output not affecting another person or their ability to do their job. That’s right; teamwork doesn’t necessarily mean a group of people working together on a project though that’s what most people picture. Related skills are negotiation, cooperation, collaboration, and delegation. Knowing how your job fits in with the company objectives as a whole is also a part of teamwork.
Adaptability – Now here’s a skill for right now! Considering the past year and a half, many of us have had to adapt our work environment as well as our lifestyle. While most useful in fast paced jobs, it’s still important as one never knows what could change about one’s job. You could have to learn to use a new software system or piece of equipment. There could be a sudden change to your shift or job description. Our ability to adapt to such things is important to our employers.
Problem Solving – Have you ever gotten through a day where you didn’t have to solve some problem or other? Big or small? Yeah, problem solving is another major one that employers like to see on a resume. With problem solving comes decision making, initiative, logical reasoning, and brainstorming. People that are willing and able to tackle issues will always be valuable.
Work Ethic – The cornerstone of any good employee, work ethic is the most transferrable skill there is. There isn’t a job that doesn’t require it, and your work ethic can make or break you as an employee. It involves having a sense of responsibility, integrity, initiative, dependability, and self-motivation. Work ethic can also been seen as the skill that all other skills are based upon. If you have a good work ethic, you are motivated to build your skills in other areas as well to make yourself a better employee.
Interpersonal Skills – Most businesses involve people which means you’re going to need interpersonal skills. It means that you can communicate and interact well with others, maintain relationships, and leave an overall positive impression. It is an essential skill in both customer service and sales positions though anyone can benefit by developing these skills. Empathy, humor, patience, diplomacy, and networking are all covered by interpersonal skills.
Time Management – This is a skill some people struggle with, but it is essential to managers (especially project managers!) of all types. Being able to use your time wisely and productively is a coveted skill by employers. Since goal setting, prioritizing, stress management, organization, initiative, and planning are all part of time management, you would be wise to improve these skills, especially since there are plenty of resources out there to help you.
Leadership Skills – If you’re looking to move up the ladder, this is the skill you need to work on. Like time management, there are a lot of resources for learning leadership skills. Expect to develop management skills, mentoring, cultural intelligence, and listening skills among others. It should be noted that not all managers are leaders and not all leaders are managers. There are plenty of managers that have poor leadership qualities and plenty of employees that show leadership that are not in a supervisory position.
Creativity – This overlooked ability has become the skill of the 21st century. Innovation is a major buzzword, and creativity is at the core. Thinking outside the box, imagination, divergent thinking, questioning, and experimenting have all become valuable commodities, especially among cutting edge companies. That being said, more and more businesses are realizing that continuing with the status quo will no longer help them remain competitive so bringing creativity to the interview table may just be the advantage you need.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list of soft skills. There are plenty more out there so don’t be too concern if you have just a couple on this list. Besides you can develop any of these skills with determination and persistence. While looking for resources to help you acquire a particular skill, don’t forget your employer. Your employer most likely will be delighted with your desire for growth and will help you through training, mentorship, or opportunities.
So what skills do you think you’d like to develop? Let us know in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.