Soft Work Skills


Keeping an UpToDate resume is a challenging task, especially if you have been in the same position for five or more years. The layout and content of resumes like everything else continue to change and evolve. One of the key things to add to today’s resumes is a list of skills. The skills needed are “hard skills” and “soft skills”.  More and more employers seek candidates with “soft skills”.

The traditional “hard skills” are measurable, they are job-specific and learned through education, training programs, certifications and on the job training. These are quantifiable skills that can be easily defined and evaluated. For example, coding, budgeting, writing, math, carpentry skills like framing.

“Soft skills” are the more personable qualities, your people skill, and they are harder to define and evaluate. They are leadership, communication, organization etcetera.   LinkedIn reports that 92% of talent professionals are putting greater emphasis on these soft skill qualities. Soft skills are difficult to teach and they should complement your hard skills creating a total package the employer wants.

Top Soft skills employers are looking for:


    • Clarity
    • Confidence
    • Respect
    • Empathy
    • Listening
    • Verbal communication
    • Non-verbal communication
    • Written communication
    • Friendliness

Work Ethic

    • Integrity
    • Responsibility
    • Discipline
    • Initiative
    • Dependability
    • Commitment
    • Self-motivated
    • Professionalism
    • Teamwork
    • Time-management


    • Curiosity
    • Self-management
    • Decision making
    • Calmness
    • Optimism
    • Open-mindedness
    • Analysis
    • Self-confidence
    • Organization
    • Self-motivation
    • Teachable

Time Management

    • Goal Setting
    • Prioritizing
    • Self-starter
    • Planning
    • Decision making
    • Focus
    • Delegation
    • Stress management
    • Coping

Problem Solving

    • Analysis
    • Lateral thinking
    • Logical reasoning
    • Initiative
    • Persistence
    • Observation
    • Persuasion
    • Negotiation
    • Brainstorming
    • Decision making


    • Project management
    • Empathy
    • Selflessness
    • Agility
    • Listening
    • Humility
    • Cultural intelligence
    • Authenticity
    • Versatility
    • Generosity
    • Trust


    • Divergent thinking
    • Inspiration
    • Imagination
    • Reframing
    • Insight
    • Innovation
    • Experimenting
    • Questioning
    • Design

Attention to Detail

    • Critical observation
    • Listening
    • Organization
    • Scheduling
    • Analysis
    • Introspection
    • Memory
    • Recall
    • Questioning

Soft skills are transferable and can be used regardless of the job the person is working, this makes the candidate very adaptable. Knowing which soft skills to include could be the differentiator that gets you the job offer over someone with a similar set of hard skills.

Review the list, circle the ones that you have, shorten your list down to three to five soft skills needed for the job you are applying for, add the skills to the skills section of your resume. Mention two soft skills in your cover letter and use examples of these skills in your past work experience during the interview. Remember body language and the skills such as eye contact, active listening, and enthusiasm during the interview are a clear demonstration of your skills to the hiring manager. Your education, degree, certifications, and experience might get your foot in the door, but your ‘soft skills’ are what will help land you the job.

Cheryl Viola, Executive Director


Doyle, A. (2019, August 24). Best Soft Skills to List on a Resume. Retrieved from

Doyle, A. (2020, January 2). What Are Soft Skills? Retrieved from

Gerenecer, T. (2020, January 14). Hard Skills vs Soft Skills: List of Best Examples for the Workplace. Retrieved from

Hard Skills vs. Soft (n.d.). Retrieved from