If you are a job seeker, you might be wondering about the most important skills that companies look for when they hire. There are certain skills and qualities which generally all employers require of all applicants, irrespective of the position. These are known as soft-skills which are essential for your workplace success. Soft skills are intangible skills which an employer would look for, an example of soft-skill will be interpersonal skills and attributes which you would need to successfully do your job. Apart from the soft-skills, there are other tangible skills you will require to do the job successfully, these are known as hard skills and they are some specific knowledge and abilities you need to do the job. You need a combination of both the soft and hard skills to move up the echelons of your job career.
Here are some of the top skills that employers would like in a job applicant or their current employee to have when hiring new candidates, or while considering their current employees for promotions:
This is a data-driven world, and employers want their employees to be able to figure things out, so you require analytical skills to succeed in the workplace. The skills that you need might vary from job to job and also from industry to industry. Business analytics, data science, marketing, project management, business development, accounting are some of the important skills that an employer would look for in a candidate.
Communication skills are very essential, no matter what job you do or what industry you work in. You need to communicate with your peers both verbally and in writing. In your workplace, you not only have to communicate effectively with your colleagues or managers, but you might also have to communicate with your customers in person, online over the phone or in writing so having good communication skills is very crucial.
Social media literacy
With the advent of social media companies are looking at the way they do business from a different angle. Companies are putting a lot of emphasis on communicating via social media like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media sites. If you have the knowledge of how to maneuver these sites effectively then you will have leverage over others in terms of skill sets. Social media is one of the top skills employers will be seeking in new hires in the present times.
World Economic Forum ran a survey recently and observed that creativity ranks among the top 5 most sought after skills that employers will be looking for in the next few years. Employers, in the process of injecting fresh blood to their workforce, would like to have candidates who can come up with fresh ways to approach their jobs. Although job interviews are not so conducive to help you demonstrate your creative skills, yet you can show how creative you are when you are making your resume by mentioning about your past experiences where you used an innovative way to tackle a task effectively.
Resilience or Flexibility
It is not always smooth sailing for companies and there as there are ups and downs in business. Employers would like to see that their employers get ahead in these challenging situations. Flexibility is more focused on your ability to recover from setbacks. You need to learn from failures and find ways to make the best of a bad situation. This is why resilience is one of the most coveted soft skills in the job market in recent times.
If you know how to prioritize your tasks and have the sense of managing your time effectively to complete the tasks which you have on your plate then you have a great skill in your quiver. Employers seek for those candidates who can bring to the table effective time management skills. Time management means making the most of a day and getting the things on top of your priority list done first. Employers do not find it impressive when an employee takes 10 hours to do a job when it can be done in 8 hours. If you know how to manage your time to create maximum efficiency, then you can become a hero in the eyes of an employer because your efficiency is a money saver for the company.
There is a dearth of competent support staffs and hiring skilled support staff is becoming more and more competitive. Administrative skills are one of the most coveted soft skills and businesses are seeking executive and administrative assistants as support staffs. If you are a non-technical person this is an important skill that you should hone to help you move ahead in your job career.
Interpersonal skills or people skills as they are commonly called are the skills that you require to interact and engage with others. These are imperative skills which can help you to find a better job. Your would-be employer might evaluate these skills during the job interviews so you should be prepared for questions related to interpersonal skills. Valuable interpersonal skills are active listening, motivation, responsibility, empathy, etc.
Whether you are applying for the post of a project leader or that of an office manager, there is one thing in common which a prospective employer would seek in you, and those are leadership qualities. Communication skills like communication one-on-one basis, departmental and full staff conversations as well as communication through phone, email and social media are one of the leadership qualities. Aside from communication skills, skills like articulating, active listening, clarity, concision, explaining, editing, correspondence, presentation, public speaking, non-verbal communication all amounts to leadership qualities which an employer would search for, in a candidates profile when hiring for senior roles. These qualities are ubiquitously required irrespective of the position that you might apply for.
Putting on your thinking cap to solve a problem means that you can work independently and you don’t have to wait for someone else to find a way to fix it. This is a very important skill to have because employers look for people who can work independently without much supervision.
Willingness to learn
This is one skill which shows that you are willing to adapt to new changes and learn new things. This gives the impression that you are coachable and these are a positive set of skills that employer would really like to see in their aspiring candidates. Employers would like to know if you have an appetite to learn new things and whether you are willing to get out of your comfort zone to do a task that requires new skills.
To ensure that you are showing your top skills during your job search, make a list of the skills and qualities that best reflect your background. You can then include those points on your resume and cover letters. Mentioned above are some of the top skills that are in demand in recent years. You can cite examples from your previous job where you might have used these skills to let the employers know how many of an asset you would be when you are hired.