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Manonita Rathore
Gig economy and behaviour &soft skills Expert
Asked a question last year

What are soft skills ?

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Sujai Adithya
Business Development and Banking & Financial Services Expert

Soft skills are fundamentally the personality traits of a person and how s/he utilizes it to develop their inter-personal relationships. This is a subjective term and encompasses a variety of qualities such as communication skills, emotional intelligence, leadership, teamwork, etc. 

The skills required may vary depending on the nature of the job. Certain skills may be highly pertinent for one job, but not for another. For example, however technically brilliant a doctor might be, without patience and approachability, s/he would not be efficient. It applies to almost all professions. A salesman should have excellent communication skills to convince and comfort the customer, a team leader must have good leadership and management skills, a content writer must be flexible and creative, and so on. 

Manonita Rathore
Gig economy and behaviour &soft skills Expert

The phrase ‘soft skills’ is often used by employers, particularly when they are bemoaning a shortage of suitable candidates for jobs. Soft skills is the term used for those skills that are not technical or job-related. They include social skills, interpersonal skills, and a positive attitude. These are the skills that define your relationships with other people, or how you approach life and work.

soft skills in how well you manage relationships with those around you. These include family, friends, and co-workers, as well as customers and those who provide you with goods or services. It is hard to say which soft skills are most important, because it will vary by situation.

However, this list is broadly what employers mean when they talk about ‘good soft skills’. They are, therefore, the skills that are most likely to enable you to build constructive working relationships with others, or to be a constructive and helpful employee.


• Communication skills

• making decisions  

• self-motivation

• Leadership skills  

• Team-working skills

• creativity and problem-solving skills  

• Time management

• positive attitude

This list is of course not exhaustive. Just one glance round SkillsYouNeed will show you that there is a huge range of soft skills. Any given employer or individual may place more or less emphasis on these or others. However, work to develop the skills in this list is likely to pay off in a job search, in any job or career on which you embark, and in life more generally.



Soft skills include any skill that can be classified as a personality trait or habit. Interpersonal skills and communication skills are more specific categories of soft skills that many employers look for in job candidates.

There are many soft skills that you could list on your resume or cover letter. Some of the most sought after soft skills include:

  • Effective communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Dependability
  • Adaptability
  • Conflict resolution
  • Flexibility
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Research
  • Creativity
  • Work ethic
  • Integrity