The must-have soft skills for working in Europe

  • Job interview
Published 11 months ago

For years, Europe has been attracting professionals from all around the world, so you might as well have considered moving there as part of your career development. However, your chances of being hired in Germany, the UK, France or the Netherlands depend on more than your degrees and work experience. The job search meta engine Joblift unveils the top must-have soft skills in Europe.

The competition among employees in Europe has significantly raised, and European employers have become more demanding. So besides your degrees and professional experience, you may find that additional skills will help you stand above the lot. So if you're looking for job opportunities in Europe, do some self-assessment to identify whether you fit into the European workforce.

Commitment and loyalty

Loyalty and commitment seem to be the keywords for German, British and Dutch employers. From some 30 million job ads published over the past 12 months, these are the most sought-after skills by 24% of German companies and 18% of British companies. Any previous work experience where you have been praised for having these qualities can be of great help – don't forget to add them when updating your CV. Also, 26% of German companies are looking for reliable candidates, even though French companies do not give these skill as much importance.

Dynamism and team spirit

Dutch and German employers are also keen to hire candidates that have a good team spirit as shown by 31% and 30% of job ads respectively. You're more likely to be considered if you've previously been part of or managing a team than if you've been a freelancer, for example, or if you simply have previous work experience. British employers, for their part, prefer confident and assertive candidates as suggested by 12% of job ads published over the past year. You are thus expected to be able to take part in the company's projects and to be able to express your opinion ideas without being offensive towards the rest of the team.

On the other hand, French employers give emphasis to dynamism as shown by 7% of job ads. You should, therefore, be ready to get out of your comfort zone and be able to adapt to your new work environment. They also expect you to be able to overcome challenges, regardless of their nature, without giving up your self-esteem. Imagination, creativity and the ability to develop effective solutions to issues are a plus. Of course, you still have to be productive to prove that you are a valuable asset to the company.

Flexibility and openmindedness

If you are to work in the Netherlands, being flexible could be a great asset. Thirty-seven percent of jobs advertised by Dutch companies, 15% in Germany and 10% in the UK mention flexibility as a soft skill. You may have to cope with changing work schedules and load of work as per the demand, for example. In all cases, be prepared to adapt to any changes in your work environment, regardless of their nature.

Openmindedness is often deemed to be the key to success. Be curious at all times and show your interest not only in tasks that are assigned to you but also in the company's broader projects. Also, remember to be understanding and tolerant towards your seniors and co-workers.


Motivation is another soft skill to which European companies are quite attached, especially in the Netherlands as shown by 18% of ads published during the past year. British employers also lay a lot of emphasis on this quality when looking for candidates to take up new roles.

Start by getting a maximum of information on the company you are applying for, not only on activities carried out but also on facilities and benefits provided to employees, such as wages, fair working conditions, a healthy work environment or even continuous training and development of skills. While this may be your starting point, it will also motivate you to give the best of you.


In the Netherlands (36%), the UK (17%) and Germany (16%), candidates are also expected to have good communication skills – which will help you to be more productive and at the same time feel more comfortable within your work environment. Indeed, Dutch, British and German companies expect their future employees to be able to foster effective communication with their seniors, co-workers and clients to avoid any conflict and be more fluid in their work.

French companies, on the other hand, are more likely to hire candidates that can build positive relationships at work, as shown by 15% of ads. Constructive criticism, openness and respect along with a strong character are much appreciated.