From time management to identifying pain points, here are the 17 answers to the question, “What are the most important soft skills that job seekers need to land a job in 2023?”

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  • Time Management
  • Ownership
  • Communication
  • Adaptability and Perseverance
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Self-Motivation
  • Problem-Solving Abilities
  • Familiarity and Respect for Diverse Cultures
  • Digital Literacy
  • Growth Mindset
  • Lateral Thinking
  • Specialization
  • Well-Spoken and Concise
  • Active Listening
  • Creativity
  • Empathy
  • Identifying Pain Points

Time Management

Time management skills are the most underrated. Practical time management skills make you a more productive and efficient working professional. These abilities will assist you in completing tasks as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality. When you work on unimportant tasks, your overall productivity suffers, but practical time management skills allow you to complete both essential and urgent tasks on time.

Axel Hernborg, Founder & CEO,



Businesses are looking for people who take pride in their work, and one of the best ways to show that pride is through ownership. When leaders see their team display ownership, they know that they’re going to hold themselves and each other accountable. 

To build this skill, start with building a sense of responsibility for not just the projects you manage, but for your attitude and actions around work. Ownership means limiting excuses and sticking through results. Finally, it means doing what you can to make things right when they don’t go as expected. 

Ownership and responsibility transcend industries. Salespeople show it by assisting coworkers with the onboarding experience, while customer support agents show it by following up with their clients. Being conscientious and caring about the outcome is how you own each interaction, and how you make a difference with your customers and your business.

Shawn Plummer, CEO, The Annuity Expert



Soft skills may show a lot about how a candidate interacts at work. Learn this soft talent to affect your surroundings. Communication is the ability to transfer or share ideas and reactions among team members successfully.

It is critical to communicate successfully with others since it promotes trust and rapport among coworkers. Practical communication skills can help you create relationships with others who may have different opinions than you, allowing you to comprehend and incorporate their viewpoint into your job.

It also comes in handy while working on group tasks that require teamwork to be successful!

Isaac Robertson, Fitness Trainer & Co-Founder, Total Shape


Adaptability and Perseverance

While adaptability and perseverance might seem like two separate soft skills, they really work together to make one of the most important skills employers are looking for: internal motivation.

I’ve hired many people over the years, and every single time, if I interview two final candidates, the candidate who has a track record of internal motivation for learning and succeeding has always been the person I hire.

Showing adaptability and perseverance in a resume isn’t easy because it’s not just one thing, it’s a collection of job titles and responsibilities, volunteering, community engagements, and internships that show that you are proactive and willing to do what it takes to achieve a result.

Jonathan Duarte, Founder & CEO, GoHire, Inc


Emotional Intelligence

All HR leaders look for candidates with emotional intelligence. It’s a sought-after soft skill in every industry. Employees with high emotional intelligence can discern others’ emotions. They can understand the sentiments of themselves and others with clarity. As a result, they can also manage and control those sentiments. 

Emotional intelligence promotes the ability to collaborate with others. People with robust emotional intelligence work well in a team. They have good listening skills. So, they can listen to others’ views with patience and tolerance. And they respect their ideas. 

Employees with high emotional skills can also form strong bonds. As a result, they promote a positive and healthy work culture. Hence, to land a great job in 2023, a candidate should hone their emotional intelligence.

Ryan Knoll, Owner, Tidy Casa



As there is no direct supervisor in a home office, employees must rely on their own intrinsic drive to get the job done. To me, self-motivation entails taking initiative, working without direct supervision, and completing tasks on schedule without being reminded or prompted frequently. 

Furthermore, employees that are self-motivated are more likely to take initiative in their own professional development by seeking new opportunities, learning new skills, and putting in extra effort in these areas. Having employees that can motivate themselves is invaluable to businesses.

Frederic Linfjärd, Director of Growth Marketing, Planday


Problem-Solving Abilities

In 2023, I believe firms will value employees who can effectively address a wide range of issues, from technical glitches in the workplace to interpersonal tensions. 

Rapid advancements in both technology and the nature of employment mean that unexpected problems may occur. Hiring people you can trust to provide insightful ideas is a top priority for employers. Include a relevant bullet point on your resume, such as this one, to showcase your problem-solving abilities.

Nely Mihaylova, Content Editor, Unagi Scooters


Familiarity and Respect for Diverse Cultures 

Increasing inclusion and diversity at work requires us to become more tolerant of various cultures. Therefore, it is essential for today’s workforce to know about different cultures. 

It is definitely something that can be expected to become increasingly crucial when the last degrees of separation between us are reduced by digital technology. 

You can expect employers to look for employers familiar with the diverse communities and races worldwide in 2023. Many employers will value knowledge and respect for diversity.

