Five Top Soft Skills for Career Readiness

May 30, 2024
Career readiness Edmentum article

Do your adult learners have the skills they need to land the jobs they want? How would you classify their career readiness?

While some fields or industries may look closely at one’s GPA or test scores, an increasing number of employers are screening candidates on soft skills—intangible, interpersonal skills that include personal qualities, characteristics, and attitudes.

More often than not, employers are asking questions like:

  • Can you problem-solve?
  • Can you work well on a team?
  • Do you have strong communication skills?
  • How adaptable/flexible are you when it comes to a changing environment?

We’ve gathered the top five career readiness soft skills that employers are looking for so that you can help your adult learners prepare themselves for the next steps in their careers.

1. Effective written communication skills

This career readiness skill could be the most important on this list.

Every day, no matter your role, you are in constant communication with others, whether it is over email, instant messenger, message boards, or something else.

The ability to communicate clearly and concisely is a skill that many employers stress in a variety of roles across many departments.

2. Leadership skills and the ability to work well on a team

Teamwork makes the dream work, right?

Many employers want employees who work well with others and on teams. Taking on a leadership role on a project or committee can help employees stand out to their manager, thus making them top-of-mind when it comes to raises or promotions.

3. Strong work ethic

This one seems like a no-brainer. How many times have you been told that hard work equates to success?

Having a strong work ethic makes your learners valuable employees to the company they work for.

Showing up to work on time and ready to tackle the day reflects well on an employee and is infectious to others on the team.

4. Flexibility/Adaptability

In today’s world, decisions are made quickly, and employees need to be able to react in a flexible and timely manner.

The world of business is constantly changing, and employees who are unable to adapt are often left in the dust. Stress to your career readiness learners that presenting yourself as flexible and adaptable makes them valuable employees.

5. Initiative in and Outside of Career Readiness Programs

Often, those who are successful in any career are those who take initiative.

Showing up to work to just perform your job duties is no longer enough to get you noticed by upper management. Encourage your learners to go above and beyond their job description.

Are there parts of their job that they’d like to learn more about? Urge them to take the initiative and do some research. Are there skills they want to gain that are outside of their job duties? Encourage them to ask their manager to train them in these areas.

Demonstrating the willingness to learn more doesn’t go unnoticed by any manager.

As a career readiness educator, you play an important role in an adult learner’s life. Understand that some of your students may be new to the workforce and that these skills are not easily taken on by everyone. Be patient and take the time to remind your learners that these skills are essential to their success, both in and out of the classroom.

At Edmentum, we recognize that soft skills are essential to success in school, in work, and in life, and we have worked hard to integrate these skills into our programs. Courseware’s Career and Technical Education curriculum has specific material to help students learn these important skills and understand why they are critical to success in college and their careers.

We even offer a course titled Essential Career Skills, which focuses on the development of soft skills across many different disciplines.

Interested in learning more about how Edmentum’s CTE solutions can equip your learners with the skills that employers want? Check out our CTE libraries for secondary and higher ed learners. You can also download Edmentum's career-connected learning workbook to reimagine how your district prepares students for success beyond the classroom.

Get the latest education insights sent directly to your inbox

Subscribe to our Knowledge Articles