All the Best Soft Skills on a Resume and How to Prove Them


The top soft skills (like communication, empathy, and adaptability) depend on your role and the company’s needs. Here’s how to write about them on a resume.

The best soft skills for a resume are those that have been explicitly included in the job description. If the job ad doesn’t mention soft skills explicitly, the best ones to put on a resume are those that help you carry out the main job requirements. Soft skills help you excel in any role, but for some positions (for instance, managerial or customer-facing roles), they are absolutely crucial. You can list your soft skills in the skills section of a resume, but the more effective way is to prove how you applied your soft skills to make a direct impact on your previous or current company’s success. Use a clear action verb with metrics to describe the results, then detail your contributions.

Anyone can say they have all the soft skills required for the role. 

Some can provide specific examples to support their claims, while few can prove them with quantifiable results and testimonials that demonstrate their impact.

This guide will show you how to find out what the top soft skills to put on your resume are (it depends on your role, career level, and the company’s job description), and how to highlight them in a way that positions you as an ideal candidate. 

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What Are Soft Skills for a Resume?

Soft skills are the traits and attributes that determine how you interact with others and perform in a professional setting. They’re about how you carry yourself and work with a team. 

Examples of soft skills include communication, teamwork, and adaptability — the kinds of competencies developed not through formal training programs, courses, or education, but, rather, through experiences and personal reflection.

Unlike “hard” or “technical” skills, soft skills aren’t about specific knowledge like software or framework proficiency. They’re about personal and interpersonal abilities that influence an employee’s performance. 

Soft skills are difficult to measure and quantify, but are key for success in the workplace because they affect how well you can perform in your role. 

Why soft skills are important for almost every job 

Good soft skills are the main driver for a thriving work environment and long-term success. They drive employees to take initiative, lead projects forward, and navigate tough challenges with a positive attitude.

Hiring managers love candidates with good soft skills because: 

  • They greatly affect the overall success of an organization, especially in client-facing roles and environments. 
  • Soft skills indicate a potential for professional growth. 
  • AI is continuing to disrupt industries, therefore, the ability to spark genuine human connections is becoming more essential.  

Even in roles where technical skills are the primary requirement, soft skills distinguish a good employee from a great one. 

Below is a Reddit thread discussing high-income skills. One user shares how their communication skills accelerated their career progression in cybersecurity despite not being as confident in their technical skills:

Reddit thread discussing high-income skills and the impact of strong communication

A hiring manager in the cybersecurity space also chimed in the discussion: 

Hiring manager's input on a Reddit thread discussing high-income skills

Bottom line: don’t underestimate the impact of soft skills, especially when applying for technical fields. 

The Best Soft Skills to Put on a Resume 

These are the best soft skills to put on almost any resume: 

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Empathy
  • Adaptability
  • Critical thinking
  • Time management

Many of these align with the most in-demand skills listed on LinkedIn Learning

Anything related to people skills is worth showcasing on a resume, especially when highly relevant to the role and manifested by tangible results. Otherwise, listing soft skills on your resume might do more harm than good (more on that later). 

Softskills infographics.

1. Communication

Communication refers to your ability to share and receive information. This can be through speaking, writing, or non-verbal cues. 

Strong communication skills mean you can interact effectively with colleagues, clients, and management, ensuring information is passed along accurately and efficiently. Communication is important for all roles and functions, and absolutely critical for managerial positions. 

Other abilities under the communication skills umbrella include: 

  • Active listening
  • Public speaking
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication

2. Teamwork

Teamwork is about how well you collaborate with peers and colleagues. In other words, how well can you use each other’s strengths to achieve success? 

Employers value workers that can cooperate with colleagues and contribute to group efforts. It’s crucial for reinforcing overall team performance and nurturing a collaborative, thriving work environment.

3. Leadership

Leadership skills focus on how you guide, motivate, and inspire others. Being a good leader means influencing and transforming the way your team operates for the better by setting a positive example and providing direction. 

This isn’t just important for positions where you’re expected to lead a team. It’s also important for juniors and mid-level candidates because it shows you can take initiative, collaborate well with others, and navigate projects to success—these can lead to better project outcomes and career advancement, which is why they’re so desirable.

And proving leadership skills on a resume can give you a competitive advantage since they show you’re a valuable asset beyond technical skills. 

