What Soft Skills to Include in a Job Description

Published: May 10th 2023

When reviewing how to write a job description or preparing for a job interview, Hiring Managers and employers must identify the soft skills that will attract suitable job seekers and determine which ones to include. For employers who want to hire candidates who can thrive in their business and potentially experience career advancement, both hard and soft skills are essential.

To attract and select the ideal candidate, a Hiring Manager must understand the concept of soft skills, distinguish them from hard skills, and decide which ones to incorporate into the job description in the job description skills and qualifications section. This article delves into these topics, discussing:

  • What is a soft skill?
  • Soft skills vs hard skills
  • Soft skills examples

What is a Soft Skill?

Soft skills are often known as interpersonal skills, character traits, people skills, transferable skills, or non-technical skills. They can be defined and described in various ways.

In almost every job, the right soft skills are essential to help employees carry out their job description responsibilities and duties. They also enable employees to communicate well with colleagues (read what communication skills to include in a job description), maintain a strong work ethic, and establish good interpersonal relationships. In certain roles, such as those that depend on emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and verbal communication, soft skills can be even more crucial than hard technical skills.

Soft Skills vs Hard Skills

Soft skills, also known as human skills or interpersonal attributes, are social skills that individuals develop over time through their experiences of interacting with others, whether at home, school, or work. These soft skills matter but are typically not taught or learned in a classroom setting. In contrast, a hard skill is a demonstrable expertise in a technical area, often acquired through formal education, training programs, or work experience.

For instance, people managers need to possess essential soft skills, such as effective communication, emotional intelligence, a positive attitude, and strong leadership skills. In contrast, computer programmers must have hard skills, including coding expertise, which can be acquired through online training programs or obtaining a degree in computer science.

Soft Skills Examples

When advertising a job, Hiring Managers should prioritize identifying the appropriate and key soft skills. Soft skills employers identify could be highlighted in job applications, CVs, resumes, or cover letters by job seekers, and can also be assessed during the job interview process.

Here are the top ten soft skills that employers should seek:

  • Communication skills
  • Teamwork
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Adaptability
  • Leadership skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Responsibility
  • Positive attitude
  • Professionalism
  • Work ethic

While there are many other soft skills employers should seek beyond these ten, they often fall under one of these categories. Identifying these categories will help employers identify the top soft skills for their job openings, allowing them to create job descriptions that attract the right candidates.

Communication Skills

In demand soft skills include communication skills, which can be essential skills for customer service jobs. However, the ability to communicate effectively is crucial across the board. Find a job specific customer services job description here.

  • Active listening
  • Clarity
  • Negotiation
  • Non verbal communication (body language)
  • Persuasion
  • Presentation
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication


The best soft skills and personality traits include teamwork skills. These soft skills play a vital role for job candidates who work in manufacturing or sales. Find your manufacturing job descriptions and sales job descriptions here.

  • Collaboration
  • Constructive feedback
  • Honesty
  • Relationship management
  • Respectful
  • Supportive
  • Teamwork
  • Trust

Problem-Solving Skills

Problem-solving skills are essential to complete tasks in sectors such as project management or engineering. Find a project management job description or engineering job description here.

  • Complaint resolution
  • Creative skills (creative thinking)
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Information analysis
  • Information gathering
  • Innovation
  • Organisation
  • Planning
  • Prioritisation
  • Problem-solving
  • Testing
  • Time management


Soft skills related to adaptability are useful in many creative roles and you may look for these in job applicants during job interviews:

  • Adaptable
  • Flexibility
  • Ideation
  • Open-mindedness
  • Own ideas
  • Own initiative
  • Learning willingness

Leadership Skills

For a competitive edge, companies need management staff with additional soft skills. Discover our management job descriptions here.

  • Change management
  • Coaching
  • Decisiveness
  • Delegation
  • Integrity
  • Influential
  • Leadership
  • Mentoring
  • Motivation
  • People skills
  • Persuasion
  • Problem-solving
  • Strategic thinking
  • Team building
  • Time management
  • Trustworthiness

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence skills are top skills to include in a job description for a social care, nursing, or charity role. Find a social care job descriptionnursing job description, or charity job description here.

  • Compassion
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Humility
  • Judgement
  • Patience
  • Self-awareness
  • Social skills


The top soft skills examples for a job description where required soft skills include responsibility, include:

  • Accountability
  • Diligence
  • Ownership
  • Personal development
  • Project management
  • Responsible
  • Time sensitivity (for time sensitive tasks)

Positive Attitude

More soft skills that matter to employers include having a positive attitude. The following soft skills examples are personality traits that fit into this category:

  • Motivated
  • Passionate
  • Positive
  • Self-motivated


Good career attributes include professionalism and soft skills employers may add into job descriptions, include:

  • Professional
  • Resilience
  • Respectfulness
  • Time management
  • Work life balance

Work Ethic

Transferable skills include a good work ethic and the following are relevant skills for jobs in almost any industry or business sector:

  • Dependable
  • Disciplined
  • Openness
  • Persistent
  • Productive
  • Punctual
  • Strong work ethic
  • Time management skills

Soft Skill FAQs

Here we answer your frequently asked questions on soft skills important to employers and putting skills on your resume.

  • Soft skills are non-technical abilities that enable individuals to interact with others effectively, perform their duties well, and manage their emotions and behaviour in various situations. These skills are sometimes referred to as interpersonal skills or people skills, and they include communication, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, leadership, creativity, time management, and many others.

  • The top 3 important soft skills are:

    • Communication: The ability to convey information clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing
    • Teamwork: The capacity to collaborate and work harmoniously with others towards a common goal
    • Adaptability: The ability to adjust and thrive in changing environments and situations
  • The following are five strong soft skills nowadays:

    • Emotional intelligence: The ability to recognize and manage one's emotions and the emotions of others
    • Critical thinking: The ability to analyze, evaluate, and interpret information to make informed decisions
    • Problem-solving: The ability to identify problems, develop solutions, and implement them
    • Creativity: The ability to think outside the box and come up with innovative ideas and solutions
    • Leadership: The ability to inspire and guide others towards achieving a common goal
  • The 7 essential soft skills are:

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


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