You control your data

We use cookies to tailor the experience of creating resumes and cover letters. For these reasons, we may share your usage data with third parties. You can find more information about how we use cookies on our Cookies Policy. If you would like to set your cookies preferences, click the Settings button below. To accept all cookies, click Accept.

Settings Accept

Cookie settings

Click on the types of cookies below to learn more about them and customize your experience on our Site. You may freely give, refuse or withdraw your consent. Keep in mind that disabling cookies may affect your experience on the Site. For more information, please visit our Cookies Policy and Privacy Policy.

Choose type of cookies to accept


These cookies allow us to analyze our performance to offer you a better experience of creating resumes and cover letters. Analytics related cookies used on our Site are not used by Us for the purpose of identifying who you are or to send you targeted advertising. For example, we may use cookies/tracking technologies for analytics related purposes to determine the number of visitors to our Site, identify how visitors move around the Site and, in particular, which pages they visit. This allows us to improve our Site and our services.

Performance and Personalization

These cookies give you access to a customized experience of our products. Personalization cookies are also used to deliver content, including ads, relevant to your interests on our Site and third-party sites based on how you interact with our advertisements or content as well as track the content you access (including video viewing). We may also collect password information from you when you log in, as well as computer and/or connection information. During some visits, we may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, download errors, time spent on certain pages and page interaction information.


These cookies are placed by third-party companies to deliver targeted content based on relevant topics that are of interest to you. And allow you to better interact with social media platforms such as Facebook.


These cookies are essential for the Site's performance and for you to be able to use its features. For example, essential cookies include: cookies dropped to provide the service, maintain your account, provide builder access, payment pages, create IDs for your documents and store your consents.

To see a detailed list of cookies, click here.

Save preferences
My Account
Soft Skills: Definition, List & 50+ Examples for Your Resume

Soft Skills: Definition, List & 50+ Examples for Your Resume

Soft skills are just as important to your professional success as your job-specific skills. Learn what softs skills you have, and how to put them to good use on your resume.

As seen in:

It should come as no surprise—


Hiring managers look for people who can get the job done and work as part of a team.


That’s why your soft skills matter.


But what are they exactly? And how to put them on a resume?


Read on!


This article will show you:


  • What soft skills are and why they’re in high demand at work.
  • Lists of top soft skills divided into easy-to-understand subsets with explanations.
  • How to identify your top soft skills for a job and how to put them on a resume.


Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.


Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume samples here.

Looking for information on other types of skills? We’ve got you covered:




What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are a mix of interpersonal skills, common sense, personality, emotional intelligence and attitude towards people and are very important for success in the workplace as they impact how we perform and interact with our cooworkers. 


Soft skills either can't be acquired or are notoriously hard to acquire through traditional education, although they're transferable. What does it mean?


In short, transferable skills aren’t job-specific. You have them regardless of the job you’re doing.


For example, if you’re a great communicator you’ll remain one whatever you do.




This segues us smoothly into another part of the definition.


Employers appreciate them. But why?


Let’s put it this way:


If an employer has a choice between:


  • a highly-skilled candidate who’s also emotionally intelligent, communicative, and instantly likable, and
  • an equally skilled candidate who’s totally anti-social.


Guess who the employer will want to give a job to.


See the point?


With the advent of hiring for attitude, employers focus on soft skills more than ever.


Why so?


Soft skills in the workplace are the driving force behind any company’s success. 


It’s thanks to soft skills that team members are able to effectively collaborate with each other and achieve synergistic results. 


Truth is—


You can teach people to use new software, or perform certain job-specific tasks rather quickly.


But you can’t teach them common sense. Or change their character.


This is also how soft skills differ from hard skills.


Hard skills are teachable and testable. You can learn them on the job, at school, or through various courses and certifications.


Soft skills are your interpersonal skills (a.k.a. people skills) the bulk of which depends on your personality and the environment you grew up in. 


You can't test whether or not people will get along with each other.


They either will or won't.


Pro Tip: Check out if your employability skills are up to par. Make every employer wants to fight for you!


You can show off your soft skills in a job interview right from the start. How? Learn how to tell the recruiter about yourself, and make a great first impression.



Soft Skills Examples


One of the most common misconceptions about soft skills is that they’re only useful for customer-facing positions.


While it’s true that customer service jobs do require well-developed soft skills—


Almost any other position that involves contact with another human calls for similar skills too.


Since such skills encompass various abilities and qualities, it may be useful to have a list that would help you identify which soft skills you already have, and which ones you need to work on.


But before we move on to our detailed lists—


Just know that a recent iCIMS study has identified the following soft skills as some of the most valued by recruiting professionals:


  • Problem-solving
  • Time-management
  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Collaboration




Let’s take a closer look at each soft skill mentioned above and... add some more.


You can use the lists below as a master list that’ll help you identify your best skills for a resume.