If you’d like to be specific about a particular leadership skill you excel in, you might mention one of the following:

  • Coaching
  • Conflict resolution
  • Decision-making
  • Delegation
  • Mentoring
  • Strategic planning

4. Problem-solving

Problem-solving requires more than just common sense. It means being able to pinpoint issues, come up with solutions, and then implement the best course of action to resolve the problem. 

Hiring managers across all industries value candidates with strong problem-solving skills because it means you can find solutions. This is important when working through obstacles independently or collaboratively.

5. Empathy

Empathy refers to how well you can relate to another person. It involves recognizing and appreciating the emotions or perspectives of others. 

Another way to put it is, can you understand and share the feelings of someone else? 

Having empathy allows you to build strong relationships with stakeholders and manage conflicts. Connecting with colleagues and clients alike is a type of skill that will always be valuable. 

6. Adaptability

Adaptability is about adjusting to new situations or conditions. Sometimes, this is also referred to as flexibility. 

An adaptable candidate will embrace change and remain flexible in various circumstances. Companies value adaptable employees as they can navigate through changes in priorities, technologies, and work processes. 

7. Critical thinking

Critical thinking revolves around making reasoned judgements. It means thinking clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between themes, concepts, or ideas. 

Without critical thinking, you’ll struggle to analyze information objectively and analyze different perspectives. Almost any role will require you to process complex information. As such, critical thinking is valuable because it allows you to make informed decisions and contribute innovatively to the organization. 

8. Time Management

Time management focuses on planning, prioritizing, and executing tasks. 

An employee with strong time management skills will have stronger productivity and struggle less with meeting deadlines. 

Demonstrating strong time management skills on a resume shows employers that you can handle multiple tasks, stay on top of deadlines, and maintain productivity. These are all essential components for success in any role.

Top Resume Soft Skills Based on Job Levels

  • Entry-level: focus on foundational soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability. Make it clear that you can collaborate effectively, learn quickly, and fit smoothly into a new work environment.
  • Mid-level: emphasize skills related to problem-solving, time management, and leadership potential. Show that you can handle increased responsibilities, manage projects, and contribute to the strategic goals of the organization.
  • Seniors: showcase leadership, strategic thinking, and emotional intelligence. Prove your ability to lead organizations, develop long-term strategies, and maintain strong interpersonal relationships.

We’ll dive into the specifics a bit more below. 

Entry-level resume soft skills

  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal abilities
  • Learning agility
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Work ethic

Mid-level resume soft skills

  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Critical thinking
  • Leadership 
  • Mentoring
  • Organization
  • Problem-solving
  • Project management
  • Time Management

Senior resume soft skills

  • Change management
  • Decision-making
  • Delegation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Leadership
  • Mentoring
  • Negotiation
  • Problem-solving
  • Strategic Planning
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Team Management
  • Visionary Thinking

How to Find the Best Soft Skills to Put on a Resume

Here’s how to find the best resume soft skills that are relevant to the job you’re applying for: 

  • Check the job description. 
  • Research industry standards. 
  • Refer to credible online reports.

Want an easier way to find relevant soft skills? 

Use Rezi AI Skills Explorer to automatically get a list of soft skills that you could include on your resume—here’s how it works:

  • Select the category of skills you’re after—in this instance, soft skills. 
  • Enter the type of soft skills you’re interested in, e.g., interpersonal, teamwork, and so forth (list as much as you like). 
  • Hit the “enter” key on your keyboard. 

Then that’s that—soft skills made easy. Try Rezi AI Skills Explorer feature for free by signing up here for an account

Now, let’s get back to the manual steps to finding the best soft skills to include. 

Check the job description

Some job descriptions will put more emphasis on soft skills than others. Regardless, see what type of qualities the company is looking for in candidates. 

  • Take note of key responsibilities and required skills mentioned for the position. 
  • See what particular soft skills are being brought up, like teamwork, communication, and problem-solving. 
  • Identify the essential soft skills and the ones that will help you stand out in your role. 
  • Understand how employers expect you to use and apply certain soft skills. 

Or if you want to instantly get a list of the top keywords from a company’s description (which may also include soft skills), use our AI Keyword Targeting feature—simply enter the job title you’re applying for and copy and paste the company’s job ad. 

Research industry standards

Take the time to understand the common expectations for soft skills in your field. This helps you differentiate between the must-haves and nice-to-haves. 

  • Go through the job ads for your position from the biggest companies in your industry. See if there are any soft skills that have been mentioned a few times. 
  • Look at what certifications, achievements, and experiences are held in high regard. 
  • Get active in industry-specific forums and social media groups to learn what soft skills are emphasized.
  • Talk to mentors, peers, and colleagues to get their insights on essential soft skills in your industry.

