The Top 20 In-Demand Soft Skills for 2024 You Need To Master

Excel in your job search and your career with these top in-demand soft skills.

Whether you are updating your resume for job applications, looking to earn a promotion, or just want to be more content with your job, developing these 20 soft skills can help you get there. 

Soft skills can be that extra skill that puts you at the front of the pack. Keep reading to learn more about soft skills, find the top skills employers look for in 2024, and the best soft skills to learn for your professional development.

What are soft skills?

Soft skills, which are also known as power skills, common skills, or core skills, are attributes that are applicable to all professions. These skills are often related to your ability to interact effectively with others.

How are soft skills different from hard skills?

Both soft and hard skills are incredibly valuable to employers, but they are learned and applied differently. Soft skills are about your personality and non-technical ability, while hard skills are specific knowledge, abilities, and expertise on a particular subject. These skills are learned through education and experience in the workplace.

Why are soft skills important? 

While hard skills are important to employers, in a world where learning these quantifiable skills can be as simple as watching a quick video, soft skills have come into focus. While everyone applying to a job may know how to code or how to write, soft skills are what can help set you apart. 

Soft skills make it easier to form relationships, create trust and dependability, and lead teams. Showing employers that you have mastered the right soft skills shows that you can handle whatever they throw at you, even if it’s a hard skill you don’t yet know.

Should you list soft skills on a resume? 

Yes, soft skills should be on your resume, but they won’t appear the same way that hard skills are listed. Hard skills are easy to include on your resume, they can be shown through listing job experience or in a skills section.  

Soft skills should be carefully intertwined with your work experience. Callout projects and experiences where your soft skills shined. This creates a natural opportunity to showcase critical soft skills with proof rather than a list of skills without any backing.

How to include soft skills on your resume

What soft skills are employers looking for?

Keeping up with the latest quantifiable skills can feel impossible as the job market changes quickly. Thankfully, soft skills will always be applicable to any situation, which is why these 20 skills are beneficial in every industry.

1. Adaptability

As we all saw with the shift to remote work, adapting to changing environments is essential. Adaptability means being able to work in varying environments. It also means learning new hard skills quickly and adjusting to changes within the workplace. 

2. Communication

Communicating your ideas, views, and opinions concisely and straightforwardly isn’t an easy skill to master. But being able to share ideas quickly is more important than ever before. Business moves fast, and being able to communicate powerfully and with speed is an essential skill.

3. Critical thinking

The ability to think critically has become a hot topic for employers. As a result, interviews will often include questions to test critical thinking, so prep for your next interview by practicing critical thinking.

Critical thinking is a top soft skill for 2023

4. Digital literacy

The days of writing Microsoft Office on your resume are over. Employers are looking for people who can pick up any digital tool quickly, like a new task management system, design tool, or even a digital business card. Every company uses various digital tools, and knowing everyone is impossible. With digital literacy skills, you’re telling an employer it doesn’t matter if you’ve used a specific tool before because you can learn quickly.

5. Time management

Companies have to trust that employees manage their time well, especially in remote work. Demonstrating strong time management skills in a hands-off environment shows potential employers that you can meet deadlines and excel without being constantly managed. 

6. Take initiative

Stand out by taking the initiative. Meeting expectations is excellent, but you can impress employers and progress your career much faster by taking the initiative and going above and beyond before anyone asks you to do anything. 

7. Teamwork

Most jobs don’t exist in a bubble. Being able to work with a team is essential. Prove you can work effectively in a group to accomplish tasks. Teamwork means being able to manage conflict, collaborate, and share ideas. 

Teamwork is a soft skill everyone needs in 2023

8. Leadership

Even if you aren’t in a leadership role, there may be instances where you have to take control of a situation. Showing leadership skills tells employers you can manage others and work well within a team. 

9. Be proactive

If you see a disaster waiting to happen, jump into action and fix it. Be observant and get things done early. Employers love to see their employees solve problems before they wreak havoc. 

10. Growth Mindset

More and more companies are looking for candidates who want to grow. Wanting growth isn’t just about promotions, it’s about having an entrepreneurial mindset. Being open to change and feedback and being resilient in the face of change. 

11. Dependability 

When employers are looking to expand their team, one of the most important skills new additions can have is dependability. Knowing that you can be relied upon to do your best, follow instructions, and get work done without oversight—dependability is something that adds extreme value to you as an employee.

What soft skills do I need to develop that could enhance my career?

Learning new soft skills isn’t only about the job hunt. These soft skills can help you feel better in your current role and help set you up for better opportunities in the future. 

12. Networking

Making connections and growing your network is the key to professional advancement in 2023 and beyond. Networking doesn’t look like it used to, though. With social media, virtual events, and fewer classic networking events, it’s time to adapt your networking skills. We recommend starting with HiHello. Create a virtual business card that can be shared in any networking situation, even on Zoom.

HiHello networking tools digital business cards email signatures, virtual backgrounds

13. Life-long learning

Having the curiosity and drive to continue to learn for life is the only way to keep current in the quickly changing business world. Show that you can take the initiative to stay present when you learn new skills. Use tools like LinkedIn Learning to make learning easier. 

14. The art of negotiation

While pay transparency is becoming more common, salary negotiations are still essential to the job search. Know what you are worth, and make sure your future employer knows it too. 

15. Self-care

Burnout is an ever-present issue in the workplace. Learning to manage your work-life balance is the key to being happy in your job and at home. Practice taking some time away from work each day and completely unplugging from the office, even for 30 minutes, can help reduce work strain. 

16. Emotional intelligence

Also known as EQ, emotional intelligence is the key to understanding emotions, both your own and the feelings of those around you. Being able to process how others are feeling, what motivates them, and why they behave the way they do can help improve your personal and professional life. Good EQ skills help promote better collaboration, more robust communication, and better leadership. 

Emotional intellingence is an essential soft skill to advance your career

17. Confidence

An estimated 70% of people experience imposter syndrome in the workplace. Imposter syndrome can feel like you don’t deserve your accomplishments and don’t belong. Learning to be more confident in your abilities can help overcome those fears of not being good enough. When you become more confident in yourself, it shows in your work.

18. Resilience

Everyone runs into roadblocks at work, and sometimes they just keep coming, but learning to be resilient is the best way to make it through. Learn to let go of negative emotions and instead focus on sustaining a positive mindset to work towards a solution. Not only will you be more successful, but you’ll also feel better while you do it. 

19. Cultural Awareness

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are at the top of mind for many companies. And this core value is something that recruiters are looking for in their candidates as well. While this is a skill that may not be easy to show on a resume, this will shine through your interactions with others throughout your career. 

20. Delegation

A big part of every level of a career is delegation, whether you’re in a leadership role or starting in an entry-level position. Knowing when to bring others in on a task or pass off a project when you aren’t able to manage everything on your plate.

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