10 Soft Skills Today’s Young Talent Must Master

Skills Needed in Today's WorkforceSo those well-worn phrases like “detail oriented” and “hard worker” aren’t helping you land interviews? “Team player” and “strong leader” not getting the job done?

Perhaps that is because employers today know that when looking for the best-of-the-best in young talent, they must look past the cliches. To discover who might be the best fit for their team, they must dig deeper to see who has the skills they covet most.

To learn what skills are most in-demand in today’s workplace, our colleagues at Young Entrepreneur Council asked their members this question:

Question: What skill do you think young people looking for jobs should possess?

Here’s what we learned:



Tim Jahn-100x100“Today’s workplace is built around very small teams trying to accomplish a very large amount of work; everybody is very busy. The best team members are those who are not sitting around waiting to be told what to do. They’re persistent when following up on communications and always being proactive about moving the company forward.”

– Tim Jahn – Matchist



Vanessa Van Edwards“All startups need someone who has persistent determination, tenacity and a never-ending supply of energy. In the startup world you hear a lot of ‘no,’ so you need to ask and ask and ask until you hear ‘yes.’

Tenacity is the only thing that will get you to ‘yes.'”

– Vanessa Van Edwards – Science of People



Derek Capo“Employers are always seeking people who are easy to train, especially in a fast-growing company or a company with a changing business model. A person unwilling to be trained makes it easier for the employer to let them go when conducting an evaluation. Employers will always pick the employee who’s easy to train over someone who is difficult to train. ”

– Derek Capo – Next Step China


Writing Skills

Alex Frias“The biggest part of the juggling act at work will be your ability to properly communicate, both internally and externally.

From drafting an email to writing a presentation, writing is one of the most crucial elements that will determine how far your startup will go.”

– Alex Frias – Track Marketing Group


A Positive Attitude

Jared Feldman“A person’s attitude is contagious to his surrounding, especially in a tight working space at a startup.

Someone who is always positive is more likely to overcome challenges ahead and be a good team player overall. ”

– Jared Feldman – Mashwork


Code Writing

Adam Lieb“Even if you are looking for a non-technical job, having technical skills will always set you apart. Experience writing code means you can communicate with technical people better than your peers.

Learn to code, even a little bit, and you won’t be disappointed. ”

– Adam Lieb – Duxter


Problem Solving

Doreen“Startups are all about solving problems. Young people who want to get jobs in startups should develop the skill of quickly taking in a lot of information and developing a framework for analyzing it to articulate a viable set of possible solutions. Anyone who can contribute rigorous solution-generating skills will be an asset to a startup, as well as any organization they join thereafter.”

– Doreen Bloch – Poshly, Inc.



Charlie Graham“Starting and running a startup is a huge emotional rollercoaster with high highs and low lows. If you give up after the first low, you might never get to the next high.

Instead, you need to constantly be tinkering, improving and moving forward in small steps.”

– Charlie Graham – Shop It to Me, Inc.


Thirst for Learning

Mitch Gordon“There is always more to do. In many ways, your job will change every day. You have to enjoy the process of learning and challenging yourself. If an employee enjoys learning and taking on new challenges, I’m confident he will be able to work independently and proactively to get things done. People who get things done make my life as CEO easier!”

– Mitch Gordon – Go Overseas



Phil Laboon“The ability to keep calm under pressure is important. One thing all startups have in common is they are going to have their ups and downs. The trick is to not get lazy when you’re on top or give up when you’re on bottom.

Staying consistent and not giving in to the ups and downs is key.

– Phil Laboon – Eyeflow Internet Marketing


What would you add to this list of critical skills? Let us know, in the comments below!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at YEC!




Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.



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