What Are Employability Skills: Important Skills For Job Seekers

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One of the challenges in many countries today is unemployment. Sadly, the level of unemployment is not because there are no jobs. It is mainly due to the low employability skills of job seekers.

The labor market is competitive; therefore, you need employability skills to stand out.

Also, to get a proper job, you must be skilled enough for your potential employer.

In addition, knowledge is in constant progress every day as new technology poses new problems and ways of doing things. So, relevant skills today may become obsolete tomorrow. As such, employees in organizations must seek to grow with trends by constantly updating themselves with skills relevant to the workplace.

The purpose of this article is to explain the meaning of employability skills and why you need them.

Definition Of Employability Skills

Employability skills are not necessarily related to the job you want to apply for, but they can be valuable tools for you to succeed in your career journey. Employability skills are a set of transferable skills that make an individual employable.

In other words, they are a set of skills that make you more attractive to your potential employer. Most employers are not only interested in employing people with knowledge that fits the job description, they always want to know what value you can add asides from your educational background and experience.

It is also essential to understand that almost every job requires these employability skills. When you get on with a career, you interact with colleagues, superiors, and even people with lesser experience. You can have a good relationship with them when you have these skills. Employability skills make it easy for others to work with you and help you to become more productive.

Lastly, employability skills are soft skills that ease your working experience and make you fit into any work organization. They are usually known as transferable skills because it is helpful for any job in any given industry.

SEE: What are Transferable Skills

Examples Of Employability Skills

Here are a few common employability skills that can improve your chances of getting the attention of your potential employers.

1. Effective communication

The ability to communicate effectively, clearly, and concisely with your co-workers and even clients through speaking and writing is in high demand by employers. In addition, the ability to listen and understand essential information and instructions is categorized as practical communication skills.

Interestingly, your communication skills are noticeable right from the interview stage. Therefore, it is a major prerequisite for employment. Also, employers may reach out to you through phone to judge your phone etiquette.

Furthermore, most businesses use emails to communicate, as such, you need to learn to construct an official email using the right words and context.

How to build your communication skills

  • Take advantage of class presentations
  • Build conversations with strangers often when you are in a gathering
  • Engage in extra-curricular activities
  • Join a school group
  • Be conscious of your phone etiquette

2. Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills are the ability to understand a challenge, break it down into segments, and point out the critical issues before identifying the solutions. When you are known to be a problem solver, your employer will always value your insight, and your role in the organization will always stand you out from the rest of the team.

Sub skills that can help you become a better problem solver include analytical and research skills, decision-making, critical thinking skills, and leadership skills.

Employers are keen to know proficient you are at finding solutions to any work-related problem. They prefer to employ staff who can think outside the box to get results.

How To Build Problem Solving Skills

  • Be proactive in seeking solution to problems rather than complain
  • Engage in activities targeted towards social impact
  • Volunteer with NGOs
  • Take leadership positions

SEE: What Are Problem Solving Skills

3. Synergy

Synergy is synonymous with teamwork and collaboration. Organizations operate better using teams and small groups to perform small tasks in line with their area of specialization. When you possess good teamwork skills, you work well with people from different backgrounds to achieve a specific goal.

Teamwork and synergy can help up your chances of getting employed because you would be valuable to the team and the organization at large by accomplishing the set objectives. These skills are also necessary when relating with other team members as well.

To be regarded as a good team player, you should:

  • Be able to work with people from different orientations, religions, ages and political ideas
  • Have the ability to point out the strength and weaknesses of each member and assign roles according to their strengths while they build on their weaknesses
  • Be ready to resolve issues within the team
  • Exhibit leadership where necessary
  • Coach, mentor and motivate others as the case may be
  • Give and receive constructive feedback on projects
  • Collaborate and contribute to team goals

How can you build teamwork skills?

  • Join a volunteer organization
  • Be involved in projects
  • Participate in team sports

4. Leadership

Leadership is an essential employability skill that you must possess. A leader knows how to influence and inspire those around them, making them stand out even in the team or organization. Employers are very keen on leaders because they can organize team members and push them to actualize their visions.

Leadership skills are convenient for any position you wish to apply for. It is mandatory for managerial positions because of the level of experience required to lead a team or more. However, entry-level jobs are not left out because employers value individuals with the potentials to become future leaders.

To possess good leadership traits, you should;

  • Be a good team player
  • Attend leadership training
  • Read leadership books
  • Be innovative

SEE: What Are Leadership Skills

5. Ability to work under pressure

Working under pressure simply means the ability to handle work-related stress and meeting deadlines without it affecting other parts of your life, especially your health.

