According to a study by Wonderlic, 93 percent of employers consider soft skills to be either “very important” or “essential.”

However, most job applicants tend to focus on their hard skills, education, and experience instead of their soft skills. This is a mistake. Employers care about soft skills more than people think.

In this article, you’ll find the top 10 soft skills examples, why they’re important, and how to add them to your resume. You’ll also learn the most commonly required soft skills for 10 job titles.

The top 10 soft skills examples:

  1. Communication 
  2. Organization
  3. Teamwork
  4. Problem-solving
  5. Critical thinking
  6. Adaptability
  7. Conflict resolution
  8. Time management
  9. Leadership
  10. Creativity

What are soft skills?

Soft skills, or people skills, are character traits and interpersonal abilities that affect how well you can work and interact with others.

They are often less tangible and harder to quantify than hard skills, which are specific, teachable abilities like coding or accounting.

an infographic showing the difference between hard skills and soft skills

Above all else, employers want to know they can rely on you to show up and work well with others. Forming interpersonal relationships, managing conflicts, having a positive attitude, and relating to customers and co-workers are crucial in any workplace. 

Read more: Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

The top 10 soft skills examples

The following are the soft skills examples employers value the most. This is because they can help you get along with your team and tackle work challenges more smoothly.

1. Communication

You’ve probably heard the saying communication is key—and that’s true in any career.

Communicating in a clear and timely manner ensures all processes go smoothly. Nonverbal communication is also important. This involves conveying messages and emotions through body language, facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice.

Read more: The Top 5 Communication Skills To Include On Your Resume

2. Organization

Prioritizing and completing your daily tasks makes organization one of the top soft skills. Whether you’re a teacher or accountant, staying organized allows you to meet deadlines and reach your goals. It helps you maximize your time and shows you’re a responsible employee.

Read more: The Top 10 Organizational Skills

3. Teamwork

While being able to complete your work independently is crucial, so is working well with others.

Collaborating and brainstorming with a common goal in mind opens you up to different ideas you may have not originally considered. This lends to a more efficient, innovative process.

Being an active listener and having compassion are the cornerstones of being a good team player. You should also be receptive to any constructive feedback.

4. Problem solving

Not everything can run perfectly all of the time. When you hit a roadblock, having problem-solving skills helps you find a solution quickly and effectively.

Recognizing what’s not working requires having an open mind and listening to others. You need to be able to take the time to examine and analyze current processes. Once you’ve identified the problem, approach it in a patient, analytical manner. 

Read more: The Top 5 Problem-Solving Skills

5. Critical thinking

Thinking critically means taking a look at the bigger picture. Coming up with new ideas and implementing change is part of every job, and you need to be rational when doing so. Analyze carefully, do the necessary research, and be objective in your decisions. 

Read more: 6 Critical Thinking Skills to Supercharge Your Resume

6. Adaptibility

When things don’t go as expected, being adaptable is a crucial soft skill. If you’re suddenly given a new responsibility or there’s a change in management, this makes it possible to adjust and learn with ease. This doesn’t mean you should hesitate to ask questions.

Adaptability includes acting with curiosity, learning from your mistakes, and quick thinking. Try to be flexible and eager to take on different tasks.

7. Conflict resolution

To become a skilled conflict resolver, you must be willing to get to the bottom of the issue. Listen to all sides, ask questions, and act with empathy toward the situation.

Making others feel heard helps lead to satisfaction from all parties. You should also focus on compromising and communicating in a calm manner.

8. Time management

This soft skill goes hand in hand with organization. Obviously showing up to any job on time is important, but it’s more than that.

Planning, preparation, and prioritization allow you to make the most of your time and not waste anyone else’s. It also involves scheduling meetings in a way that works for everyone. 

Read more: 7 Time Management Skills You Should Include on Your Resume

9. Leadership

Being a leader doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but you can work up to it through experience. Share your ideas, collaborate, and go above and beyond when you can.

Strong leaders also know when to step back and listen. Leading with compassion raises morale and motivates others to reach common goals and meet deadlines.

Read more: Leadership Skills You Need to Include On Your Resume

10. Creativity

While those with more technical jobs may not place as much value on creativity, it’s a productive soft skill to have in any field.

