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Introduction to What Are Soft Skills?

What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills relate to how you work. Soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, and empathy, among others.

Hiring managers typically look for job candidates with soft skills because they make someone more successful in the workplace.1 Someone can be excellent with technical, job-specific skills, but if they can’t manage their time or work within a team, they may not be successful in the workplace.

 
  • Alternate names: Interpersonal skills, essential skills, noncognitive skills2
 

How Soft Skills Work

Soft skills are also important to the success of most employers. After all, nearly every job requires employees to engage with others in some way.

 

Another reason hiring managers and employers look for applicants with soft skills is that soft skills are transferable skills that can be used regardless of the person’s job. This makes job candidates with soft skills very adaptable employees.

Soft skills are particularly crucial in customer-based jobs. These employees are in direct contact with customers. It takes several soft skills to be able to listen to a customer and provide that customer with helpful and polite service.

Types of Soft Skills

Soft skills include the personal attributes, personality traits, and communication abilities needed for success on the job. Soft skills characterize how a person interacts in his or her relationships with others.

 

Soft skills include:

  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Creative thinking
  • Dependability
  • Work ethic
  • Teamwork
  • Positivity
  • Time management
  • Motivation
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Conflict resolution
 

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