Top 5 Soft Skills Graduates Need

Career & Skills Guidance


Top 5 Soft Skills Graduates Need

Top 5 soft skills graduates need

Organisations look for more than just a university or college degree when interviewing candidates for a position. They look for both hard skills and soft skills. This blog will briefly discuss employers’ hard skills but focus on the top 5 professional soft skills that are most in-demand.

Hard Skills

Employers look for a range of hard skills. A hard skill is easily quantifiable, hard to learn, teach, and improve upon.

Hard skills can be divided into two main categories: technical hard skills and business hard skills.

Technical Hard Skills

Technical hard skills are specific skill sets that relate directly to a job role or occupation. Technical skills may include knowledge of a particular programming language or software or fluency in a foreign language. Technical skills and knowledge in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain are in high demand in 2022 and will be for the foreseeable future.

Business Hard Skills

Business hard skills are work-related competencies that can be applied to any industry. For example, hard skills include leadership, project management, managing budgets or writing business cases. Hard skills may also include managing and implementing change within an organisation or identifying, managing, and mitigating risks for an organisation.

The Top 5 Soft skills

Soft skills are in high demand for any organisation, whether a start-up, small and medium enterprise (SME) or large corporate or government agency. The top 5 soft skills in the work environment and most in-demand by employers are innovation, adaptability, communication, and critical thinking. Hiring managers also want to know how well you work with others and your emotional intelligence.

As society moves away from traditional 9-5 jobs towards more freelance or contract-type positions with no set company culture or HR department to fall back, these soft skills become increasingly important. Job candidates who can demonstrate these top 5 soft skills have an advantage over those who don’t possess them.

According to research by McKinsey & Company, more than 40 per cent of the world’s workforce will be freelancers, contractors or temporary employees in the future. This is forcing employers to change their hiring practices. Instead, they are more interested in culture fit and building teams that get along well with each other so they can work independently without too much supervision.

In short, these top 5 professional short skills are essential for any candidate entering the job market, whether they’re fresh out of college or currently working. Read on to learn more.


Innovation is a top professional skill that graduates will need in 2022 and beyond. As a result, innovation is in high demand for anyone entering the job market, whether they’re fresh out of college university or have been working for a few years already.

Innovation is essential in every job because it demonstrates creativity and shows employers that you can develop new ideas and solutions to problems. This skill is necessary for any field, and it’s something that employers are looking for in future employees. Those who can innovate and show creativity are more likely to succeed in their careers.

When one thinks of innovation, what typically comes to mind is an idea that changes the world. Innovation, however, is turning the “aha” moment into reality. Innovation in a work environment occurs when employees can successfully bring new ideas and concepts to life to be used by others around them.

Innovation or creativity is a driving force of any business or organisation. Innovation drives job creation, economic growth, and social transformation. Innovation can be seen as either radical change (from an outside perspective) or incremental improvement (from the innovator’s view). Innovation also has many forms, such as new product innovation, technological innovation and more.

Innovation or creativity can come from anywhere and anyplace. Innovation can come from thought, it can be inspired by the people around you, and innovation can be a company’s strategy. Innovation is everywhere, and everyone should try to innovate in their work environment or find ways to innovate or demonstrate creativity in their everyday lives.

Innovation as a skill is essential for employers for the following reasons:

– innovation gives employers the ability to grow and develop.

– innovation is needed in all areas of life and work to continually improve

– innovation allows companies to have a competitive advantage over other companies that are not innovative

Innovation is important to employers, and they are willing to pay more for employees with this soft skill. Those who can innovate will likely excel in their careers throughout their lifetime.


To find a job, graduates will need to have adaptability as one of their top professional skills. Adaptability is a key soft skill and is in high demand due to the constantly changing workplace landscape. In addition, as a candidate, it shows management that you have a positive attitude to both work and life.

Adaptability is not only crucial in the workplace but also in life. Life is full of surprises and changes, and it is crucial to adapt to them. Those who can adapt quickly tend to be happier and more successful than those who don’t.

So why is adaptability a key soft skill for employers? There are many reasons why adaptability is a key soft skill that graduates need.

First, businesses are constantly changing and evolving, making adaptability extremely important for candidates to continue working within the organisation. When a business changes, adapting with a positive attitude shows employers that you will undertake the necessary training to ensure your skills and knowledge remain current.

Adapting is also necessary when a business needs to expand and grow. Adapting ensures that new tasks and responsibilities are mastered quickly, making the expanding company more efficient and productive.

Adaptability is also crucial for employees who want to get promoted. Adapting demonstrates to management that employees can successfully take on new tasks and projects that were not originally part of their job description. Thereby increasing their value to the company.

Adaptability is also essential because employees must adapt to internal changes within a company or department. For example, adapting to new technology ensures that employees can continue working productively and efficiently with current or new equipment. Likewise, adapting when processes change allows employees to adjust their work methods to work together more efficiently and productively.

Adapting when new people are hired ensures that all employees know the necessary information about what is expected of them in their role. Adaptability also means adjusting when a co-worker leaves. For example, ensuring that tasks not completed by the leaving co-worker can still be managed successfully and completed by another co-worker. Without additional help or guidance.

Adaptability is also vital because employees must adapt to changes in the external environment, such as pandemics or new regulations. In addition, adapting when working conditions change means continuing doing one’s work when it becomes uncomfortable, either emotionally or physically.

Adapting when industry regulations change ensures that employees are updated with current legislation and can continue their tasks without putting themselves or others in danger.

Hiring managers in organisations look for candidates who can quickly adapt to new situations and changes. Those who can do so will be more successful in their careers.


