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5 soft skills to stand out from other applicants

Updated: Aug 18, 2022


Leadership positions are advertised with job descriptions emphasizing work experience and academic achievement. But what often sets a qualified executive apart from other capable top-level managers is soft skills.

For executives already in the workforce, soft skills can determine who gets promoted and referred. This article is a list of the most sought-after soft skills at an executive-level.

C-suite leaders and executives share several leadership traits: the ability to inspire and engage others around a common goal, agile thinking, and solid understanding of the organization as a whole, to name a few. Although these basic soft skills have stood the test of time, it is also true that nowadays companies require additional skills.

Leaders set the tone for how teams and entire organizations operate. If you're lacking key soft skills, your business may not be heading in the right direction.

Below, we'll look at 5 important soft skills that every good leader should have. We'll discuss what each soft skill is, and why it's important for leaders to develop them.


Although it is a trait that can be learned, influence comes naturally and is sometimes called charisma or mindfulness. As a successful leader, you know that unilateral decisions are likely to meet resistance when it comes to onboarding teams. You also know that not everyone thinks like you do, and that some people are more open to dissenting opinions than others. Your talent is to bring in the skepticals.

This soft skill is essential if you want to stand out from other executives candidates. You will show the recruiter that you know how to explain and defend your ideas. Being savvy will help you to influence customers, suppliers, boards, teams, and other leaders. Influencing something or someone takes time to get to know your audience, and the ability to bring them close to you.


Strong communication is more than just stating your point clearly. Successful executives are effective listeners, open to feedback, and apply information to improve processes and relationships within the organization.

Highlighting your communication skills will show the recruiter that you are able to prevent costly mistakes and keep business running smoothly by adapting your ways of communicating. To emphasize the importance of your communication skill it is important to give examples of your past experiences where you succeeded in maintaining open communication between employees and other management, improving morale, productivity and business performance.


The ability to come up with creative solutions to solve problems in the workplace is another highly desirable trait required for successful leadership. Finding ways to mitigate risk, minimize logistical issues, and implement strategies to achieve business goals are some of the key components of effective problem solving that will help you stand out from other executives.

As an effective executive, your problem-solving skills are more than simply just treating the symptoms with basic solutions. Indeed, you should be able to assess the situation around the problem to find the root cause and then act to address the problem at its source rather than just treating the symptoms.

Demonstrating the ability to choose a different path when necessary is a very important skill. We may not be able to provide solutions for staff to choose from. Times like this require the skill to find unique approaches to solving the problems that arise.


Leaders must be able to solve problems in the workplace. Regardless of your industry or position in a company conflict is inevitable, so respecting differences and promoting solutions becomes essential when dealing with difficult conversations, people, and office politics. This means developing conflict resolution techniques such as maintaining a positive attitude throughout the process, showing emotional intelligence, listening carefully, etc.

Remember that part of a leader's job is to get things done through different groups of people. A recruiter will prefer an executive able to create and maintain a positive work environment where employees feel listened to, valued. and empowered to speak up when they have problems.


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