Soft Skills: definition and importance


Many people know the technical skills and know how to include them in a CV. However, employers are placing more importance on soft skills, which means it is imperative to highlight your soft skills on your resume as well.

This article will cover what soft skills are and why they are important, and provide some examples of soft skills to get you started. Don’t know how to add soft skills to your CV? Consider using a resume template to streamline the process.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are inherent personality traits or characteristics that are difficult to learn or develop, and they are generally not industry specific. Soft skills are sometimes also referred to as relationship skills, interpersonal skills, meta-skills, or qualities. Most soft skills are intangible and difficult to measure or assess. They are often related to your attitude, your work ethic, and your emotional intelligence.

In contrast, specialist skills are usually technical abilities or job-specific knowledge that can be taught through education and experience. Technical skills are easy to define and test, such as fluency in another language, the ability to operate a certain machine, or a CPR certification.

Examples of soft skills

Many job descriptions will include a list of desired soft skills, but here are a few of the most common ones to help you refine your strengths:

  • Communication
  • Problem solving
  • Team work
  • Direction
  • Active listening
  • Customer service
  • Management of time
  • Collaboration
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity
  • Personal motivation
  • Responsibility
  • Decision making
  • Flexibility / adaptability
  • Conflict resolution
  • Integrity
  • Professionalism
  • Friendliness
  • Persuasion
  • Empathy

Why is it important to include soft skills in your CV

Of course, it’s important to include both technical and soft skills on your resume. However, numerous studies have shown that employers are placing more and more emphasis on a candidate’s soft skills rather than their technical skills. This is because technical skills are easily teachable, whereas it is much more difficult to impart soft skills.

So if two candidates apply for a job and one has much better soft skills, that person will likely be hired – even if the other candidate has slightly stronger technical skills. The employer can still teach a new employee how to learn technical skills, but they are unlikely to be able (or willing) to teach someone a non-technical skill like how to be a leader.

Including both technical and soft skills on your resume will show that you are a well-rounded candidate who is not only capable of performing the technical aspects of the job, but also able to interact well with colleagues and clients.

How to list soft skills on your CV

Just writing a list of your soft skills on your resume is unlikely to have any impact or impress potential employers. Instead, show how you’ve used your soft skills to be successful in your past roles by presenting each as an accomplishment.

Additionally, be sure to tailor your CV to each position you apply for. Read the job description carefully to identify specific soft skills the employer is looking for and include those that apply to you on your resume.

You can incorporate your soft skills into your work experience section or create a separate skills section.


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