Problem-Solving Skills


If people had no problems, the existence of businesses would make no sense. Problem-solving skills, along with time-management and organizational skills could easily become the unofficial Holy Trinity of soft skills.


  • Analyzing
  • Benchmark development
  • Brainstorming
  • Drawing conclusions
  • Experimenting
  • Innovation
  • Insight
  • Project design
  • Solution design
  • Test development
  • Troubleshooting


Time-Management Skills


Time management skills are crucial to working efficiently and effectively. Here’s a look at what this skill subset can refer to:


  • Assessment and evaluation
  • Delegation
  • Goal setting
  • Managing appointments
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Multitasking
  • Prioritizing
  • Resource management
  • Scheduling


Organizational Skills


They say entropy is the natural state of things. This could be true, but only up to a point. The point at which your organizational skills come into play.


  • Collaboration
  • Delegation
  • Mental organizational
  • Physical organization skills
  • Planning
  • Prioritizing
  • Time management
  • Work-life balance


Communication Skills


Good communication skills are a vital subset of soft skills. Employers value effective communicators able to express themselves clearly, who listen to what others have to say.


  • Active listening
  • Body language
  • Brevity
  • Clear speech and writing
  • Confidence
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Friendliness
  • Negotiating
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Openness
  • Oral communication skills
  • Presenting
  • Public speaking
  • Storytelling
  • Written communication skills


Teamwork Skills


This subset is crucial to your success in the workplace. Strong teamwork skills in combination with the other types of soft skills turn you into an A-player.


  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decision-making
  • Influencing
  • Listening
  • Organizational skills
  • Persuasion
  • Planning skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Rapport-building
  • Reliability
  • Respectfulness
  • Tolerance


Interpersonal Skills


The most important subset of your soft skills comprises your people skills or interpersonal skills. These skills help you establish good relationships with your coworkers and others.


  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creativity
  • Decision making
  • Dependability
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Mediation
  • Patience
  • Problem-solving
  • Relationship building
  • Responsibility
  • Self-motivation
  • Teamwork/Collaboration


Critical-Thinking skills


Critical thinking skills, also referred to as common sense, allow you to take a step back and judge a situation from a distance. They’re indispensable skills in any kind of position.


  • Analyzing
  • Evaluating
  • Explanation
  • Inference
  • Interpreting
  • Open-mindedness
  • Problem-solving
  • Self-regulation


Conceptual Skills


With the help of conceptual skills you can visualize complex interdependencies, see the big picture, and find optimal solutions. These skills come in handy to people in managerial positions in particular.


  • Abstract thinking
  • Cognitive skills
  • Contextualizing
  • Creative thinking
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Innovating
  • Logical thinking
  • Motivating
  • Organizational skills
  • Presenting
  • Problem-solving


Creative-Thinking Skills


Creative thinking skills include a wide array of soft skills and abilities that let you see ordinary things from an extraordinary perspective. They help you find innovative solutions to various problems.


  • Active listening
  • Artistic design
  • Brainstorming
  • Communication
  • Creative writing
  • Open-mindedness
  • Problem-solving


Decision-Making Skills


This is a great subset of skills for project management. Decisions have to be made, and the biggest challenge is to keep your cool and make the best one. Here’s a list of different types of decision-making skills:


  • Consensus decision-making
  • Consumer decision making
  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Ethical decision making
  • Rational decision
  • Shared decision-making
  • Team decision-making


To sum up:


The lists could go on almost indefinitely.




You don’t have that much space on your resume, do you?


So it’s crucial to know how to identify and present your top strengths on your resume.


Well, you're about to find out in the next section.


Writing a resume requires you to pay attention to many things big and small. Don’t let anything slip your attention, read our guide on what to put on a resume.


When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.


How to List Soft Skills on a Resume


Now that you know what soft skills are—


It’s time to see which of them to put on your resume.


And the answer is—


Well, it depends.




Different positions have different requirements, so the skills you’ll want to put on your resume will vary from one position to another.


This is exactly why it’s crucial for your resume to be tailored to the position you’re pursuing.


Here’s how to choose the best soft skills for a resume in six simple steps:


1. Identify what soft skills employers want.

It’s easy to do this. All you need to do is take a long hard look at the job offer they posted, and note down all the skills the employer looks for.


2. Make a master list of all your soft skills.

You’re free to use the lists above to get inspired. Peek into our detailed guide on resume skills to identify the ones you have.


3. Compare your list to the job offer.

This is how you can identify the right soft skills to put on your resume. Remember: focus on the ones you’re great at. Leave out all the rest.


4. Use the resume experience section to show your soft skills.

The trick is to work them into your resume experience bullet points. They’ll look much more powerful if you find a way to quantify them.


5. Put your soft skills in your resume profile.

Show off your skills at the top of your resume. Put some in your career objective or resume summary statement.


