You’ll find soft skills examples, advice on highlighting your skills for resume sections, and access to additional lists of industry-specific soft skills. Use these suggested skills alongside our professionally designed resume templates to help boost your job application and snag those interviews.

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are sometimes referred to as interpersonal skills, social skills, communication skills, people skills or life skills.

These resume soft skills illustrate how you achieve work goals, contribute to the workplace and collaborate. Soft skills can vary from leadership to work ethics to collaboration.

Soft skills vs hard skills

The most effective resumes include soft and hard skills, which are learned skills related to workplace tasks. You’ll include both skill sets across multiple resume sections, including your professional summary, work history and skills sections.

soft skill icon

Soft Skills

Interpersonal or ‘people-centric’ traits.

  • Empathy
  • Active listening
  • Attention to detail
  • Collaboration
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Decision-making
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management
hard skill icon

Hard Skills

Teachable, technical abilities, easy to quantify.

Soft Skill Infographic

Find Job-Specific Soft Skills With a Resume Builder

This list of soft skills is a great starting point to help you craft your resume. However, hundreds of job openings and nuanced careers require a unique combination of soft and hard skills. Our Resume Builder will suggest the best soft skills to add to your resume based on your experience and a specific job opening.

Try it today to unlock these soft skills, additional resume-writing support and customizable resume templates.

Soft Skills FAQ

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are social abilities that enable you to work independently or collaboratively across multiple work settings. This subsection of skills can prove your reliability, quick thinking and culture fit to hiring managers.

There’s a wide range of soft skills. Still, most fall into the following categories:

  • Communication
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Leadership
  • Creativity
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking
  • Management
  • Work ethic

Why are soft skills important for specific jobs?

Choosing the right soft skills for specific jobs can help set you apart from other candidates in this competitive job market.

  1. Culture fit: Prepare in advance by researching the company’s culture. What qualities do the business value? The information you find will define which soft skills you will include in your resume.
  2. Communication: Strong communication is essential in any role. Recruiters value candidates who can get their points across clearly and concisely. This paves the way to building successful relationships with stakeholders and senior leaders.
  3. Problem-solving: Interviewers will ask for examples of when you’ve been able to work independently or with the team to solve challenging situations. Prepare examples of your best problem-solving experiences. You can frame these experiences in a problem-action-solution phrase and add them to your summary statement or work history section.

How can I develop soft skills?

Develop your intuitive soft skills inside and outside the workplace. These soft skills impact your success by boosting your productivity and creating a path toward career advancement.

  1. Take every job or task seriously: No matter how small a responsibility seems, performing it with attention, intention and focus can help you develop and practice critical thinking, attention to detail and work ethic skills.
  2. Get organized: Organization demonstrates your attention to detail. It also cultivates time management and shows that you are a reliable resource. Avoid clutter and stick to deadlines and timelines. Start using a calendar and set up a daily routine. These habits can help you develop traditional organizational skills.
  3. Volunteer for projects: Take on personal volunteer projects to practice additional skills on your own time. Working on these community volunteer projects can help you develop communication, teamwork, collaboration and time management skills.
  4. Ask for advice: Don’t be afraid to ask your manager or teammates. Your unique work experience enables you to develop unique soft skills and perspectives — these insights can help you look and work outside your comfort zone.