Soft Skills You Need to Stand Out in a Crowd

Team leader using effective communication with his team
It’s more important than ever to differentiate yourself from others and highlight strengths that will get you noticed – either within your current role or an application. A great way to make yourself stand out is by gaining and exhibiting soft skills. But what are soft skills and how do you learn them?

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are the intangible assets that make you shine in interviews, at work and social events. They make you stand out from the crowd, but don’t come with a piece of paper to back them up. Important soft skills range from leadership and teamwork through to problem solving and decisiveness.

The ability to demonstrate a range of important soft skills will push you to the top of any prospective employer’s pile of candidates. While your qualification is a tangible demonstration of your academic ability and training, soft skills don’t come with a certificate, and it’s up to you to demonstrate them to any people you may want to impress.

How to learn soft skills

Can’t think of any soft skills to round out your resume? If you’re studying with CAL, you’re already well on your way to mastery of several key important soft skills.

Self-discipline and motivation

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of any education program is the switch to a more self-driven learning process. This is especially true when completing online courses or undertaking study that may seem new and confronting.

At the end of the day, you are accountable only to yourself and must find both the motivation to take action and the discipline to see it through. Being able to demonstrate that you have the self-discipline to diligently guide yourself through an entire course, seek help when you need it and work to meet deadlines makes you an asset in the eyes of any future employer. Furthermore, the fact that you identified a need for change in your life and did something about it demonstrates a motivation to get the best out of yourself.

Time management

Good time management is a skill that can be honed over time. As an adult student, your studies will often need to be juggled between caring for a family and working your existing job. Being able to meet deadlines requires time management skills as you juggle to fit in those important family moments. Completing your course is a demonstration that you can divide your time efficiently and effectively to achieve your goals, an attribute critical to the success of any workplace.


Completing any form of education, especially at these levels, requires the ability to complete the tasks set for you. As you work your way through a course, academic challenges will be plentiful. Any CAL graduate can confidently say in an interview they were able to tackle the difficult tasks involved in their studies head on.

Your problem-solving skills don’t just stem from your coursework. Identifying issues with any of the other areas we’ve outlined above and coming up with solutions to deal with them is also a form of problem-solving. At the completion of your course, you can prove to any employer that you have experience working through and overcoming difficulties.

How To Make Your Resume Stand Out Without Experience

What soft skills can be developed outside of study?

When it comes to selling yourself on the job market, the more soft skills you have, the better. Here are three simple ways you can incorporate important soft skills into your resume and stand out from the crowd even more.


Showing you can be an enthusiastic team member is important for entering the workforce. Join committees, form a book club or play a team sport, even if it’s just C-grade mixed netball on a Wednesday night with your friends. Anything that shows you know how to cooperate with others will make you look good and show you’re a proactive person.


Demonstrating the ability to handle the pressure and responsibility of being a leader is a fantastic asset. Seek out leadership roles in your current workplace or volunteer to run events at your kids’ schools or for a local charity.


Many employers will look for employees who can think on their feet and find creative solutions to problems. You can show off your creative side by starting your own blog, podcast, YouTube channel, or perhaps by investing a little more time in expanding your painting, graphic design or photography.

The importance of soft skills

You can see that gaining soft skills to stand out from the crowd doesn’t need to be hard. Having fun and enjoying what you do is another underrated soft skill that can keep life in perspective as you study and negotiate the job market.

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