10 Soft Skills in Demand in 2022

Personal qualities and behaviors known as soft skills make you a more well-rounded worker. These are the soft skills that employers want most.
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  • Soft skills are qualities and behaviors like communication and time management.
  • Many hiring managers seek job applicants with strong soft skills.
  • Job seekers should make an effort to highlight them on their resumes.
  • There are also many new soft skills you can learn or practice.

The degree-specific skills you learn in school are key to getting a job, but it's not all employers care about in 2022. Your personal qualities — also known as soft skills — matter as well.

What are soft skills? They are attributes that make you a more well-rounded worker, such as showing up on time, being willing to learn, and working well with others, especially teammates.

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Some soft skills are part of your personality or work ethos, while others are learnable. Any number of them can give you an advantage in the job market.

“Ninety-three percent of employers say soft skills play a critical role in their decision about whom they want to hire”
— Ian Siegel, co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter
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"Ninety-three percent of employers say soft skills play a critical role in their decision about whom they want to hire," said Ian Siegel, co-founder and CEO of ZipRecruiter, in a 2022 job outlook report.

Understanding your value and how to leverage both your academic and soft skills to get a job is crucial. If a recession comes, competition for jobs will be fierce. You should know what sets you apart from other candidates — especially when your skills are in demand.

Read on to find out which soft skills are needed most in 2022. You'll also learn why soft skills matter in the workplace, if you should put them on your resume, and how to learn new ones.

10 Soft Skills in Demand in 2022

Soft Skill Number of Jobs Listing the Skill as a Requirement
1. Communication 6.1M
2. Time Management 3.6M
3. Interpersonal Skills 1.3M
4. Flexibility 1.3M
5. Problem-Solving 1.2M
6. Collaboration 900K
7. Innovation 900K
8. Mentoring 900K
9. Multi-tasking 700K
10. Proactivity 300K

Source: ZipRecruiter data

1. Communication

Whether you work on a team or with clients, good communication is key. Being an effective and concise communicator can keep conflicts from arising.

2. Time Management

Many careers require you to balance multiple responsibilities or projects at the same time. Effective time managers break large assignments into smaller chunks and finish them on time.

3. Interpersonal Skills

When working as part of a diverse team, you may not always see eye to eye with others. Managers seek employees who listen to others' ideas and understand other points of view. Employees who can effectively communicate and proactively resolve conflicts without intervention make valuable team members.

4. Flexibility

Workplaces demand flexible professionals who can function despite unexpected challenges. The ability to change course quickly and seamlessly is important in a variety of careers. Being adaptable also shows a willingness to learn new skills and try different methods when tackling obstacles.

5. Problem-Solving

Many job interviews ask you to discuss a problem you've encountered and how you overcame it. Employers want to hire independent, driven professionals. Problem-solvers are able to analyze situations, incorporate input from others, and create an action plan to address the issue.

6. Collaboration

Employers look for candidates who can work well with their colleagues. Collaboration is an important skill in all careers, whether you work as part of a small team or across departments. You must give and receive constructive feedback, stay receptive to diverse ideas, and resolve conflicts.

7. Innovation

Hiring managers look for employees who can think outside the box when analyzing problems. Creative thinkers are often more open-minded and receptive to different ideas and can provide fresh perspectives and new solutions.

8. Mentoring

Even if your role is not a straightforward leadership position, employers want to hire candidates with leadership qualities, such as the ability to make decisions, take initiative, and facilitate conversations.

9. Multi-tasking

Employers highly value workers who can stay on top of multiple projects. A strong multi-tasker can complete primary tasks and manage other obligations without a dip in productivity.

10. Proactivity

The most proactive workers are self-motivated, enthusiastic, and hard-charging. They get results, think ahead, and avoid potential problems — all of which are traits employers want.

Why Do Soft Skills Matter?

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The job market is favorable for new graduates due to a high number of job openings, but it won't last forever. Soft skills can set you apart when you need them to beat out other job seekers with more experience.

Soft skills are often self-developed and highly desirable for employers. These skills are typically applicable across all work environments.

Having a strong set of soft skills helps employees stand out in a workplace. Technical knowledge is important, but being able to get along with co-workers and function as part of a team may be even more desirable.

Should I Put Soft Skills on My Resume?

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Although soft skills should not always be a standalone section on a resume, you should highlight them in your work experience section.

When using action verbs to summarize your responsibilities in each position, you can report duties and tasks that emphasize your soft skills. You can also include soft skills in a general skills section.

When deciding what soft skills to include in your resume, check the job description for keywords and phrases like "creative," "collaborative," or "organized." Customize your resume to list skills that align with the company's mission.

Can I Learn Soft Skills?

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Don't worry if you feel you're lacking some in-demand soft skills. You can always learn and develop new ones at your own pace.

Before deciding which soft skills to work on, make an inventory of the soft skills you view as your strengths. Consulting friends, family, and co-workers can help shed light on which areas you excel in. You may also find quizzes online to help you determine your best soft skills.

Once you have identified your best traits, make a list of soft skills you'd like to improve. Treat soft skills like hard skills and use this list to draft an action plan. Research and study each skill and practice using these soft skills in your day-to-day life.

To learn more about soft-skills training, check out self-help books, subscribe to podcasts, watch videos, and read blogs. You may be able to find free online courses to improve these valuable traits.

Whichever study path you choose, you should have a specific plan with a clear timeline for achieving your goals. Consider creating a calendar to keep yourself accountable.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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