Soft skills matter; the more you showcase them, the more job opportunities will come your way. Here are 8 soft skills you should hone to impress a potential employer.

First came the pandemic. Then the Great Resignation. Both helped create a hiring market where soft skills like flexibility and emotional intelligence are more marketable than ever.

You'll always score points for a resume packed with impressive qualifications and work experience. However, today’s hiring managers are also willing to take a chance on unproven candidates with the potential, determination and work ethic to succeed. Here are the skills you need to impress them.

1. communication

Presenting a polished resume is only part of the process. Good communication also means making eye contact, answering and asking questions clearly, being open to feedback and not being afraid to be yourself. Seize any opportunity to show an employer you can listen and learn.

2. teamwork

Being part of a team means working together toward shared goals. Respond to communications quickly, collaborate willingly and ask for regular catch-up sessions with your manager. And remember, remote workers are just as critical to team success as their office-based colleagues. If you work from home, make it part of your work ethic to stay engaged with colleagues and projects.

3. flexibility

In an unpredictable world, change is inevitable. Candidates open to internal mobility — when you move horizontally within an organization to learn a different discipline and grow your skills — open doors to career advancement. Put your hand up for training opportunities and watch your career options multiply.

4. self-management

The boom in remote and hybrid working arrangements means candidates will need to prove they can manage their time and workload efficiently when working from home. Employers will supply tech tools that help, but you’ll make an even bigger impression if you are actively self-learning about industry trends and carefully structuring your day to deliver within an agreed time frame.

5. willingness to learn

A Harris report from 2021 found that 81% of employers value this soft skill above all others. Rather than wait for someone more experienced who might never come along, many hiring managers look for staff who can learn on the job. Know what aspects of the role interest you, self-study and ask about training and development possibilities. Your enthusiasm for ongoing learning will shine through.

6. problem-solving

No matter your role in an organization, being able to identify problems and find solutions will make you a key player. Train yourself to become a better critical thinker in five easy steps: observe what is going on, analyze the issues, write a list of ways to solve the problem, communicate with your team, and finally, take action.

7. leadership

Good leaders are made, not born. The ability to motivate and inspire those around you, keep morale high when the going gets tough, show resilience and adaptability to change, and admit when you got things wrong — all these skills can put you on the fast track to a coveted leadership role.

8. emotional intelligence (EQ)

Research shows that your EQ levels can dramatically impact how you manage stress and difficult situations. Self-awareness, support and empathy lead to improved job satisfaction for individuals and a more positive company culture. Pride yourself on being part of the solution, not the problem.

Looking for more pro tips on honing your soft skills to meet the demands of the modern workplace? Browse more of our career advice on topics ranging from transferable skills for remote workers to setting priorities.