5 Essential Soft Skills to have on your resume in 2024

FREE Worksheets and tips to help you improve your soft skills!

· Career and Employ,Job Skills,Resume upgrade,Essential Soft Skills

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • What are soft Skills
  • 5 Essential Soft Skills that Employers want- Free Worksheets included
  • Conclusion


If you are trying to navigate the job market this year and finding that you are not getting anywhere or other candidates have the edge on you, then maybe you need to upgrade your resume. You may even need to learn some new skills to help you gain the advantage over other candidates. When it comes to skills that employers are looking for, most will want to see what are referred to as soft and hard skills. Soft Skills vs hard skills-do you know the difference? Do you have the right soft skills? What can you do to improve your skills or learn new skills? What are the 5 essential soft skills to have on your resume in 2024? How can you make yourself stand out from the crowd? Let's explore this!

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are skills that are personal descriptions or attributes that you feel you have that enables you to interact well with others in the workplace. They are very important skills to have because they are skills that help the workplace run smoothly. Soft skills can be thought of as the oil that runs your hard skills or technical expertise. They go hand in hand with the hard skills that you may have. Here are the 5 essential soft skills that most employers look for in a job candidate:

1. Communication

Strong communication skills are vital in any workplace or profession. Without proper communication then success is not possible in any job. If you lack communication skills, then improving it should be top priority for you this year. There are many ways to improve your communication skills. You can take classes. You can read books about communication. You can watch videos. Whatever the method, be sure to dedicate time to improving your communication skills. Here is how you can maximize your communication skills and communicate better with anyone.

Active listening- Listening is a big part of communication. It starts with active listening. Active listening means that you are tuned into the other person. You hear what they are saying first before you speak or give them an answer.

Body language- Your body language matters just as much as what you say. Communication is not only verbal but is made up of your non-verbal cues as well. Are you closed off when you speak to others? Do you look away and avoid eye contact? Are you open and inviting in your body language?

Comprehension questions- Asking questions or summarizing what the other person is saying to you can go a long way in creating great communication. Asking questions serves two purposes: first, it shows that you care about what the other person is saying. Second, it promotes true understanding which creates the pathway for better communication.

Reflection- As humans, we sometimes want to say the first thing that comes out of our mouths. But oftentimes, this is a barrier to great communication. Take a step back when in difficult or sensitive communication situations. Take some time to reflect on what you want to say before letting the words come out of your mouth. And the big test is this, if you wouldn't want someone to say what you want to say to the other person, then don't say it.

Draft and wait- Waiting to send any form of written communication is really important in effective communication. This goes hand in hand with reflecting before speaking. If you notice that your tone in your email or text is a bit strong or something is giving you pause, then leave it in draft before you send it. Go back over it and read it out loud. This way you can decide if this is what you really want to send out. Again, use the big test rule, "would I want someone to send this to me?" if your answer is no, then don't send that email or text. Take a step back and give your communication with the other person some breathing room. Revisit what you would like to say 24 hours later and see if your emotions have changed. If 24 hours is not allowable due to time constraints, then give it as much time as possible. Maybe not send the email until you go to the bathroom or maybe after lunch. The point is to slow things down so that you can be proud of your communication after the fact.

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2. Problem Solving

Having the ability to problem-solve at a high level is a well needed skill in any work environment. Employers want to be confident that they can rely on their employees to solve from the easiest problems to the more complex problems. Having strong problem solving skills does not have to be difficult, there are strategies and processes that you can use to sharpen your problem solving skills. If you are actively interviewing for a job right now, sure enough you have come across this question during your interview: "Tell us about a situation where you had a problem to solve at work and how did you resolve it." Although it is a common question, most people are not prepared with a good answer. Why? Because they have not built up a portfolio full of problem solving history. Start writing down some of the major or key problems you have solved in the workforce and have them ready when asked about them. If you have never had a job before- don't worry, use what you have. Use your education or general life experience to demonstrate your problem solving skills. Fill out our FREE problem-solving portfolio worksheet to start your portfolio now- Click here to access it through your FREE membership.

