When talent is in short supply, hiring only to fill specific job openings might be an outdated concept. Instead, employers that find a candidate with the rare blend of soft skills and technical knowledge are snapping them up, even if there isn’t a job opening that requires the person’s specific skill set and experience.

Companies are searching for professionals with the unique combination of human and technical talents. If a candidate isn’t perfect for the job they applied for, a progressive hiring team might determine that they have the relevant skills for a different job- an opportunity that the candidate doesn’t even know about.

Are you a candidate that has people skills with a strong collaborative mindset? Do you possess robust analytical skills? Can you demonstrate empathy and are you a good problem-solver?

Asking behavioral-based questions is a proven method for identifying top candidates, no matter the job title.

Companies that are looking for high performers start with multiple-rounds of interviews. First asking behavioral questions such as, “tell me about a time when X happened and how did you handle it?” and “Have you ever encountered X? If so, what did you do about it?”

So, are you ready to take the leap?

How do you convey all those intangible skills and what are they?

Spotting the ‘Trifecta’ of Soft Skills

Exhibiting Optimism

If you think about it practically every employer would want an optimistic employee. After all, who wants to hire a Debbie Downer? Optimistic people can help motivate a team when times get tough, and they are quicker to tackle harder assignments that others might be reluctant to take on.

Being Kind

Think a cutthroat character will help you get to the job search finish line faster? Think again. The ability to be kind is an intangible skill that can go a long way in winning over a hiring manager.

Being kind isn’t just reserved for potential coworkers or your future boss: it’s also for everyone you meet along the way, because believe it or not, if you’re rude or short with people, that can spread pretty quickly and negatively impact your chances of getting hired. Be kind to the Receptionist.

Intellectually Curious

When an employer brings on a new staffer, they want that person to be excited about the opportunity to work for the company. But they also want something else too- genuine interest in the job. They want to see that you’re passionate about the position on the whole, as well as other components of the company.

Intellectual curiosity can start in your cover letter. Show the employer you’ve done your research to understand the company and how the job they’re hiring for fits into the bigger picture. During job interviews, prep thoughtful questions to ask the interviewer that go beyond the basics. This isn’t a job search tactic. By asking more- in depth, curious questions, you’re getting inside info that can help you decide whether or not this is the right job for you.

Work Ethic

During your job interview, to set you apart from other candidates, show your strong work ethic by citing examples of when you’ve gone above and beyond in previous positions and took on special projects.

That said, there is a fine middle ground of making sure that your drive meshes well with the team members and the company culture. Nobody wants to work with the showoff who brags about how many hours they work, or how you think you work harder than everybody. That’s an instant turn off.

Empathy and Self-Awareness

Whether you’re working in an office full of noisy coworkers or from the quiet of your home office, be empathetic to the other members of your team and to your boss’s needs too. You need to be aware of your actions and how they affect others, from having strong communication with your colleagues to being able to pass off a project to the next team member on time.


Integrity is not taking all the credit for a project when your partner did more than half of the work. Integrity is a critical component of an employee’s success; it shows a prospective boss that you value the team and its success over your own. It’s an emotional skill that can be hard to find in some job seekers, but working with integrity and honesty is not only the right thing to do, but something that employers desperately want in their workers. This intangible/soft skill is an absolute must.

Follow-Up skills

On a daily basis, your job search might look like this: read listings, revise our resume, customize your cover letter, and send in your application. But what about following up on your applications? Some job seekers find following up tricky, believing that if a company is interested they should reach out to you. Others are afraid of “bothering” a potential employer.

You never know what can happen to your application after you hit send. Maybe your computer glitched and your application never went through, or it got accidentally deleted. Following up, believe it or not, can be an attractive quality to a prospective employer. It shows that you really want the job, and have the courage to pursue it professionally.

Wait about a week or two, and then follow up on any outstanding applications that you haven’t heard back about.  Self –confidence will give you the gumption to go after the jobs you really want and explain to a potential employer why you really deserve the job.

If you doubt yourself and your ability to do the job, you might subconsciously send a signal to your interviewer that they might also doubt your ability too.

That’s why you should know how to present your past experience on your resume in a way that shows the employer that you’re qualified for the job, but also eager to learn the policies and practices in order to be a successful employee, too.

Being Trainable

When you’re applying to jobs, you want to put your best foot forward, presenting to a prospective employer that you’re completely able to do the job. That said, you don’t want to look like you’re possibly a know-it-all and untrainable. If you give off a been-there-done-that impression, it could be a big turn off.

That’s why you should know how to present your past experience and skills on your resume and during the interview in a way that shows the employer that you’re qualified for the job. Also, be eager to learn the policies and practices in order to be a successful employee and intricate part of the team.

These intangible/soft skills will set you apart from other candidates and help you throughout your life too. I will help you identify your intangible/soft skills to land your next job.

Let’s get on a Free 30 Minute Consultation session and do just that Schedule a 30 Minute Appointment – Cindy Fassler Career Coaching