Connie Glover, General Manager, Product & Market Development, BFX Furniture


Digital Literacy

Digital literacy will be an eye-catching employee skill for employers as the industry continues to rely more and more on technological advancements in 2023. This soft skill guarantees managers, especially those that operate remotely, that candidates can easily navigate digital tools. 

They can be confident that you are quick to adapt to new platforms and software, so these changes won’t sacrifice your performance and communication at work. Candidates that are digitally literate make up a smooth and efficient workflow.

Mark Woodbury, Co-Founder, Minerva Equity


Growth Mindset

We frequently observe employers and recruiters requiring candidates and any possible new workers to have a growth mentality. More and more employers are looking for people who aren’t scared of failing and who view obstacles and challenges as chances to learn more and grow. An entrepreneurial mindset focuses on being adaptable to change, taking constructive feedback well, being resilient, and never stopping to learn.

Matthew Appleton, E-Commerce Manager, Appleton Sweets


Lateral Thinking

Since the job market post-pandemic is unpredictable, the desire to adapt according to the situation is preferred. This can especially be helpful in diverse problem-solving situations. 

With a mix of innovation and critical reasoning, it becomes easier to survive chaotic business scenarios. We can specialize in this while passionately striving towards a single career as well.

Eventually, hone your interrelated skills. This can also help develop your creative insights, which are essential for lateral thinking. Suppose you are a part-time content writer, copywriter, as well as engineer. You could expand your perspectives and play a more effective role. Modern technological help can aid this.

Cynthia Hamilton, Marketing Director, OGLF



I’ve screened 500+ resumes and hired five people on my team in the last six months. One thing that always stands out is specialization.

Most candidates go for a jack-of-all-trades approach, listing countless skills and random experiences on their resumes. Specialization is when candidates position themselves as experts in one or very few areas.

To become more focused, reflect on what brings you joy and what you’re better at than most people. Then, tweak your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile so that it speaks to that focus. You can have multiple focus areas and respective application templates depending on the job you apply to.

I’ve done this myself, sharpening my specialty over the years, and landing job interviews more easily.

Julian Schaaf, Head of Marketing, Gomada


Well-Spoken and Concise

For anyone searching for a new job, make sure you are concise when asked, “so, tell me about yourself”. As an interview coach, I am constantly amazed at how poorly so many of my clients originally answer that simple (you-know-it-is-coming) question. 

You need to practice (out loud) and be able to hit the highlights of your successes in the past. If you are a student looking for a job, tell me about your leadership in school and your ability to work in a team environment. 

If you are back in the job market, study the job description and match your past job experiences to what is being asked for by the interviewer. An interview coach will help you craft your answers to match your needs. 

Once you learn the skill of speaking concisely and well, you will see doors open to you for your amazing future.

Deb Sofield, Executive Speech & Presentations Coach, Executive Speech Coaching Co.


Active Listening 

We usually see interviews as an opportunity for candidates to communicate their qualifications for a position, but they are also a forum to show the ability to absorb information. This is why active listening is an important soft skill. 

Having the willingness and the ability to intake instructions and maintain attention on those providing it is a critical skill that businesses value, as it shows the concentration abilities of a candidate.

Therefore, demonstrating active listening through eye contact, body language, repeating things back to those providing instruction, and even asking questions for clarification, shows that you both possess and can apply that skill. In 2023, the soft skill of active listening will be of heightened importance and could elevate your chances of landing the job you desire.

Mackenzie Whalen, Marketing Director, E1011 Labs



Don’t be scared if you don’t consider yourself creative. Creativity isn’t limited to music or the arts—it encompasses your imagination and coming up with original ideas. 

You can flex your creative skills by developing new ideas and methods, no matter how big or small. The modern market is fierce, so innovation is the best way to succeed.

Employers value the ability to think critically and find creative solutions because they’ll help them stay ahead of the curve. As a recession looms and businesses compete for shrinking revenues, creative employees offer a real competitive advantage.

Tory Gray, CEO & Founder, The Gray Dot Company



The one soft skill job seekers need to land a job in 2023 is empathy. Being able to relate well with others and work with others is a key skill for any individual. Having empathy improves communication between people and strengthens working relationships. This also will lead to positive outcomes, completion of projects, and happier employees.

Renee Frey, President, TalentQ, Inc


Identifying Pain Points

Understanding what the company is looking for, and having the awareness to recognize in what areas you could add value. A lot of applicants think that by speaking to their own experience, they can “wow” a hiring manager. In a lot of cases, it’s much more valuable to try to identify areas where they have pain points.

Tim Hiller, Sr. Manager, Surety Systems