Coming up with original concepts and ideas requires imagination and curiosity. Being innovative leads to more engagement and excitement, whether it’s among customers or co-workers. It also allows you to reach goals you may not have thought possible.

Which soft skills should you add to your resume?

If you’re unsure which soft skills you should put on your resume, read the description of the job you’re applying to. It should mention the hard and soft soft skills that are most important for that role.

Here’s a sample job description with the soft skills the employer is looking for highlighted. Try to include these skills on your resume:

A job description with soft skills highlighted.

You can also use an online tool like Jobscan’s resume scanner to identify the most important soft skills to add to your resume.

The scanner compares your resume against the job listing and provides you with a report showing you the hard and soft skills your resume is missing.

Here’s what the soft skills section of the report looks like:

Jobscan's Match Report shows missing soft skills.

By adding the highlighted soft skills to your resume, you increase the chances that a hiring manager will find your resume and offer you a job interview. Try Jobscan’s resume scanner for free here.

Soft skills examples by job title

Jobscan analyzed over 10 million real job descriptions to find the top soft skills examples for a variety of job titles. We then sorted these skills by the percentage of job descriptions that list each skill.

Below are the most commonly required soft skills for 10 job titles. To see the full reports for all 27 job titles that we analyzed, click here.

1. Account manager

Account managers work in different areas like sales, marketing, finance, and healthcare. Their expertise centers on enhancing a firm’s interactions with its clientele and resolving potential problems. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Communication
  2. Competitive
  3. Leadership
  4. Driven
  5. Creative
  6. Collaborate
  7. Motivated
  8. Passion
  9. Innovative
  10. Influence

2. Data analyst

A data analyst collects and interprets data to help a company make better decisions. They use tools and methods to find trends, patterns, and insights from large sets of data. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Communication
  2. Driven
  3. Attention to Detail
  4. Collaborate
  5. Leadership
  6. Passion
  7. Innovative
  8. Creative
  9. Motivated
  10. Written Communication

3. Graphic designer

A graphic designer creates visual content to communicate messages. They work on various projects, such as websites, advertisements, and product packaging. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Creative
  2. Attention to Detail
  3. Communication
  4. Collaborate
  5. Innovative
  6. Fast
  7. Meet Deadlines
  8. Passion
  9. Proficient
  10. Organized

4. Medical assistant

A medical assistant supports healthcare teams by performing both administrative and clinical tasks. They handle duties like scheduling appointments, preparing patients for exams, and assisting with medical procedures. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Communication
  2. Vision
  3. Organized
  4. Competitive
  5. Flexible
  6. Friendly
  7. Committed
  8. Attention to Detail
  9. Follow Up
  10. Teamwork

5. Office manager

An office manager oversees the daily operations of an office. They handle tasks such as organizing meetings, managing office supplies, and supporting staff. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Communications
  2. Organized
  3. Leadership
  4. Coordination
  5. Flexible
  6. Problem Solving
  7. Interpersonal Skills
  8. Proficient
  9. Fast
  10. Friendly

6. Product manager

A product manager guides the development and strategy of a product, balancing customer needs with business goals. They collaborate with various teams to plan, build, and launch products. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Vision
  2. Communication
  3. Leadership
  4. Collaborate
  5. Competitive
  6. Driven
  7. Innovative
  8. Creative
  9. Passion
  10. Customer Needs

7. Receptionist

A receptionist serves as the first point of contact in an office or organization, managing front-desk activities. They handle tasks like greeting visitors, answering phone calls, and scheduling appointments. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Communication
  2. Friendly
  3. Outgoing
  4. Organized
  5. Interpersonal Skills
  6. Flexible
  7. Professional
  8. Motivated
  9. Courteous
  10. Work Independently

8. Software engineer

A software engineer designs and develops computer programs and applications. They work on various aspects of software creation, from initial planning and design to testing and maintenance. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Collaborate
  2. Communication
  3. Passion
  4. Innovative
  5. Driven
  6. Leadership
  7. Committed
  8. Fast
  9. Vision
  10. Creative

9. Teacher

A teacher educates students. They create lesson plans, deliver instruction, assess progress, and adapt their teaching methods to meet the diverse needs of their students. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Instruction
  2. Leadership
  3. Communication
  4. Collaborate
  5. Professional
  6. Creative
  7. Vision
  8. Flexible
  9. Passion
  10. Motivated

10. Marketing manager

A marketing manager develops and implements strategies to promote a company’s products or services. They oversee marketing campaigns, analyze market trends, and work with a team to increase brand awareness and drive sales. (See full Skills Report).

