7 soft skills you need if you want to land a great job this year

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The idea of automation eliminating jobs is scary and real. But there's a reassuring flip side for those looking for work in the next two years: Only live humans possess many of the skills required to land high-paying jobs by 2020.

According to online business publication Inc., "Far from robots taking over the world, their rise seems to mean that it is the very things that make you human--your willingness to cover for a co-worker whose mother is sick; your desire to help two radically different teammates work together; your heartfelt appreciation of a manager who had our backs--that will make you the most valuable."

Employers will still want job seekers with required degrees, certifications and job experience, naturally. But they'll also be looking for the "soft" skills that depend on some very human traits. They're easy to spot but hard to quantify, according to Monster.

"Some examples of soft skills include analytical thinking, verbal and written communication, and leadership."

According to the World Economic Forum report on "The Future of Jobs" and other economic experts, these are seven "soft" skills that will help you land high paying jobs through 2020, and to excel once you join the workforce:

Complex problem-solving

Intent on proving how technology would affect labor markets, WEF surveyed 350 executives working in nine industries in the world's largest economies. Their data showed employers would be seeking those with "developed capacities used to solve novel, ill-defined problems in complex, real-world settings" for high-paying jobs between now and 2020.


Monster picks communication as the top soft skill for career-building, and it's also extremely important in hiring decisions. Harvard Business Review picked communication as one of the seven skills that aren't about to be automated.

"In a world where U.S. adults' total media usage is nearly 12 hours a day, on average, communication skills are essential for getting people's attention and moving them to action," HBR noted. "The most basic form of communication is constructing a compelling story."


According to Inc., creativity ranked 10th on the 2015 WEF findings. It has since moved to No. 3 on the list of traits employers seek. The reason? As technology advancements flourish, more creative people are needed to find products and services that use them.

Managing people

Just a few "soft" skills that go into management include the ability to motivate and help employees identify and expand their own skills and talents. According to WEF, employers in media and energy industries will be especially focused on hiring those who can manage others for high-paying jobs.


Credit: Contributed by Upsplash

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Credit: Contributed by Upsplash

Working well with others

Along with being something employers are seeking, working well with others is a soft skill that will help your career advancement, according to Monster. "Employers look to team players to help build a friendly office culture, which helps retain employees and, in turn attracts top talent," Monster said.

Emotional intelligence

AI is superior in many ways, but inferior to the human emotional intelligence that allows employees to read each other, recognize their own impact on the team's morale and productivity and be aware of how co-workers and managers react. According to WEF, a job prospect who is aware of others gets extra attention in the hiring process.

Decision-making skills

Many industries have historically high amounts of data, but instead of encouraging automation, the data demands workers able to analyze and use numbers to make intelligent decisions.