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Top Soft Skills

Revised: 2016/12/02

The critical piece of the puzzle and skills are in demand by employers.

Studies reported in August 31, 2016
reflect key skills employees need to have, in what industries they are most valuable and least valuable.

Having or getting these skills are key no matter what your industry is!

  From the of August 31, 2016, Chad Brooks offers
  information gathered and researched by LinkedIn and, for some, it is an 
  eye opener for what to promote to employers and what to start working on
  to demonstrate those skills.

  Employers need the right combination of hard skills and interpersonal (soft)
  skills.  The study indicates hiring managers are having trouble finding
  people with the right skills for 59% of their open jobs.  Their problem is our
  opportunity.  Soft skills are extremely valuable so don't overlook these!

  Between June 2014 to June 2015 LinkedIn sough to identify the most sought
  after skills.  (See Soft Skills Matter: Can They Be Taught?)

  Research found the soft skills most in-demand (out of 58 derived) are:
  1.  Good communicator
  2.  Well organized
  3.  Team player
  4.  Always punctual
  5.  Critical thinker
  6.  Social
  7.  Creative thinker
  8.  Interpersonal communicator
  9.  Easily adapts
10.  Friendly personality

  The 10 Industries where these skills are in the MOST in-demand are:
         1.  Restaurants
         2.  Professional training
         3.  Customer services
         4.  Retail
         5.  Sports
         6.  Hospitality
         7.  Human resources
         8.  Facilities services
         9.  Civic and social organizations
       10.  Management consulting

  The 10 Industries where soft skills are deemed LEAST in-demand are:
         1.  Graphic design
         2.  Motion pictures and film
         3.  Architecture and planning
         4.  Music
         5.  Photography
         6.  Fine art
         7.  Design
         8.  Civil engineering
         9.  Law practice
       10.  Arts and crafts

  OK, so this stuff is important.  So now reality smacks you in the face starting with
  where can I get this training without spending two months of income for six months
  of training?

  Fair question ...
what if someone offered such training for free?

  Below is a link that offers free interpersonal courses.  What do you have to loose?
  Open.EDU program offering



Communication is one of the most important soft skills for professionals in any industry. Modern workers use a staggering variety of channels to transfer information: email, text, instant messages, social media, project management software, video chats and phone calls, just to name a few. During the hiring process, employers look for candidates who can switch channels effortlessly, all while maintaining clarity and professionalism. Demonstrate your communication skills by ensuring that every written message is error-free and grammatically correct. Work on your phone voice to eliminate tics and filler words, and proofread your public social media profiles.


When you're applying for a job in a fast-paced, constantly changing industry, flexibility is crucial. Employers look for workers who can take sudden shifts, process them quickly and continue moving forward without losing productivity. The hiring process is an ideal time to show off your soft skills in flexibility and adaptability. If the employer suggests a last-minute interview, accept graciously, and show up prepared. In the interview, don't become visibly shaken by location changes, aggressive interviewers or surprise questions — simply breathe, take a moment to think, and provide a calm answer.


To find self-reliant, independent candidates, hiring managers look for soft skills such as confidence and self-starting. Make yourself a more attractive prospect by showing that you don't need to be micromanaged. Anticipate the employer's needs and questions in advance so you can meet any request. Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview to pass out to unexpected guests. Identify the key claims and skills on your resume, and print out a portfolio piece or document that reinforces your point. Research the company thoroughly before an interview so you can add value to any discussion about the industry and relevant current events.


Employers need workers who show up and meet deadlines. Start showing off your reliability from the start. Send in your materials before the application deadline. If the employer emails with a question or a request, reply immediately. Show up early for the interview. By being responsive and timely, you can immediately gain an advantage over candidates who procrastinate and make excuses.


When it comes to soft skills, enthusiasm is important but often ignored. Don't be afraid to show your passion to a potential employer — it indicates that you can maintain a positive attitude and stay motivated during difficult times. There's no need to go overboard, particularly if you're not naturally effusive. Keep it simple by explaining what you love about the work, telling an anecdote or discussing the night classes you've enrolled in to receive an industry certification.

By nature, soft skills are difficult to prove on a resume or cover letter. By embodying the most important skills during your job search, you can stand out from other applicants and boost your chances of getting hired.