Landing your dream job depends not only on your college degree and your working experience. There are top skills employers are looking for when selecting the right candidate for the job.
Irrespective of the position you are applying for, employers are always on the lookout for these skills to make sure you are fit for the position. These skills are commonly referred to as soft skills.
Soft skills are those skills and attributes that are interpersonal in nature and influence how individuals relate to one another. On the flip side, hard skills are those technical skills required to function in the workplace such as computer literacy.
When applying for a job, you must show in your resume that you have these top skills employers are looking for. A combination of these skills with your technical ability makes you irresistible to employers.
The Top Skills Employers Are Looking For
1. Communication Skills
Communication takes place in the workplace every day and it is one of the top skills employers are looking for. In a world of technological advancement, employers are looking for individuals who can communicate effectively and pass messages across, verbally and written.
Effective communication is a very rare but essential skill needed in the workplace. Having strong communication skills makes you a valuable asset to your employers.
The key to communicating effectively is keeping your message simple and clear. You have to ensure your message can be understood immediately while passing information across. Compare these two scenarios:
Text A– “Good day, Agnes, can we go out later when you are done with work?”
Text B– “Good day, Agnes, I’m going to grab dinner at the Chicken Republic when we close from work. Would you like to join me? Bill’s on me.”
If you are the receiver, both sentences tell you that you would be going out in the evening after work. However, Text A does not give you much detail. Text B on the other hand tells you where you would be going, when you would be going, and what you would be doing. This way, you have more information and can either decline or accept the offer.
Improving your communication skills helps you become more efficient and effective in the workplace.
The ability to work well with a team is a top skill employers are looking for. Every organization is made up of individuals who need to work together to achieve maximum productivity. Irrespective of the position, it is always in the best interest of the organization when its employees can collaborate on tasks. Hence, employers are always looking for individuals who can work well in teams.
Some of the characteristics of a good team player include trust, honesty, accountability, and open communication. A good team player can be trusted with a task and can deliver at due time. He/she must be accountable and honest in the workplace as this goes a long way in strengthening team bonding.
3. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
In the workplace, situations arise that require in-depth analysis, evaluation, and the need to provide a solution to the problem at hand. Hence, employers are very particular about selecting candidates with the ability to think critically and solve problems.
Critical thinking goes hand in hand with problem-solving. It involves the ability to question assumptions, observe, analyze, and derive a conclusion from data. It also involves the step-by-step analysis of a problem to provide solutions.
Problems are bound to arise in the workplace, particularly work and people related. As an employee, it is expected that you should be able to deal with problems as they arise.
The good news is, like every other skill, you can develop your ability to think critically and solve problems. Actively paying attention to how experts, your colleagues, or experienced persons handle problems in the workplace can give you a blueprint to solving work-related problems.
Engage in internships, research, or field experience to collaborate with colleagues so you can develop these skills. If you shy away from tasks, you avoid the opportunity to put your skill into practice.
4. Interpersonal Skill
Interpersonal skills are skills that influence how you interact and work well with others. Because we interact with people every day, interpersonal skill is a top skill employers are looking for.
Also referred to as “people’s skill”, interpersonal skill refers to how well you can interact and engage with people. Even when you are not in a position that requires you to come in contact with customers, you would still need to interact with colleagues and managers at work.
Interpersonal skill is necessary for building relationships and networks. It involves how effective you are in communicating, your ability to maintain decorum and courtesy as well as having good emotional intelligence.
Employers are also looking for individuals who are flexible and can adapt to any given task to meet a particular objective.
5. Leadership Skill
Have you ever met a person with the ability to administrate and manage people while also bringing out the best in them? Northpad has one of the best editorial managers I have seen.
Employers are looking for individuals who can administer the affairs of the organization effectively. Whatever position you are applying for, having leadership skills gives you an edge over candidates.
Leadership is not limited to those applying for managerial positions. Nowadays, most organizations prefer to promote individuals from within who have exhibited strong leadership qualities.
A good leader listens and pays attention to complaints in the workplace, understands the strengths and weaknesses of each employee, and provides the opportunity for optimal productivity from each employee.
6. Digital Literacy
The world today is run by technology and having a basic understanding of the usage of computers and the internet is a requirement by most employers.
Most organizations make use of computers in their daily operations. Thus, having basic knowledge of how to use a computer is top skill employers are looking for.
Some positions require that you have in-depth knowledge of advanced computer skills. Furthermore, it’s only wise to ensure that you are learned in such a field. For example, a data scientist would need to have an understanding of the use of Excel.
However, some basic computer literacy skill includes knowing how to use word processors like Ms Word or Google docs, spreadsheets such as Excel or Google sheets, the use of the internet, and social media.
7. Flexibility and Adaptability
The ability to be flexible and adapt to changes in the workplace is an essential skill needed in an employee.
Innovations are constantly introduced in the working environment and employers expect you to be able to learn and adapt to these changes.
For example, you can be a social media manager and your employer may ask you to head the communications department. Your ability to adapt quickly to these changes is a skill you can develop.
Being flexible and able to adapt quickly is a quality that sets you apart from other candidates. It shows you’re eager to learn and change when needed.
8. Professional Work Ethics
When building yourself for job applications, you should consider learning the ethics required in a professional environment as it is a top skill employers are looking for.
Work ethics refers to the manner in which you conduct yourself in the workplace. It includes traits such as honesty, decency, respect, promptness to mention a few.
Having a strong work ethic enables you to manage your time and get things done promptly and properly. It also means you conduct yourself professionally in the workplace by respecting the privacy and boundaries of your colleagues.
Whatever position you are applying for, these top skills employers are looking for would give you an edge during the application process. You must begin developing these skills as they are the distinguishing factor when selecting candidates for a position.
In addition, make sure you highlight these skills and how you have applied them in the workplace on your resume and cover letter. You would also want to make sure you are being honest because that’s what interviews are meant for; verifying the contents of your resume.
Is there any skill you would want to develop or put more effort into developing? Let me know in the comment section and I would show you how!