6. List your soft skills in a dedicated skills section.

You can give more prominence to your top skills by putting them in a separate resume section labeled Skills.


Pro Tip: Your resume isn’t the only place where you can highlight your relevant skills. Write a cover letter that will put your top skills in the spotlight.


Now look at the examples below to see what this looks like in practice:


Soft Skills—Resume Objective Example


Collaborative and dynamic business analyst with 7+ years of professional experience. Eager to support XYZ Inc. with top problem-solving and analytical skills to support the company’s strategic initiatives. In previous roles increased sales by 20% through identifying a major bottleneck and improving business processes.


Pro Tip: See if the job offer identifies the character traits the employer desires. Have them? Great! Put them here. Your resume profile is a great place for resume keywords.


Job Description on a Resume—Soft Skills


  • Effectively communicated the scope, schedule, and budget of projects to 10+ customers and contractors.
  • Led a team of 5 sales representatives and mentored 20+ new hires.




Always try to quantify your experience described in bullet points. 


This way you show your real-life impact and turn your boring responsibilities into full-blown achievements for a resume.


Pro Tip: If you want to double the impact of every bullet point in your resume job description, start each one with a powerful resume action word.


Resume—Skills Section Example


  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management


Pro Tip: To make sure your resume goes past the ATS scan, use the wording that mimics the job ad. For example, if the job ad lists collaboration rather than teamwork, go for collaboration.


Putting the right skills on your resume will give your resume a serious boost. But you can do so much more to up your chances! Learn how to make a resume that will stand out from the crowd.


Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:


matching set of resume and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaways


Here’s all you need to know about soft skills:


  • In contrast to other types of skills, soft skills are hard to learn in a traditional way and are an integral part of your personality.
  • Top soft skills that employers look for are problem-solving, teamwork, and communication skills among others.
  • Always highlight the right soft skills on your resume, and tailor your resume to the job offer.
  • Don’t forget to mention your soft skills in a cover letter.


Do you have any questions? Would you like to share your advice? Reach out to us using the comments below. We’d love to hear from you!


Frequently Asked Questions about Soft Skills


What are soft skills?


Soft skills are character traits and individual features that allow us to interact efficiently with others to be successful in the workplace. They are interpersonal skills, or people skills, that require emotional intelligence and awareness of context and are usually universal (i.e., not job-specific).


If you were to name soft skills, think along the lines of being detail-oriented, having great critical thinking skills, collaboration skills, etc.


Soft skills typically complement the hard/technical skills required for a particular job.


What are soft skills examples?


Here’s a list of the top 15 soft skills:



Why are soft skills important?


A candidate’s work ethic and ability to work well with others are just as essential as their ability to perform a task, so the skills employers want to see go beyond technical and hard skills. You have to prove that you have the crucial personal skills needed for the job.


Say, if you have a client-facing role, you must possess great customer service skills. If you work as an office manager or executive assistant, your administrative skills should include organizational and interpersonal aptitudes in addition to computer skills. So, if you want a competitive edge, ensure you feature soft skills and work accomplishments.


What are soft skills on a resume?


A good resume should showcase the essential skills you need to perform well at your job (in the dedicated Skills section). Besides mentioning your hard skills, like being proficient in Microsoft Office, you also need to show that you possess interpersonal skills and decision-making skills, among others—i.e., soft skills.


If you’re unsure which skills to put on a resume, here's how you figure it out:


  • Make a master list of the skills you possess.
  • Scan the job description to look for resume keywords that will prompt you which characteristics the employer’s looking for.
  • List all expected soft skills for your role and match them to your own.
  • Create 5-8 bullet points with the skills you have that are relevant to the job.
  • Don’t forget to feature language skills and any transferable skills previously acquired.
  • Make sure your list is relevant and supports the information in the other resume sections.


If you’d like to feature soft skills on your job application, remember that tailoring your resume to the position is crucial. If you don’t have much work experience, it might be a good idea to go with a skills-based resume that would focus on skills vs. your past jobs.


Why do you need hard and soft skills on your resume?


In today’s workplace, it’s no longer a matter of hard skills vs. soft skills, as both are deemed equally necessary and important. For instance, IT skills required for tech jobs would most certainly include both hard skills (like coding or data analysis) and soft skills (like teamwork and communication). The key is to be able to combine both categories of professional skills on your resume to show that you’re both an expert in your field and a responsible, team-oriented individual.

Rate my article: soft skills
Average: 4.73 (62 votes)
Thank you for voting
Maciej Duszyński, CPRW
Maciej is a career expert and Certified Professional Resume Writer with a solid background in the education management industry. He's worked with people at all stages of their career paths: from interns to directors to C-suite members, he now helps you find your dream job.

Similar articles

10+ Google Docs Resume Templates for 2023

10+ Google Docs Resume Templates for 2023

Looking for a Google Docs resume template that’s just right for you? See our selection of free and paid templates that are available in Google Drive and take your pick.