Job Search Tips Professional Development

Top Soft Skills Employers Seek

Written by Miranda Pennington

The experts at The Savvy Intern polled members of an organization called the Young Entrepreneur Council to see what specific soft skills they look for in their team members and which traits every aspiring new hire should work to develop.

Here are the top results of their survey:

Curiosity, Teachability, and Drive

David Ciccarelli of wants someone who’s curious and has a passion for learning.

Motivation, Attention to Detail, and a Positive Outlook

Orange Mud’s Josh Sprague says these qualities represent such potential for excellence, they can even vault a worthy candidate past the entry level gig they originally applied for.

Communication, Adaptability, and a Proactive Mentality

The ability to express yourself, the flexibility to embrace new challenges, and a willingness to go above and beyond are what count at, according to Miles Jennings.

Energy, Positivity, and Heart

Obinna Ekenzie, formerly of the NBA and currently with, looks for the same attributes in his employees as he used to see on the court. You’ve got to want it and have the vitality to go after it.

Empathy, Curiosity, and Attitude

For Perks Consulting’s Lauren Perkins, it’s all about the willingness to understand other people, bring in your own perspective, and see opportunities where others see only obstacles.

Comb through your job and life experiences to find anecdotes that illustrate your abilities in each of these soft-skill areas, and you’ll be an unbeatable asset to any company lucky enough to have you.


About the author

Miranda Pennington

Miranda K. Pennington is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared on The Toast, The American Scholar, and the Ploughshares Writing Blog. She currently teaches creative nonfiction for Uptown Stories, a Morningside Heights nonprofit organization. She has an MFA from Columbia University, where she has also taught in the University Writing program and consulted in the Writing Center.