What Is the Importance of Soft Skills? (7 Key Reasons)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 January 2022

Soft skills reflect your ethical values and personality, which can enhance professional relationships. Soft skills are critical to career growth across multiple industries and can optimise your technical skill set to achieve a more holistic and productive work ethic. You can display soft skills in person and on your resume to help you advance your career, so it may be beneficial to learn why employers consider them important to your professional development. In this article, we answer 'what is the importance of soft skills?' by explaining seven of the primary reasons employers deem soft skills as valuable in the workplace.

What is the importance of soft skills?

The importance of soft skills involves facilitating strong teamwork, growing networking capabilities and building relationships with customers and stakeholders. Soft skills encompass attributes that are crucial for establishing and strengthening professional relationships, such as effective communication and persuasion skills, which make them valuable assets for businesses. Employers recognise the importance of soft skills in the workplace, so it may be beneficial that you know how to promote and display these skills in job application forms, interviews and within your day-to-day working life.

By exhibiting soft skills, you can show prospective employers that you possess the expertise necessary to succeed within the organisation. You can use these skills to show your motivation and commitment to developing more technical skills. This may help you gain more employment opportunities or grow within your current company. Listed below are the seven main reasons employers consider soft skills to be important in the workplace:

1. Increases structure in the workplace

Organisation and attention to detail are soft skills that can optimise workplace efficiency and structure. These skills may be helpful in a company that is fast-paced or handles sensitive data. Employees with excellent attention to detail and organisational skills may prioritise and delegate tasks quickly and perform work at a higher standard. Showing these skills in your current job may help your colleagues to view you as someone they can rely on when they require extra support in their tasks. This can help you build professional relationships for a more enjoyable working environment.

By displaying these skills on your resume, employers may be likely to view you as a reliable and competent employee who can work well independently. A well-structured resume and timely responses to phone calls or emails can showcase your organisational skills to prospective employers prior to an interview. You can display your attention to detail skills with a resume that contains no spelling or grammar mistakes. This may show employers you check your work to prevent errors, which can demonstrate that you're a conscientious employee. This could leave a positive impression and increase your chances of gaining employment.

Related: Time Management Skills: The Importance of Including Them in Your Resume

2. Creates a cohesive team

Soft skills can facilitate a more cohesive working environment that values respect and collaboration. Teamwork and communication are essential soft skills for a workplace that requires employees to work together in departments or on a project. If you apply for a job that requires you to work in a team, the employer is likely to evaluate your application with teamwork in mind. Being able to fit into a team's dynamic without infringing on productivity or the comfort of the working environment can be an extremely desirable trait to possess.

Soft skills are a great way for employers to determine how well you communicate and function as a team player. By displaying excellent oral communication, persuasion skills, active listening and open-mindedness, you show prospective employers that you can correspond well with both your colleagues and stakeholders. For customer-facing roles, effective teamwork and communication are important for delivering great customer service, which may boost sales and positive reviews.

Related: 14 Reasons Why Teamwork Is Important in the Workplace

3. Demonstrate leadership qualities

Soft skills are also important to show strong leadership qualities, such as decision-making and conflict resolution. This makes your skill set highly valuable on your resume when applying for supervisory positions. Developing interpersonal skills shows you're thoughtful about the way your habits and attitude impact those around you, which is a key quality of an influential leader.

Employers typically value soft skills, as they can be useful in engaging others. For example, you might be better at analysing the type of leadership that could resonate with a team if you've developed your skill of empathy and active listening. This is important for leaders, as you can learn the best ways to communicate with colleagues for a better working environment.

Related: Top 6 Leadership Skills: Definitions and Examples

4. Shows ability to grow a network

Your personal network and your ability to make professional contacts at work typically depend on your soft skills. People with strong soft skills possess a proactive attitude that enables them to pursue professional leads, build rapport among stakeholders, expand customer bases and learn the latest industry knowledge quickly. During a job interview, showcasing your networking skills may show your familiarity with the industry and demonstrate your passion. It also shows employers that you're a great communicator who is ambitious about progressing within the field.

You can also use your professional network to provide both yourself and the company with additional opportunities and business connections. For example, you can use your network to find new clients or recommend prospective employees. If you're currently searching for a new job, utilising your network can be important for discovering new professional opportunities and finding a suitable role more quickly. You may also increase your chances of obtaining a positive reference with a wide network, as you have a larger pool of professionals to ask.

Related: Become a Networking Expert in 7 Steps

5. Displays your ability to learn and improve

Soft skills like communication, problem-solving and active thinking can demonstrate to employers that you can learn new knowledge and skills quickly and independently. Hiring managers often search for these skills when looking for candidates to boost productivity and reduce the need for on-the-job training. These skills can also help you accept constructive feedback more easily and implement the feedback right away to make improvements. Employers also look for candidates who consistently strive to improve themselves. The effective use of your soft skills can help you become a valuable and respected employee. These skills are also transferable across multiple industries.

Related: 8 Effective Workplace Skills to Develop Your Career

6. Demonstrates a sense of initiative

Creative thinking, problem-solving and maintaining an optimistic attitude can transform how efficiently you approach your daily tasks. In the workplace, these skills help you remain motivated, as they increase your resourcefulness, allowing you to accomplish projects more quickly. These skills allow you to complete your work to high standards, generate new project ideas, conduct research, approach prospective clients confidently and proactively and produce solutions to any rising issues. These skills can also help you follow through on your ideas and utilise your motivation levels to turn a project planning session into an actionable enterprise.

Using your focus and drive, you can demonstrate to employers that you can grow as a professional and inspire others at work, which may expand your opportunities for career advancements. Showing this forward-thinking initiative frequently within your current role may additionally make you a more attractive candidate for gaining a promotion, as it shows ambition and a passion to develop within the industry. The skill showcases that you stay up-to-date on the latest updates, business techniques and problem-solving solutions within the field.

7. Show confidence in your professional abilities

Developing a strong set of soft skills can help you gain confidence in your abilities as a professional. The reason for this is that many soft skills are concerned with being able to socialise with others effectively and communicate your ideas and concerns efficiently, particularly conflict resolution and problem-solving. Developing these soft skills can help you navigate workplace issues with confidence. This may include overcoming technical and social challenges.

In professional settings, demonstrating confidence may also help you influence others and persuade them of your perspective. This can be especially useful during an interview, where confidence in your soft skills could convince an employer to choose you over another candidate, especially if you also have developed your persuasive skill set. Using interpersonal skills can also help you integrate more easily into a new environment at work and establish yourself as a valuable member of the team.

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