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What Are the Top 10 Soft Skills to Put on a CV (Tips and Examples)

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What Are the Top 10 Soft Skills to Put on a CV (Tips and Examples)

by CVMaker

  • CV
  • · January 09 2024
  • · 6 min read
Soft skills to put on a CV

Table of contents

Soft skills are a combination of people skills, communication, character traits, and more. They help individuals navigate their environment, work well with others, perform effectively, and achieve their goals. These skills go beyond technical expertise, playing a key role in creating a positive work environment and successful teamwork.

Contrary to a common misconception, soft skills should be included in your CV. While it is true including a long bullet list of soft skills is unnecessary, you should strategically incorporate them throughout different sections of your CV. For additional tips, follow our step-by-step guide to writing a good CV. Whether you're a student, a seasoned professional, or eyeing a career change, knowing how to weave and integrate soft skills into a CV is key.

Skill types

In this blog, we provide you with the top 10 soft skills for navigating work environments, collaborating effectively, and achieving your career goals. Furthermore, we explore how to showcase them to impress employers and how to strategically make your CV applicant tracking systems (ATS) friendly to pass the candidate screening and meet the job's criteria.

For more information about different types of skills, refer to the blog on what skills to put on a CV in 2023.

Top soft skills to include on a CV

Soft skills are what make a workplace run smoothly. Good communication, teamwork, and leadership help teams work well and handle challenges with confidence. Ultimately, employers value employees with strong, soft skills who collaborate effectively and approach problem-solving and decision-making with ease.

1. Communication

The ability to express ideas clearly and concisely fosters effective team dynamics. Employers appreciate job seekers who can convey complex ideas with precision.

2. Teamwork

Collaborating seamlessly with diverse teams to enhance collective problem-solving and achieve shared goals. Employers value team players who proactively contribute to the work culture.

3. Adaptability

Navigating change effortlessly, showcasing resilience and a proactive approach to challenges. Employers seek candidates who can thrive in dynamic work environments.

4. Time Management

Prioritising tasks efficiently, demonstrating reliability, and a commitment to meeting deadlines. Employers value those who can manage their time effectively to maximise productivity.

5. Problem Solving

Approaching challenges with a solution-orientated mindset, showcasing critical thinking abilities. Employers seek individuals who can tackle issues independently, contributing to a smoother workflow.

6. Leadership

Inspiring and guiding others, taking initiative, and driving projects forward. Employers appreciate leaders who can motivate teams and take charge when needed.

7. Creativity

Bringing innovative ideas to the table, contributing to a culture of continuous improvement. Employers value creative thinkers who can offer fresh perspectives.

8. Emotional Intelligence

Navigating social complexities, showing empathy and understanding. Employers recognise the importance of emotionally intelligent candidates in fostering constructive workplace relationships.

9. Conflict Resolution

Communicating and resolving conflicts diplomatically contributes to a harmonious work environment. Employers value job seekers who can handle conflicts professionally, minimising disruptions.

10. Continuous Learning

Being open to learning and embracing new skills, showcasing a commitment to personal and professional growth. Employers appreciate applicants who are continually enhancing their skill set.

Soft skills tips

Where do soft skills go on a CV?

Incorporate soft skills strategically throughout your CV. Emphasise them in the personal profile, work experience, and skills sections. Clearly articulate their relevance to your career goals, demonstrating how they have impacted your persona and previous experience.

Here are three effective ways to integrate soft skills throughout your CV:

1. Personal profile section

The professional profile, also known as a personal statement, is often the first impression employers get when looking at your CV. It is a perfect place to highlight your soft skills and main areas of expertise. Incorporate them as adjectives that describe your persona. You can also tie them directly to the key aspects of the specific role or as a complement to a hard skill.

See the article on how to write a personal profile on a CV for more details.

Personal profile example with soft skills

Accomplished project manager with 5 years of experience working for financial corporations. Exceptional leadership and communication skills with a proven track record of motivating cross-functional teams to deliver successful projects on time and within budget. Adept at project scoping, scheduling, finance, risk mitigation, quality control, and resource management.

Refer to the project manager CV example with a guide to learn more.

2. Work experience section

Under the experience section, leverage soft skills to describe your performance in various roles. Enhance job descriptions with action verbs and soft skills to catch recruiters' attention and make them stand out.

Example:

Innovatively streamlined internal processes, improving efficiency by 20%. Demonstrated strong leadership by guiding a team through a critical project. Proactively communicated with stakeholders to ensure project alignment with organisational goals.