4 Tips for solving any problem with confidence- Click here to gain access to our problem-solving worksheet.

Identify: In this initial stage of problem solving, clearly identify what the problem is. Sometimes it is obvious what the problem is and sometimes you will have to do more research and talk to different stakeholders to truly identify the problem.

Brainstorm: This is where ideas for solving the problem are put forth. What are some of the potential solutions to the identified problem? Put together a list of possible solutions

Explore- Analyze or explore the pros and cons of each to see if they could solve the problem.

Execute- After analyzing the possible solutions, then execute or implement the appropriate solution or solutions to the problem.

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3. Time Management

Time management is something that many people struggle with. How to get the most done in a limited amount of time. Therefore, making this soft skill a very highly welcomed skill in any workplace. A lot of people waste time at work, whether it is due to procrastination or just bad time management skills all together. How can you have a more productive day by managing your time better? What are some tips and techniques that you can start using today to help you do more each day? How can you take control of your time? Here are some quick tips, you can get more insight in developing great time management skills through our eBook Time Mastery

Clearly define your goals- All your goals should be SMART goals. Meaning they should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based. Read more here about how to create your SMART goals.

Prioritize your goals- Get in the habit of ranking or prioritizing your goals or tasks from most important to less time sensitive. Goals at the top of the list are goals you would like to get started on first and the ones at the bottom can be accomplished later.

Perform or execute- This is probably the hardest part of time management, executing your to-do list of goals. This is part of time management that tends to give the most frustration. The key here is to not overwhelm yourself but to stick to the Realistic and Time-based part of your SMART goal creation. Baby steps will go a long way in ensuring you get to the finish line.

4. Teamwork

How important is teamwork in the workplace? How well do you get along with others? Are you able to blend well with any team? Employers are looking for employees from diverse backgrounds who can work with others to get things done. Teamwork is important because it allows individuals to work together smoothly and successfully to solve problems in the workplace. Working with your colleagues or co-workers in a collaborative fashion creates better workflow and successes in the workforce. It means that everyone is working toward a shared goal, which only leads to maximization of individual efforts and strengths. If you are that person who can fit in anywhere, then this is something that you should highlight on your resume. What are the characteristics of good teamwork?

Communication- The team is able to communicate well with each other. This means listening actively to each member of the team and creating an openness for shared ideas. Communication between team members is also specific and easy to understand.

Diversity- When working in teams, everyone brings their own set of skills, which enhances the shared goals of the team.

Leadership- Strong leadership is key when working as a team. A leader who can unite the team at all times and work with the diversity of the team to advance the team's goals.

Positive attitude- Your outlook matters! Being a good team member means bringing a positive attitude to the table. Here are 5 Ways to Shift Your Mindset and Embrace a Positive Outlook.

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5. Work Ethic

Having a strong work ethic is really important in any environment and especially in the workplace. Work Ethic is something that drives all the other soft skills that we have discussed so far. What does a person with a strong work ethic look like? What are some of the ways you can increase your work ethic and make yourself stand out and get noticed?

Dependable- Having a strong work ethic means that your employer can depend on you to do what you say you are going to do. It means meeting deadlines or being prepared for meetings.

Attendance- Showing up is a key part of work ethic. Good attendance means being at work everyday if possible or not always trying to call in sick or skip going to work. It means you show up everyday ready to put in the work needed to get the job done.

Professional- Being professional means that you handle yourself in the best manor at all times. It also means that you handle others and tasks with a certain level of integrity and accountability.

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Soft skills are traits or characteristics that you bring to the workforce. They are an essential part for what will make you successful at whatever job or profession that you are in or currently looking to get into. Technical expertise or hard skills are important but soft skills are the oil that fuels whatever technical skills that you have. It is therefore important that you take time and put in the work to improve your soft skills. Communication, problem-solving, time management, teamwork and work ethic are 5 essential soft skills that will help you find and keep employment.

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