Equally important to education and work experience today are what are referred to as 'soft skills.' These are the kind of skills you acquire while earning that job and academic experience, and they include things like work ethic, leadership skills, critical thinking, and the ability to work well with others. They can be thought of as life skills or human skills, and they are, at least from a professional standpoint, the defining attributes that make up a person's overall quality of character. Here is a list of the soft skills that employers look for the most as they sort through that big stack of resumes.

Positive attitude. One of the most valued and sought after soft skills is probably also one of the hardest to learn. Usually people are naturally inclined toward either a sunny or doomful disposition or might sit somewhere in between. As humans, we often have complex feelings surrounding one subject or another, and if we regard something negatively, it can be hard to snap out of it. But in a bad situation, those who can remain positive are easily the more constructive, and generally, always make for better company.

Communication and interpersonal skills. These include writing and oral communication skills and are utilized almost constantly in our professional lives. They are essential regardless of the field but are even more crucial in careers that require human interaction, like those in sales or customer service. These skills boil down to one's ability to communicate clearly, listen attentively, and maintain relationships with both co-workers and customers.

Ability to work in a team or collaborative setting. These skills go hand-in-hand with communication and are determined by how effective someone is at working in a group or as a member of a team working toward common goals. The ability to exchange ideas, negotiate, and reach resolutions in times of crisis are all included in this category.

Creative and critical thinking. People who possess creative abilities can think outside of the box while approaching new ideas, or when coming up with solutions to complicated problems. These skills involve one's ability to maintain a playful frame of mind and not become confined by any one line of thought. Critical thinkers are able to think deeply about a subject while considering all possible angles, and they also tend not to take things at face value.

Strong work ethic. Dependability and punctuality are the cornerstones of this skill-set. The stronger someone's work ethic, the less they'll need constant monitoring and supervision as they carry out their tasks. Also included in work ethic is one's ability to manage their time effectively, as well as their trainability and aptitude for taking on new tasks or assignments.