If you’ve been researching ways to get ahead in your job hunt, you may have come across the term “soft skills.” Even though the term is used frequently, you may not understand exactly what it means.

If you’re trying to enhance your resume or position yourself perfectly during your next interview, you should know how to showcase your soft skills. But before you can do that, let us familiarize you with what exactly those skills are.

Defining “Soft Skills”

While hard skills are directly related to your education and experience, soft skills can be a little more nebulous. They’re not as easy to quantify or evaluate, but they are just as valuable. Luckily, they’re a little bit easier to prove during an interview.

Soft skills are typically interpersonal or communication skills. They can typically come naturally to you as a person, but it is possible for you to hone them over time. Soft skills are aspects of your personality and work ethic that make you a great team player, good culture fit, or otherwise meet criteria that hiring managers seek but may not be stated outright in a job description.

With the right amount of awareness, you can display many soft skills during an interview. With active listening, thoughtful answers, and creative thinking, you can exhibit these skills and impress any interviewer. Plus, a skilled interviewer will absolutely expect you to do so, especially if you list any of your soft skills on your resume.

Most hiring managers made their decisions based on emotion, then back those decisions up with logic. Soft skills are likely to endear an interviewer to you, and showcasing those attributes will separate you form those candidates with only hard skills. It's the right combination that will land you an excellent position.

Examples of Soft Skills

Since soft skills are a little harder to define than hard skills, we’ve compiled a list of soft skills for you to exhibit while in the interview/job search process. While this is not a comprehensive list, it will give you a better idea of your own soft skills:

  • Listening skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Communication skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Networking
  • Decision-making
  • Time management
  • Prioritization
  • Motivation
  • Flexibility
  • Conflict resolution
  • Leadership
  • Responsibility
  • Ability to perform under pressure

Putting Your Soft Skills on Display

While you can exhibit some soft skills naturally during an interview (creative thinking, communication, listening, etc.), you’ll have to take the initiative to prove others. In preparation for this or any meeting, think of examples and scenarios in which you have exhibited these soft skills, proving that you can put them into action.

Don’t explicitly tell your interviewer you’re excellent at time management or conflict resolution. Instead, look for opportunities to discuss moments in your career during which you displayed those traits. This will both prove that you have these soft skills and show that you’re able to apply them in the workplace.

For more articles that can aid in your next job search, take a look at our advice page. You can also browse our job listings, submit a resume, or get in touch with one of our expert recruitment consultants today.