In today’s competitive society, it’s important for colleges and universities to produce graduates with hard skills such as programming–but equally important are soft skills, such as creativity.

A new LinkedIn analysis takes a look at the top hard and soft skills recruiters seek in job applicants and potential employees. Successful professionals will have a mix of hard and soft skills, which will make them highly-qualified for specific tasks and able to work effectively with a diverse array of peers.

Soft skills have traditionally been hard to measure, but they’re no less important.

Recent research notes that soft skills such as creativity, collaboration, and communication are critical to hiring managers as they evaluate job applicants. But applicants with strong soft skills–also called employability skills–are hard to find.

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Editorial Director, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura