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What Are Soft Skills?

Written by

Jasmine Williams

Reviewed by

VidCruiter Editorial Team

Last Modified

May 10, 2024
Soft Skills

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Soft skills are both personal habits and interpersonal skills that can be learned and refined with practice. As opposed to hard skills, which are commonly technical, soft skills are typically associated with one’s personality traits. A great way to understand it is to think of them as relational abilities, e.g., how you engage and interact with other people. Conversely, hard skills are your technical competencies, such as knowledge and experience with software or tools.

Soft skills can have a distinct impact on your success in both interviews and as you engage with team members on the job. Read on to learn more about the type of interpersonal skills employers value the most, how to develop new abilities, and how to improve the ones you already have.

Introduction to Soft Skills

The term “soft skill” refers to interpersonal skills that someone can learn or develop. They exist in broad categories, such as “communication skills”, but can also be more niche or more refined, such as “non-verbal communication.”

These interpersonal skills and abilities are highly valued in the workplace.

In a National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) report, Harvard economist David Deming explained that interpersonal skills are an increasingly important factor in success for workers: