Top 25 Soft Skills Employers Want (Full List and Why) 

When you apply for a job, hiring managers typically look for candidates with both specific hard skills and soft skills.  Hard skills are skills you can develop through education, training programs, and on-the-job training. These skills can be easily defined and evaluated. For example, a hard skill for a software developer would be computer coding.

 

What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills relate to your attitude and your intuitions.  Soft skills are more personality-driven and are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, personality traits, attitude, social and emotional intelligence.  Examples of important soft skills are self-awareness, communication, teamwork, problem-solving and creative thinking. And all of these skills are transferable ones meaning they apply to any job position

 

Why do Soft Skills Matter?

 

Soft skills make the difference between suitable candidates and the best candidates. In today’s ever-competitive job market, recruitment criteria no long stops at a person’s ability and specialist knowledge. You need to be able to demonstrate your soft skills. Recruiters will be looking for people who can become leaders, and leadership itself, depends heavily on several key soft skills.

 

A useful example of the difference made by having soft skills is a software developer. Becoming a software developer involves more than just writing code. You need to leverage other skills to become an effective person in your workplace for example how you communicate and get on with fellow team members.

 

Developing a soft skill is one of the best investments you can ever make both in your career and personal life, as they apply to your everyday activities. The rise of AI is making soft skills increasingly important, as they are the type of skills robots can’t automate. 57% of HR today say soft skills are more important than hard skills.

 

Essential Skills

Here we look at the top 25 soft skills employers are now looking for in people. You can take the entire program here

Soft Skills List 

Self Awareness

Self awareness is the foundation and the most important piece of personal growth and success. This is where it all begins. Self awareness is having a clear representation of your personality, your strengths, weaknesses, values, principles, beliefs, feelings thoughts and emotions.

Resilient

Resilience is the ability to adapt to a highly stressful situation or crisis. People who are more resilient are capable of adapting through difficult times . Resilience is innate, but it is also a skill that can be developed with a bit of effort.  Resilient people can manage the stress caused by life changes, through perseverance, inner control techniques, being optimistic and reaching out for support from others.

Developing this skills can help us gain insight into who we are and what we are about, provide us with the courage and confidence to go through difficult periods in the future, inspire and motivate us to do things we would not have done otherwise and make us more resilient as well as happier.

Innovative/Creative

The number-one soft skill employers will seek most in candidates is creativity.   Creativity is “the single most important valuable skill in the world for all future generations to masters.

While robots are great at optimizing old ideas, organizations most need creative employees who can conceive the solutions of tomorrow.

Creative thinking brings fresh,  unconventional solutions to problems. It can help teams and businesses move in more productive directions. It can be developed using different techniques over time such as taking risks, thinking outside the box, keeping an open mind and  creative dreaming.

Business Insight

The ability to have a 360 overview of the business, customer and market insights. Staying on top of your industry is crucial

Trust

Demonstrating that you are trustworthy helps build great relationships, and also helps create “buy in” for your initiatives and projects. When trust is present, people are able to engage in an honest debate around ideas, problems, and decisions that must be made.

Drives Results

The components that make a results-driven person are basic, yet when combined make for a powerful, productive force in the company. Results-driven people are great decision makers.  They calculate different possibilities, and go for the most efficient and most productive path.  Some decisions will not be right but results driven people get there in the end. Results-driven also focuses on a person’s attitude toward priority and tasks.

Plan and Aligns

A project seeks to deliver change for an organisation; in this way it differs from normal ‘business as usual’ activities that are generally in place to keep the organisation operating at its current level. A project seeks to give a different result from the norm, which means that it needs to managed differently.

Action Orientated

Some people will achieve more than others. The only thing that stands between you and success is managing action. We all have big goals and but without action then our goals will always remain as dreams.

Actions have a priority, based on time limits, cost, and effort required to complete. By being able to prioritize tasks, a great performer can oversee the progress of multiple action items at the same time, without wasting time looking at tasks that are low on the list. 

Ensures Accountability

An accountable person holds themselves accountable for their work and goals before they even start it, because accountability is an individual’s own trusted process, a unique skillset developed within successful professionals….a skillset they choose to apply to their job. There is no blame game situation.

 

Your reputation matters, building your accountability skillset is worth your time and effort. It’s about building your professional brand.

 

Situation Adaptability

Highly successful individuals respond to change with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn new ways to accomplish work activities and objectives.

An adaptable mindset is an essential tool for navigating today’s ever-changing world, as yesterday’s solutions won’t solve tomorrow’s problems.

 

Changing behavioural style or your method of approach when necessary to achieve your goal is key.

 

Communicates effectively

A person that can create an atmosphere in which timely and high-quality information flows smoothly to colleagues at all levels both inside and outside the workplace is one of the top 5 skills to have.

They have the ability to refrain from immediate judgment and criticism of others They wait for others to finish their intended message before responding.   They have the ability for example to ask  open-ended questions that draw out the listeners  understanding.

