Seven soft skills you need on your résumé

Including soft skills in your résumé is one of the most effective ways to stand out to employers, but which skills are most in demand?

Having the right soft skills in your résumé is one of the most valuable currencies a job-seeker has when employers are looking for the flexibility and adaptiveness needed for the jobs of tomorrow.  

In fact, research shows 64% of hirers agree that job seekers who display strong soft skills are more likely to land a job1. Problem solving, teamwork, communication, adaptability, interpersonal skills, critical thinking and time management recently topped the Hays list of the most in-demand soft skills2.  

Discover how you can get the most sought-after soft skills for your résumé by studying at RMIT.  

RMIT student, Vinisha “[Learning] has a strong correlation to changing your mindset, boosting confidence and opening doors to new opportunities.” - Jason Laufer, LinkedIn Learning Asia-Pacific Senior Director

#1: Problem solving

Problem solving mitigates risks, breeds innovation and paves the way for continuous improvement. “Organisations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR. Focus on honing your ability to bring new ideas to the table,” said LinkedIn Learning Asia-Pacific's Senior Director, Jason Laufer. 

The demand for problem-solving skills is also set to grow in the future according to SEEK research, with 28% of employers considering it a current top-three priority3

Engineer solutions to tomorrow’s greatest challenges 

Solve real industry problems by engaging with industry through placements and projects in RMIT’s engineering courses. At RMIT, you’ll have the opportunity to explore a wide range of engineering disciplines, spanning civil and mechanical, electrical and chemical, aerospace, biomedical and environmental engineering. 

RMIT student, Jordan

#2: Teamwork

Organisations benefit from having teams that collaborate with each other, so it’s no surprise that SEEK research has found that 32% of employers regard teamwork and collaboration as one of the top three skills in demand3.  

Working with your colleagues to reach a common goal is more successful when you know how to recognise each other’s strengths and communicate well. 

Work collaboratively with colleagues in any organisation 

At RMIT, our students have many opportunities to work on industry projects, in professional practices, and in collaboration with their classmates.  

Students learn how to operate in a variety of workplace scenarios, and our industry partners co-design these placements and courses to ensure they deliver useful real-world experience.  

For example, students in our Executive Master of Business Administration work collaboratively in small groups with like-minded peers. This allows students to learn alongside people from a variety of educational, professional and cultural backgrounds, and forms their network of future colleagues and industry contacts when they graduate. 

#3: Communication

Whether you’re an executive or a graduate, strong verbal and written communication skills are essential. They help you apply for jobs, listen to others, ask for what you want, explain your ideas and raise issues with your colleagues.  

Communication is also ranked the most important soft skill for a résumé in today’s market, with 13% of employers surveyed by SEEK placing it as the top skill in demand, and 36% including it in their top three3

RMIT students, Angela and Mia

Learn to communicate your ideas effectively 

Our postgraduate communication courses will help you develop skills in marketing, advertising, writing and journalism.  

The Master of Communication will build your understanding of the fundamentals of communication in a changing media and industry landscape, and offers flexibility for you to specialise in a relevant area including corporate and financial communication, public relations and communication for social change. 

#4: Adaptability

In a world where technology and global circumstances are rapidly changing, having adaptability and resilience listed as skill in your résumé can help you stand out in the job market.  

Examples of adaptability on your CV may include situations where you embraced change, established a new routine or sought new opportunities as a result of change. 

Gain a diverse skillset founded on adaptability 

Many of RMIT’s STEM undergrad programs have been recently redesigned to prepare you for a role in today's ever-changing and technologically-charged world.   

You can undertake a course with an adaptable structure that lets you tailor your expertise with a selection of majors and minors, future-focused foundational and the ability to study cross-disciplinary skills getting you ready to lead the future of innovation. For example, you can study a Bachelor of Science that allows you to combine scientific skills with adjacent topics that you have a passion for, such as computer science or engineering. 

#5: Interpersonal skills

Organisations are starting to recognise the need for people who can build positive stakeholder relationships by exercising their emotional intelligence.  

A survey by specialist recruiter Robert Half found that 95% of general managers place importance on their employees showing a high level of emotional intelligence4

Develop interpersonal skills in youth work and community services

Make a positive impact on what’s next through RMIT’s Certificate IV in Youth Work and Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing). In just 12 months, the youth work certificate will prepare you to understand and impact the lives of young people, while the individual support certificate will prepare you for a rewarding career in the aged care sector. At RMIT, you will develop your interpersonal skills from day one in industry-led projects, placements and workplace simulations. 

Both courses are also on the Free TAFE and JobTrainer priority course lists, so if you’re looking to upskill or reskill, you may be eligible to for free or discounted tuition fees. 

#6: Critical thinking

Critical thinking involves solving problems and making informed decisions by reviewing all the available information.  

You may showcase critical thinking on your CV by giving examples of times you performed data analysis, planned strategies based on data interpretation, or communicated a complex solution in layman’s terms. 

Build the analytical thinking and planning skills to provide IT solutions  

Gain résumé-worthy examples of critical thinking by specialising in analytics, cyber security, data science, business IT and artificial intelligence at RMIT.  

RMIT’s recently redesigned IT courses allow you to tailor your future and gain the analytical skills central to your future career in the technology sector.  

RMIT students

#7: Time management

Knowing how to prioritise your workload in alignment with business goals and being adaptable to changes in priorities are two key components of time management.  

Time management often goes together with project management, as both skillsets involve breaking down tasks, noting dependencies and potential blocks, and committing to your schedule. 

According to one report by the Project Management Institute (PMI), nearly 22 million new jobs will be created in project management by 20275

Learn to manage projects on time and on budget  

RMIT’s Graduate Certificate in Project Management has an emphasis on the practical application of theory, so you’ll develop your capacity to respond to current and emerging issues and trends.  

In as little as six months, you will learn how to run complex projects with a range of stakeholders, managing all phases on time and to budget, and contribute to an increase in business effectiveness. 

Story: Hilary Jones & Pallavi Daniel

 

 

1SEEK. “How to talk up your soft skills when you apply for a job”. https://www.seek.com.au/career-advice/article/how-to-talk-up-your-soft-skills-when-you-apply-for-a-job 

2Hays. “7 job-ready soft skills you need today”. https://www.hays.com.au/career-advice/upskilling/soft-skills

3Burgess, Melanie. “The skills employers want most and how to prove you have them”. Herald Sun. 13 September 2021, https://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/smart/the-skills-employers-want-most-and-how-to-prove-you-have-them/news-story/e80ea22b75d0064fc9897db62ec25428

4Robert Half. “Survey shows lack of emphasis put on EQ during hiring process for one in five Australian companies”. 20 February 2019, https://www.roberthalf.com.au/press/survey-shows-lack-emphasis-put-eq-during-hiring-process-one-five-australian-companies

5PMI (2017). “Project Management Job Growth and Talent Gap 2021-2027", https://www.pmi.org/learning/careers/job-growth

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RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.

aboriginal flag
torres strait flag

Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business.