CareerBuilder said a survey of 2,662 hiring managers found 71 percent indicated emotional fortitude -- the ability to control emotions and manage relationships -- was more important than a worker's IQ.
CareerBuilder postulated that in tough economic times, employers are more apt to look beyond the skills needed to do the job and the value of intangible assets is heightened.
"The competitive job market allows employers to look more closely at the intangible qualities that pay dividends down the road -- like skilled communicators and perceptive team players," Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, said in a statement.
Emotional strength, however, can be observed in workers who "admit and learn from their mistakes," or "keep emotions in check and have thoughtful discussions on tough issues," CareerBuilder said.
Workers with "emotional intelligence" also "listen as much or more than they talk" and handle criticism maturely.
They also show "grace under pressure," CareerBuilder said.
The survey was conducted May 19 to June 8 and carried a margin of error of 1.9 percentage points.