Someone told me in a recent email exchange that he was too smart and too entrepreneurial for stupid human resource departments and employers to perceive his talents.

He may well be brilliant and previously successful. And he may be justifiably angry that he hasn't penetrated corporate hiring systems to land a job.

But if any of the thoughts he shared with me have seeped into his communications with potential employers, well, sadly there's no wonder why he hasn't been invited in for interviews.

In today's job market, it's not just technical skills and experience that count. Employers, especially in service industries but really in any industry, are looking for soft skills.

In a nutshell, soft skills are the ability to make people -- bosses, co-workers, clients and customers -- want to be around you.

Factual details on your resume will advance you as an appropriate job candidate, but your personal interactions, social skills and attitude will produce the actual job offer.

When employers are surveyed about the soft skills they seek in employees, there are several descriptions that continue to pop up. They want to see:

--Ability to work as a team.


--High energy.

--Positive attitude.

--Good work ethic.


--Emotional intelligence.

That last characteristic includes the ability to see yourself as others see you.

If your self-image is out of whack with the perception that others have about you, you won't be able to accurately gauge why you're not advancing in your career.

Every one of us has seen examples of lesser-qualified people being hired or promoted over others who had better skills or experience. Often the reason was soft skills.

Although training budgets have been cut in many workplaces, it's still true that employers are more likely to think they can train a worker to make up for a skills deficit than they can remake a personality.