What's the Difference Between Soft Skills and Future Skills?

Skills in New Zealand

What's the difference between soft skills and future skills? Find out what skills employers are really looking for on your CV.

Soft skills explained

Soft skills are non-technical skills that relate to how you work. Your soft skills tell your employer how well you work within a team, for example, how you interact with people, how you solve problems and how you manage your work. Employers typically look for job candidates with soft skills because they make someone more successful in the workplace. Someone can be excellent with technical, job-specific skills, but if they can’t manage their time or work within a team, they may not be successful in the workplace.

Some soft skills could include:

  • Listening
  • Negotiation
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Persuasion
  • Presentation
  • Public speaking
  • Reading body language
  • Storytelling
  • Verbal communication
  • Visual communication
Future skills explained

Experts tell us and research shows that in the future, a lot of jobs will be lost through advances in technology and automation. However, what will not be lost is the human behavioural understanding, which technology cannot replicate. These are needed more than ever in the future, and therefore we name them ‘Future Skills.’

Examples of future skills that employers will always be looking for include:

  • Caring for others
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Cultural understanding
  • Leadership
  • Problem-solving
  • Resilience
  • Social responsibility
  • Teamwork
So, what’s the difference?

Although soft skills and future skills can overlap, the difference is that soft skills are examples of how well you work with others, while future skills are specific, transferable skills identified as being in demand, across all industries – in the future. There is a shift in the way industry trends are going and a shift in technology, so it is best to equip yourself with future skills which carry the most value when included in your CV. 

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