What Are Soft Skills?

soft skills at a work place

Soft skills, also known as interpersonal skills, essential skills, and non-cognitive skills, are vital in just about any working environment. They enable many people to complete everyday tasks such as negotiating, making sales, and managing others. 

Many people have numerous soft skills, yet they don’t always use them to their advantage. This isn’t always a good thing, as soft skills often influence whether an employer perceives an individual as suitable for the roles they are hiring for. Soft skills also determine whether an applicant will be successful in the workplace. 

Although an employee could excel within a role with technical and job-specific skills, without soft skills, they may not be able to manage or work effectively within their team. Unfortunately, this could deem them unsuccessful in their role.

In this blog, we share what soft skills are, why they are important, and how they can be demonstrated on a CV.

soft skills at a work place

What Are the Different Types of Soft Skills?

Soft skills span personal attributes and personality traits that enable individuals to successfully complete day-to-day tasks within the workplace. As soft skills include interpersonal, communication, and listening skills, they also determine how people interact with others. 

In addition to the above, the different types of soft skills include:

  • Conflict resolution
  • Problem-solving 
  • Teamwork
  • Positivity 
  • Listening
  • Adaptability 
  • Communication 
  • Motivation 
  • Creative thinking
  • Dependability
  • Negotiation
  • Leadership
  • Work ethic 
  • Time management 
  • Critical thinking
  • Compromising
soft skills

Why Are Soft Skills Important in the Workplace?

A growing number of employers and organisations worldwide are considering soft skills as vital in the workplace. For this reason, candidates applying for new roles are noticing an increasing demand for many of the soft skills noted above within job advertisements and the recruitment process.

Nowadays, soft skills are considered essential requirements for most roles. In fact, a study conducted by LinkedIn highlighted that 80% of HR professionals state that these particular skills are crucial to the success of both the candidate and the company. 

But why are soft skills important? Many organisations now understand that soft skills are transferable, meaning they can be applied to varying roles and situations, which ultimately contributes to long-term success. 

For example, an employee may have outstanding communication skills that are utilised within a specific role. However, they may be limited and find that they cannot successfully communicate with external customers or suppliers to develop new relationships. Likewise, they may find it challenging to share their thoughts with their colleagues. Yet, those with soft skills will find they can transfer their skills across different situations and scenarios with ease.

soft skills

How Can You Demonstrate Soft Skills on Your CV?

Listing your soft skills on your CV may have been enough to help you secure an interview and new role in the past, but today, employers and recruitment consultants are looking for specific examples.  

Considering this, simply noting your soft skills may be overlooked. Instead, it’s recommended that you back your skills up with practical examples. 

Rather than stating that you have “outstanding time management skills”, consider something like “I have demonstrated outstanding time management skills within my role as “x” to overcome obstacles such as “y”

soft skills at a work place

Soft skills are becoming more valued within the workplace, and candidates must efficiently demonstrate what they can offer an organisation during the recruitment process. Ultimately, those that fail to do so could miss out on landing their dream job.

The Author…

Jane Kisnica

Marketing Assistant, Oyster Partnership

Jane joined Oyster Partnership in November 2017 as a receptionist. She started showing her artistic flair and enthusiasm for all things marketing soon after joining the business. Since then she has worked hard and built her way up from being a receptionist to running the marketing department at Oyster Partnership.