Builds Networks

There’s no denying the power a strong professional network can have over your success. When it’s done well, networking can give you a competitive edge over others, throughout every stage of your career.  Networking is about establishing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet,

Manages Ambiguity

One of the basic roles of leadership is to provide certainty to followers — to provide direction. It may be a less obvious skill, but if you want to progress in a management role, it’s going to be a key to your success.  People who make bad choices because they can’t tolerate ambiguity are destructive. Leaders who freeze in the face of uncertainty aren’t leading.

Customer Focused

In order to have a thorough knowledge of how business works, then you must have some knowledge of the sales process and how customers think. Top performers have the ability to step into the other persons shoes without hesitation.  Without customers, no company can survive. Developing this skill will provide you with the opportunity to boost your people skills further in a way that will truly differentiate you from others.

Persuades

The ability and skills to handle healthy negotiations helps build trust and a deeper relationship with clients while promoting a positive outcome for both parties. When you know how to convince the person on the other side of the table of your opinion, you’ll find that it will positively affect the use of your hard skills. This skill can be developing combining empathy, Perspective-taking and focusing on value (outcome).

Organizational savvy

Managers who have organizational savvy stay up to date of what is happening across the business. They understand the effects of decisions and actions on other parts of the company and recognize the interests of others in different departments of the organization. They then use that information to establish alliances to achieve organizational objectives.

Drives vision and purpose

High performers have vision. They share a dream and direction that other people want to share and follow. The leadership vision goes beyond your written organizational mission statement and your vision statement. Jack Welch once said Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion. This is a skill you develop overtime understanding first what you project and work is.

Optimizes work processes

Why it matters, in one sentence: A timeless skill, mastering time management today will serve you the rest of your career. Figuring out what your customer wants, how you provide it faster and cheaper and eliminating waste are just some key ways to optimize work processes.

Understands Teams

As projects grow increasingly more complex and global in the age of AI, effective collaboration only grows more important. Establishing a high-performing team unleashes the immense potential within the organisation but you must learn to understand team dynamics first, how you work within your team and how they work with you. Teamwork is essential and nothing substantial can be achieved without a team

Can manage conflict

Conflict is almost impossible to avoid. It’s part of human life to disagree and disagreements can be healthy when approached appropriately. When trust is present, teams are able to engage in an honest debate around ideas, problems, and decisions that must be made. Conflicts that are allowed to grow will eventually reduce productivity and damage morale. This is why employers seek employees with the skills to manage conflict. Should it be eliminated altogether? No. Without some conflict there would be no diversity of opinion and no way for you to catch and correct unsound plans and policies.

 

Values Differences

Fundamental values can vary widely across generations. If we want truly united businesses, then we’re going to have to get much better at genuinely embracing difference. Simply understanding different value sets can help individual better understand each other.

Interpersonal savvy

Interpersonal skills are highly sought by employers. Often referred to as “people skills, they are the qualities and behaviors a person uses to interact with others while performing their job. Interpersonal skills range from communication and listening to attitude and body language. We use interpersonal skills everyday to interact with others. Develop your interpersonal skills and enjoy better relationships at work and home

Collaborates

Collaboration is an important soft skill for any professional.  Collaboration requires a mix of interpersonal, problem solving, and communication skills needed for a group to work together towards a common goal. To be part of a collaborative team, you need to develop skills such as trust, acceptance of diverse ideas, find ways to help each other and communicate openly

Manages Complexity

People tend to do three things when faced with a problem: they get afraid or uncomfortable and wish it would go away; they feel that they have to come up with an answer and it has to be the right answer; and they look for someone to blame. Being faced with a problem becomes a problem. And that’s a problem because, in fact, there are always going to be problems. How we deal with complexity determines how we innovate, and how we can provide solutions

Self Development

Self development is a soft skill but also a way of life; progressing as individuals is a given if we are to evolve and develop new skills and interests.

It doesn’t matter how skilled and knowledgeable you are in your profession, if you lack the necessary soft skills required, you will struggle big time.

 

If you want a good example of a great entrepreneur who got fired for lacking some soft skills,  you only have to take a look at the what happened to the late Steve Jobs. He was forced out of the company he had built. Why? A number of reasons but the main one being, he lacked the soft skills of a great leader. Many complaints from workers on the Mac team came in about their demanding boss and how he drove people too hard…. being gentle and polite was not part of his personality. A power struggle also erupted between former CEO, John Sculley and Jobs. In the spring of 1985 Apple’s board sided with the CEO, removing Jobs from his command of the Macintosh group.

 

Soft Skills Training

 

Soft skills are important to the success of almost all employers. Our unique program is built like a jigsaw, helping you achieve results quickly and efficiently.  We show you the top skills that you can use to enhance your learning style, you develop a good work routine and start achieving both personal and career goals. Read our top 30 books of all time. You get to learn crucial insights from leading thinkers while you’re on the go. 

 

Soft skills microburst learning

Watch your personal and career development take a dramatic shift in the right direction in as little as six months. We put you in the driving seat of your own development. You can access the program on any smart device, in your own time, anytime, anywhere around the world. And the best news is, each lesson only takes up 1-2 hours of your time every fortnight. 

Check out the program Personal Development Program Overview