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The 3 Top Soft Skills to Put on a Resume

Three construction workers wearing hard hats look in the distance while talking about a project.

Should you put soft skills on a resume?

A resume or CV is basically a diary of your career. It’s a manifest of the most impactful experiences, positions, companies and achievements that have defined your career. While it’s important to get those right because they’ll be scrutinized most by employers and recruiters, don’t forget to include the soft skills. Sometimes they can make all the difference that helps you land your next job.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are more general, social skills on your resume. They're gained indirectly from a job or educational experience. You can list these skills in dedicated sections of your resume or under any employment or educational experience you've had. Here are some of the most important soft skills to put on your resume.  

The 3 top soft skills to put on a resume:

1. Leadership Experience

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8 percent increase in the demand for management occupations from 2021 to 2031. Workers seeking both managerial and non-managerial positions should promote their leadership qualities.

You can speak to your leadership traits without managerial experience. Highlight interpersonal skills like communication and motivation. These abilities present you as a potential leader and good teammate. 

Strategic Account Executive Jessica Fong has over 19 years of experience in helping manufacturers in the life sciences industry find quality workers. She says workers can show their leadership qualities through focus and being proactive. 

“Workers should take ownership over their role in the process and ensure they have completed all the necessary steps before it moves to the next phase. Also, if you notice something that can be done differently or with more efficiency let a supervisor know. They are usually willing to listen, especially if it’s from a solution-minded perspective,” says Jessica Fong.

2. Problem Solving

A recent McKinsey & Company report highlights problem solving as being the leading skill HR professionals have difficulty staffing for. A trend driving demand for this soft skill is the rise of robotics and automation in manufacturing and distribution. New technology requires new skills in human-machine collaboration. The demand for skilled trades professionals who can identify and resolve errors through a digital interface is strong and rising.

“Automation is only going to grow. Our partners are going to need workers who can figure out ways to improve processes or find the causes of malfunctions. They may not be trained as maintenance mechanics, but they’ll have some of those problem-solving skills,” says Jessica Fong.

3. Adaptability

Hiring workers who can apply their knowledge and experiences to new situations helps employers create a more versatile workforce. You’ve probably been more adaptable than you realize. Have you ever agreed to a change in your schedule or taken on new responsibilities? Have you participated in professional development opportunities? If the answer is yes, don’t hesitate to highlight your adaptability on your resume. Also be prepared to speak to how you’ve been adaptable during your interview.  

“Adaptability is something we see on nearly every job description a company shares with us. The more adaptable people are, the easier they are to train and take on new responsibilities.

Companies want to be able to cross-train their workers to perform more than just one task. It helps them fill gaps in their workforce. It also helps workers stay engaged by mitigating repetitive functions,” says Jessica Fong.

Interested in learning more about soft skills for resumes?

Want to learn more about the soft skills to put on a resume and what you need to succeed in the future? Read our report “Workforce 2030: The Skills Companies Will Need to Succeed “ 

Put your soft skills to work with us. Search our job board.