The Midwest has been heralded for having a great work ethic. What exactly is that? Is it just being a “hard worker” or is it really a basket of skills, also known as soft skills, which were passed on or taught to you by your grandparents and parents?

Do college grads entering the workforce today in the Midwest inherently have the right mix of soft skills? Sadly, the answer too often is no. Why are students coming up short in the “soft skills” department, and then failing on the job? Not for technical ineptitude, but because they don’t communicate well or play well with others.

LinkedIn conducted a study recently and ranked the top 10 Most In-Demand Soft Skills.

The list above may appear easy or obvious. But do you really have these skills nailed down? Do you practice them daily in class, at work, even with friends and family? The LinkedIn study drills into the types of jobs and levels within an organization where given soft skills are most applicable. Know where you stand in your field of study and future profession.

You should be aware of the in-demand soft skills employers are looking for and, if you possess them, find a place in your resume or cover letter to share your examples. If you are in high school or college and lack some of these high-demand skills, look for classes that will help you enhance these skills and learn strategies to be successful. Just don’t show up soft on soft skills.