Refer to credible online reports

There are online reports that you can usually check out to see what soft skills are currently in high demand. A few good places that I would suggest looking at include LinkedIn Learning and Gartner.

When reviewing these resources, see what’s trending and being talked about the most. 

Keep an eye out for the soft skills that complement the core competencies required for your profession.

What Soft Skills Are High Priorities?

Any resume skill you can prove you excel in that’s also mentioned in the job requirements list is the one to prioritize. 

Don’t just go for what you think looks good. Mention soft skills that make you a more competent candidate for the company’s specific job posting. 

In short, here’s how to tell what soft skills are the most important to mention:

  • Reflect on the soft skills you’re most comfortable with and can demonstrate real-world success in. 
  • Look at what’s been explicitly mentioned in the company’s job description. 
  • Select skills that meet both criteria: you have proven success applying the skill, and it’s a required or desirable competency in candidates. 

Signs You Are and Aren’t Proficient Enough to List Certain Soft Skills

Below are the signs that you’re ready to mention a particular soft skill on your resume: 

  • You have demonstrable experience using the skill. This could come from past work experiences, volunteer work, extracurricular activities, or even academic projects.
  • You can quantify the results of applying the soft skills you have in mind.
  • You’re prepared to provide specific examples of how you used the skill and can elaborate on your experiences. 

On the other hand, these are the signs that you’re not quite ready to list a certain soft skill on your resume:

  • You lack experience using the skill. If you haven't had a chance to develop the skill, it's best to focus on what you can offer.
  • You can't provide concrete examples of how you used the skill to achieve a positive outcome. Being able to back up your claims with specifics is key.

How to Write About Soft Skills on a Resume

The most effective way to write about soft skills is to provide evidence of how you successfully applied them. 

Here’s how this might look on different resume sections

  • Summary section: mention top soft skills alongside career highlights or achievements that demonstrate these abilities. 
  • Objective section: outline your career goals in relation to the company’s objectives and how your soft skills will help you achieve them in the role you're applying for.
  • Work experience section: describe a responsibility you carried out, the skills you used, and the outcomes achieved. 
  • Education section: list any particular courses or experiences that helped you develop core soft skills.
  • Projects, volunteering, and extracurricular activities: describe how you applied relevant soft skills in these contexts and any positive outcomes.
  • Certifications section: include any certificates that reinforce your proficiency in soft skills. 
  • Skills section: make a concise list of soft skills that employers value based on their expectations.

Now, understand that writing about soft skills isn’t always necessary. Sometimes, it might even hurt your chances. 

If you can’t connect your soft skills to positive outcomes or key responsibilities, and the job listing doesn’t ask for them, focus more on other things employers want to see. Save talking about your soft skills for the interview, especially when you don't have much experience to back them up and when they’re not labeled as mandatory or desirable for the job you’re applying for.

Still certain that you need soft skills on your resume? Then, keep reading! (If you want examples based on your job title, check out our ATS resume examples library here.)

Summary section

Your resume summary allows you to immediately highlight your top accomplishments and competencies, including soft skills. List your top areas of expertise, a particular task you excel in, or mention a specific example that screams you’re an expert at a particular ability. 


Experienced project manager with excellent leadership and communication skills. Proven track record in leading cross-departmental teams to successfully complete projects on time and within budget. Successfully managed a remote team of 12 to deliver a high-profile project, improving client satisfaction by 25%.

Objective section

The resume objective section establishes your professional goals and how you’ll help the company reach certain objectives. Here, you can write about how you’ll use or develop soft skills for the company’s benefit. 


Seeking a management position to leverage my strong leadership and strategic planning skills to drive team performance and achieve organizational goals.

Work experience section

You can describe your proficiency in soft skills using the work experience section. Start with clear action verbs to depict a task or responsibility, then emphasize the abilities you applied to reach a favorable outcome. 


Led a team of 10 in conducting market research and competitive analysis, resulting in a 20% market share growth.

Education section

Not only can you list academic qualifications in the education section, but you can also include specific details that are relevant to the core competencies of the role you’re applying for. 


Bachelor of Science in Business Administration | University of Technology | May 2024
• Completed coursework in organizational behavior and team dynamics.
• Graduated with a GPA of 4.0.

Projects, volunteering, and extracurricular activities section

Use these additional sections to showcase relevant achievements and experience that reinforce your credentials. Similar to the work experience section, start with illustrating the task, followed by the results using data. 


Led a volunteer team to organize a community fundraising event, resulting in a 30% increase in donations compared to the previous year.

Certifications section

List relevant certificates using a certifications section. These are signs of recognition for your knowledge and abilities. 


Certified Team Leader (CTL) | Leadership Institute | April 2021
• Comprehensive certification covering team dynamics, conflict resolution, and leadership strategies.

Skills section

Simply make an organized list of skills you excel in that align with the company’s job description. If you have a lot to add, divide them using categories. 


• Leadership: team management, strategic planning, conflict resolution.
• Communication: public speaking, active listening, negotiation.
• Problem-solving: analytical thinking, creativity, adaptability.
• Teamwork: Collaboration, empathy, relationship building.

Effective Ways to Learn and Develop Soft Skills

The ability to improve team performance, collaborate with others, and solve problems effectively will always be valuable. 

Here are some of the best ways to develop your soft skills: 

  • Get constructive feedback from peers, managers, and mentors.
  • Put more effort into getting to know your colleagues. 
  • Join workshops and seminars focused on communication, leadership, conflict resolution, and public speaking.
  • Try to take on more leadership roles, starting with one-off projects and developing into more formal leadership responsibilities. 
  • Participate more in group-related activities and projects.
  • Grow your network by connecting with people in your industry you can learn from.
  • Practice self-awareness by acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses. 


Let’s recap on how to describe soft skills on a resume: 

  • Immediately mention your best soft skills in the summary section. Include a career achievement with quantitative data to back up your claims. 
  • If you’re using a resume objective, clarify how your goals align with the company’s vision. You can mention soft skills you intend to use or develop. 
  • In the work experience section, start your bullet point with a task you were responsible for. Next, emphasize the soft skills you applied, followed by any positive outcomes achieved using metrics. 
  • List formal qualifications in the education section. Add bullet points when you want to specify any interpersonal skills or qualities you developed from completing a relevant course or minor. 
  • Discuss soft skills further in an additional section, such as projects, volunteering, and extracurricular activities. 
  • Mention certificates that show acknowledgement of your soft skills using a “Certifications” section. 
  • Lastly, make an organized list of soft skills in the skills section. 

Overall, soft skills are heavily slept on. They apply to almost all roles and could be the difference on whether you get promoted to a manager position. 

When in doubt, check the company’s job description. Above all, hiring managers want to read a resume that speaks directly to their company. 

And if there are no soft skills mentioned in the job ad, if you have space on your resume, you can still showcase them when they complement the technical skills required for the role. 


What are some overused soft skills that shouldn't be included on a resume?

The most overused soft skills are usually communication and teamwork. Then again, there’s nothing wrong with including these when you can provide tangible examples of how you applied them to achieve success. What you should avoid is using buzzwords on a resume like “hard worker” and “team player” because they’re a given. 

How many soft skills should I list?

Aim for at least three soft skills and no more than six or seven. Prioritize relevant soft skills that you’re most proficient in. 

What are the best examples of soft skills for a resume?

Communication, teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, empathy, and leadership. Good communication allows you to convey ideas clearly and listen effectively. Strong teamwork improves overall performance and productivity. Problem-solving shows your capacity to identify issues and develop effective solutions. Adaptability highlights your ability to adjust to changing circumstances and new challenges. Empathy means being able to read people’s feelings. Leadership indicates your capability to motivate and guide others towards achieving goals. 

Should I use separate sections for my soft skills and hard skills?

It’s optional. If you have space on your resume, you could create a category for soft skills and hard skills in the skills section. This makes it clearer and easier to scan. 

Could you mention the same soft skills for any job? 

Technically speaking, you could put them on any resume, but that doesn’t mean you should. Employers in all fields keep an eye out for soft skills because they positively impact the organization’s workplace and make you a more well-rounded worker. 

What are the most impressive soft skills to employers?

Communication and interpersonal skills. In general, it’s impressive when you can prove that you’re capable of strengthening workplace productivity and company performance. Hiring managers can take more of an interest in a candidate not just because of their skills, but because of their qualities. It tends to be harder to find candidates with a particular character that aligns with the company’s values than it is to find someone with the skills required for the role.

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Astley Cervania

Astley Cervania is a career writer and editor who has helped hundreds of thousands of job seekers build resumes and cover letters that land interviews. He is a Rezi-acknowledged expert in the field of career advice and has been delivering job success insights for 4+ years, helping readers translate their work background into a compelling job application.

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