soft skills blog post

Employers Are Looking For These Four Soft Skills

Ethical hacking, certified nurse aide, arc metal welder. These careers all have technical skills that are attainable through FastForward training. Employers will look at a person’s ability to measure blood pressure or weld cylindrical, tack-welded pieces – but they’re also looking for certain “soft skills” that aren’t necessarily written on your resume.

Soft skills are everyday skills that can be applied to any career. We talked to our FastForward Career Coaches, who connect FastForward trainees and employers across Virginia, and these are the top soft skills Virginia employers look for when making hiring decisions.


An overwhelming majority of our coaches said good communication skills are very important to prospective employers. Michael Frasnelli from Northern Virginia Community College says that good communication begins before your first day on the job. “The very process of setting up an interview and scheduling can be very telling,” he says. “Employers need to feel confident that the person they are hiring can communicate needs in a succinct and meaningful manner.”

Work Ethic

“Having an employee who is dedicated, hard-working and reliable is always the number one request we hear from employers in our service-region,” says Brooke Shehan, from Dabney S. Lancaster Community College. Showing up, being on time and staying committed to the work speaks volumes to employers.


Being autonomous, or having the ability to self-manage, is another important skill that many employers look for in a new hire. Employers are looking to see that employees can think for themselves and manage their own time.


Due to the nature of the work, some careers require employees to be able to think on their feet and quickly change directions in what they’re working on. “I think adaptability is important to employers because change is constant,” says Shannon Whitlow at Patrick Henry Community College. “It is important for employees to quickly adapt and move forward with little to no downtime.”

Wherever you are on your work-life path, FastForward Career Coaches are here to help. Contact your local FastForward Career Coach here.