  1. Communication
  2. Leadership
  3. Passion
  4. Best Practices
  5. Passionate
  6. Motivated
  7. Organized
  8. Written Communication
  9. Verbal Communication
  10. Entrepreneurial

How to list soft skills on your resume

It’s important to list your soft skills on your resume in a way that effectively showcases your abilities and makes them relevant to the job you’re applying for.

Here’s a guide on how to list soft skills on your resume:

1. Identify relevant soft skills

Start by identifying the soft skills that are most relevant to the job you are applying for. Review the job description and note skills like communication, teamwork, work ethic, problem-solving, or active listening.

2. Integrate soft skills with your experience

Instead of just listing soft skills, integrate them into the descriptions of your previous job experiences. For example, under a previous job title, you might include a bullet point like, “Led a team of 12, fostering effective communication and problem-solving, which increased project efficiency by 15%.”

3. Use specific examples

Provide specific soft skills examples. For instance, “Improved customer satisfaction by 20% through effective communication and active listening.”

4. Include soft skills in your summary

Your resume’s summary or objective is a good place to highlight key soft skills. For example, “Dedicated and empathetic customer service professional with strong communication and interpersonal skills seeking to enhance client relations at A1Media Company.”

5. Quantify your skills where possible

Whenever you can, quantify your achievements related to soft skills. For example, “Managed a diverse team, increasing overall productivity by 30% through effective motivational strategies.”

6. Balance soft skills with hard skills

Ensure there’s a good balance between soft and hard skills on your resume. While soft skills are important, employers also look for technical or job-specific skills.

7. Customize for each application

Tailor your soft skills examples for each job application. Different roles might require different soft skills, so it’s important to adapt accordingly.

8. Avoid overused buzzwords

Try to avoid the use of overused buzzwords like “team player” or “hard worker.” Instead, demonstrate these qualities through specific examples.

9. Use action words

Start your bullet points with action verbs that convey the application of your soft skills, such as “collaborated,” “facilitated,” or “negotiated.”

10. Use an online tool to optimize your resume

When listing your soft skills on your resume, you’ll face a couple of challenges. One is knowing which soft skills you should focus on. The other is the amount of time and effort it takes to tailor each resume to the job you’re applying to.

To overcome these challenges, use an online tool like Jobscan’s resume scanner. Just paste in your resume and the description of the job you’re applying for, click scan, and receive a detailed report on how to improve your resume for that particular job.


Make your resume stand out and get noticed

Upload your resume to see what’s missing and get a free match rate.

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FAQs

What are some examples of soft skills?

Soft skills examples include effective communication, teamwork skills, problem-solving, adaptability, time management, conflict management, leadership skills, strategic thinking, and interpersonal skills. The right soft skills are essential for career success as they help individuals interact effectively with colleagues, clients, and customers.

How can you develop soft skills?

Because soft skills pertain mainly to personal attributes, you can’t really learn them by studying or taking classes. Develop soft skills through working on yourself, focusing on improving areas that will help your professional development and job performance.

For example, develop time management skills by making a daily schedule, actively keeping track of how much time you spend on a task, and avoiding multitasking. Taking a public speaking course can help you develop good communication skills. Learn about your top soft skills and yourself through self reflection, journaling, and reading self help books. 

What are the 5 top soft skills?

The top 5 soft skills examples are communication, organizational skills, teamwork, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Having these skills can contribute to your professional success.

What’s the difference between soft skills and hard skills?

Hard skills are definable, technical skills that can be taught through education and job experience. Soft skills pertain to personal characteristics, social skills, and emotional intelligence. They help you thrive in a professional setting.


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Robert Henderson, CPRW, Resume Expert

Robert Henderson, CPRW, is a career advice writer and a resume expert at Jobscan.

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