Communication is one of the most sought-after interpersonal skills. Effective communication is vital to business success because it can help minimise confusion and conflict among employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. It also enables organisations to disseminate information quickly and accurately.

In nearly every job, you’ll need to be able to communicate in written and oral form. This broad term covers all aspects of speaking with others, including speaking, listening, and responding to questions and small talk. They’re an essential soft skill for any position, especially those requiring communication with clients or customers.

So, why is communication so important to employers?

Communication plays a more prominent role in the workplace than you might think. Communication is vital because it can help increase productivity, teamwork, and morale throughout an office.

Communication helps people work together in a team. Communication is necessary for team members to understand what is expected of them and contribute to their team’s success.

Communication is vital in the workplace because it helps people obtain more knowledge, improve their teamwork, and perform better at their job.

Communication between co-workers helps make both employees and employers satisfied with working together as a team.

Communication also increases team productivity by ensuring that everyone understands what they should do.

Communication helps companies retain their employees by making them feel like they are an essential part of the company and giving them a voice that will be heard.

Communication between team members is also beneficial for conflict resolution. It can prevent confusion or frustration among team members, leading to low morale.

Communication also increases morale among the workforce because it makes employees feel that their voice is being heard, increasing job satisfaction.

Communication skills are foundational. If you can’t clearly explain what you have to offer, chances are it won’t matter because someone else who can will get the job. Therefore, employers are always looking to hire candidates who have excellent communication skills because it is crucial to success in the workplace.

After all, if you can’t communicate clearly in writing or verbally, how can you be expected to collaborate with your co-workers effectively? Communication matters at every level.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a process of reflecting on the validity of one’s own thoughts.

Critical thinking skills are in high demand for anyone entering the job market, whether they’re fresh out of college or have been working for a few years already.

Critical thinking skills are essential because they help you make sound decisions, evaluate information, and think logically. For success in any field, it’s necessary to think critically.

Critical thinking or problem-solving skills also help you find a logical solution to a problem. As a result, critical thinkers can succeed in any job field they choose, whether politics or business or another field altogether.

Critical thinking helps individuals make sound decisions based on the evaluations of the facts they have gathered, thereby benefiting the company they work for.

Critical thinking helps individuals think outside of the box when it comes to problem-solving.

Critical thinking skills are essential for jobs that involve leadership or management, whether it’s the CEO of a company or the manager of an assembly line.

Critical thinking is not about arguing; it’s about continuous improvement and effective decision making.

Critical thinkers are more successful in their career paths. Critical thinking skills help a person succeed in any job because critical thinking skills are an essential soft skill to thrive, compete, and grow in a 21st-century workforce environment.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a hot topic in the business world right now. Many experts believe that Emotional Intelligence skills will be one of the top professional skills graduates need in 2022.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

It is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and perceive, use, understand, and communicate the feelings of others. Emotional intelligence helps people connect, leading to more effective professional relationships. Emotionally intelligent people can also manage themselves effectively in almost all aspects of life, from work to home.

There are several reasons why Emotional Intelligence skills are in high demand for anyone entering the job market.

First, Emotional Intelligence skills are essential for communication. Excellent communication skills are a must-have for any job.

Second, Emotional Intelligence skills help you manage stress and stay calm under pressure. This is important in most professions, but especially true in high-stress jobs.

Third, Emotional Intelligence skills help you build relationships with co-workers and clients. Strong relationships are crucial to success in any field.

Finally, Emotional Intelligence skills help you understand your own feelings and the feelings of others. Empathy is critical for success in any field, especially customer-facing ones.

Emotional Intelligence skills are essential to have at work, to communicate effectively, stay calm under pressure, build relationships with co-workers and clients, and understand your own feelings and the feelings of others.

How can you highlight soft skills in your resume?

Suppose you’re one of many job applicants, usually the case. In that case, examples of soft skills will really distinguish you from the others. The purpose of the resume is, in fact, to get you that all-important job interview so that you can land the job you want.

So how can soft skills be highlighted on your resume? Again, attention to detail is essential.

First and foremost, soft skills should always go before hard ones.

Second, soft skill keywords should be used to describe your experience and accomplishments throughout your resume.

Use the following soft skill keywords and weave them into your resume where possible.

  • Adaptability: Ability to change and embrace different situations and environments.
  • Communication: The ability to effectively communicate ideas, information, or feelings.
  • Critical thinking: The ability to think logically and rationally.
  • Emotional Intelligence: Ability to understand, express and manage emotions.
  • Innovation: The ability to come up with new ideas.

For example, if you have completed projects that required innovation, use the soft skill “innovation” as an example when discussing these projects.

Third, soft skills should be emphasised anywhere they are relevant. If you have soft skills that might not be relevant for a specific position or industry, then it’s best not to include them on your resume at all. For example, soft skills like “diligence or” “advanced computer skills” are not relevant to an entry-level customer service position, so they should not be listed on your resume.

However, soft skills like “adaptability”, “critical thinking”, and “emotional intelligence” might be relevant to entry-level management or customer-facing roles, so they should be listed as an example on your resume.

Of course, hiring managers are probably aware that these soft skills exist. However, they need to know that you have them. That’s why it’s also important to include soft skills keywords in your cover letter and resume. If you’re struggling to emphasise soft skills and do not give enough attention to detail in your cover letter and resume. Then hiring managers will take one look at your soft skill-less resume and immediately assume that you lack soft skills. As a result, you may not make the cut for that all-important job interview. So, our advice is don’t make that mistake.

In conclusion, soft skills are essential for any job applicant’s skill set. If soft skills are necessary for the position, they need to be emphasised on your resume and cover letter. Employer’s value a robust soft skill profile, which will help you stand out from other job candidates. And remember, soft skills should always go before hard ones! Good luck in your job search.


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