See how to write work experience on a CV for more information on how to successfully incorporate soft skills

Example:

English Teacher, Newcastle High School, UK 2018 

Deliver standards-based lesson plans aligned with students' strengths, learning styles, and curriculum by utilising the Universal Design for Learning framework. Integrate technology into the curriculum and assess student progress based on workload and classroom behaviour. Partner with other teachers to ensure alignment, lead parent-teacher evenings, and provide additional onsite and remote one-on-one tutoring.

  • Successfully utilised a hybrid learning model by combining face-to-face and online teaching. 

  • Inspired students to excel by applying strategies to engage learners with a broad range of learning styles, prioritising one-on-one learning plans, and taking a whole-child approach.

See the teacher CV example with a guide for more information.

3. Skills section

The separate skills section is an opportunity to present a comprehensive list of both hard and soft skills. Utilise this space to include skills that may not find a place elsewhere on your CV. Opt for a clean, horizontally listed format with separators like commas or vertical bars. Please note that we advise only including hard skills in your skills sections, so make your choice with caution and always refer to the job’s requirements.

Skills

Teamwork

Collaboration

Critical Thinking

Flexibility

Networking

Problem Solving

Time Management

Leadership

Negotiation

Decision-making

Putting soft skills in different parts of your CV demonstrates your ability to clearly present yourself and your proficiencies concisely while showing your proactiveness and efficient communication with others. It also provides a comprehensive overview of your work abilities.

If you are fluent in more than one language, mention them in a separate CV section called 'Languages'.

For more insights, see the article on how to list language skills on a CV.

Key takeaways

Highlighting in-demand soft skills on your CV can enhance your chances of securing job interviews and make your CV more ATS-friendly. The above skills create a dynamic work environment, foster collaboration, and help drive the organisation’s success. Take proactive steps to enhance your soft skills. Seek feedback from colleagues and continuously invest in your personal and professional development. Your next job opportunity is just around the corner!

Soft skills tips

Next steps?

We can help you create a CV and cover letter for a specific job through our professional CV Writing Service. It is especially useful if you have the necessary skills but are unsure where to start. Our built-in builder lets you make as many CVs as you want. Use our professional CV templates or choose from 100+ CV example guides and samples. To get help, check out our cover letter templates or CV templates.

Ready to add soft skills on a CV?

Begin now

FAQ

How do I list soft skills in a CV?

We suggest including soft skills with specific examples, demonstrating how they have benefited your work experience. Incorporate soft skills strategically throughout your CV. Align them with relevant experiences and achievements, providing context for each skill. Use short and concise language to convey your proficiency in each skill. Lastly, utilise data and facts to prove you’re proficient in a specific field.

If you lack skills, see our article on how to add courses and certificates to a CV to learn how to acquire and showcase your skills gained from additional training.

What are 5 soft skills?

Five soft skills include communication, teamwork, adaptability, time management, and problem-solving. These skills form the foundation for a well-rounded and effective professional.

Should I put soft skills in my CV?

Absolutely. Soft skills complement your technical expertise and demonstrate your suitability for a role. They provide employers with insights into your personality and how you interact with others in a professional setting.

See the article on the difference between a job-specific and a master CV for more insights.

How do you write soft and hard skills on a CV?

Distinguish between hard and soft skills. Create separate sections, ensuring clarity for recruiters. Clearly label each section, such as 'Technical Skills' and 'Soft Skills,' to make it easy for employers to identify your strengths.

Are soft skills and transferable skills the same thing?

While closely related, transferable skills often include both hard and soft skills. Soft skills specifically refer to interpersonal and personal qualities. Transferable skills are skills that individuals can apply across various roles and industries.

How can I improve my soft skills?

Boost your soft skills by actively joining training sessions and seeking advice from colleagues. Practice communication in different situations and consider attending workshops, which provide hands-on learning experiences, practical insights, and networking opportunities to enhance your skills.

Refer to the article on finding seasonal work in the UK if you wish to gain new skills through part-time jobs or short-term placements.

What soft skills to avoid on a CV?

While transparency is crucial in a CV, avoid using terms that might not add value or are overly subjective. Commonly used soft skills, such as "hard worker" or "self-motivated", might not clearly represent your capabilities. Instead, focus on specific examples or achievements that demonstrate these qualities.

Examples of generic skills to avoid for your CV:

  • Hardworking

  • Strong Work Ethics

  • English Speaker

  • Flexible Worker

  • Punctual.

See how to list achievements on a CV to learn more about how to effectively demonstrate soft skills.

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Updated January 09 2024

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