Most organizations have a target to achieve, daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. As a result, they require individuals who can work in a fast-paced yet be productive. This can lead to working under immense pressure. Therefore, you need to learn to work under pressure.

Furthermore, to be excellent at working under pressure, you need time management skills. Time management skills include knowing how to prioritize your tasks and duties to avoid rushing or not meeting up with deadlines.

6. Openness

This means being enthusiastic about your job and accepting and learning criticisms. We can also say it means being teachable. Nobody knows it all. Therefore, the only way to progress in your career is to be open to learning. A strong appetite for learning helps you adapt to your work environment as quickly as possible. This is important for those that undergo on-the-job training.

Furthermore, learning can allow you to quickly advance in your workplace because your employers believe you are adaptable to changes that come with the job. Knowledge can keep you employed in some industries, while others are laid off because of their limited skill sets.

7. Self-management

Self-management skills mean working with little or no supervision. Everyone is always busy at the workplace with different duties to be handled. You are saving your employer a lot of stress when you run your job role effectively without supervision.

Self-management experts are very self-motivated and goal-oriented people. They set targets for themselves and are always ready to improve their results and achievements.  If you possess this employability skill, your productivity level will always be high, making it difficult for your employer to ignore your results.

8. Organizational skills

Those with strong organizational skills have a good combination of leadership, time management, and self-management skills. Employers are always excited to hire people who possess such a skill set.

Organization involves having to prioritize your tasks, being orderly and working efficiently, delegating duties to others, and following up. To become an excellent employee, this skill is highly necessary. Lastly, organizational skills make you more productive than others who lack such skills.

9. Creativity

Employers are interested in candidates that are very creative. Creativity is the ability to bring up something out of nothing. Also, if you always have answers and solutions to long-term challenges, you are a creative person.

For businesses and organizations to stay relevant in their respective industries, they need to generate ideas constantly. This is where creative people thrive. Employees who are very imaginative are not easy to find. When you are creative, you are valuable to your employers.

10. Flexibility

Flexibility is the ability to quickly adapt to changes in the workplace. A lot of changes have occurred in the corporate frequently. It is necessary to have flexibility as an employability skill if you want to survive any business change that may happen.

Employees that are flexible are not afraid of any change that may take place. Rather, they are ready to take advantage of those changes. Flexibility can be an important tool to solve problems in an organization and this can improve your productivity. 

11. Computer literacy

Computer literacy should always be top tier on your list of employability skills. Without basic computer skills, you may not be considered for an interview in an office.

Every successful employee must have basic computer skills that include Microsoft tools and internet use. The better you are at using those tools, the higher your chances of getting employed. Most interviewers conduct computer literacy tests to screen candidates that would fit into the organization.

SEE: Soft Skills Required In Workplace

Why Do You Need Employability Skills?

1. It makes you valuable

Do you want to be the person that always brings something to the table in your place of work? This is one of the reasons why you need employability skills. It makes you a problem solver because you are innovative and creative.

The status quo does not restrict problem-solvers. They are always coming up with solutions and are valuable to the team. Employers feel safe when they have problem-solvers on their teams.

2. It improves your career prospects

Having employability skills gives you an edge in the labor market. You can easily fit into any organization because you are adaptable and easy to work with. These skills will always allow you to learn new things that will be useful for organizations in the long term. 

By taking advantage of technology, you can take online courses and attend seminars on how to be better at what you do to improve in your career journey.

3. It makes you connect with others easily

You can efficiently work with others when you possess employability skills, especially with proper communication and good team spirit. In the same vein, people will enjoy working with you, and your employer will be willing to trust you on significant tasks.

SEE: Benefits of Training and Development in an Organization

FAQs

What are the types of employability skills?

Types of employability skills include teamwork, communication, problem-solving, working under pressure, learning, and self-management.

What is the importance of employability skills?

You need employability skills to get a job. Having such skills allows you to work well with others and achieve the goals set by your organization. It is also essential to have employability skills to improve yourself professionally.

Do they teach employability skills in school?

No. Schools do not teach employability skills as a subject. However, it can be an excellent place to learn such skills through interaction with other students and teachers, and extracurricular activities. Furthermore, you can also learn employability skills via online courses to improve your resume.

Conclusion

The labor market is a very competitive space. As a career enthusiast, you need to improve your employability skills to meet the needs of your potential employers. Why not go online and enroll yourself in an online course that teaches a soft skill.

You can also gain these skills by being part of a project committee and attending leadership training. Having these skills makes you relevant in any career or field you may like to delve into. Not only that, they set you apart for life.

Finally, you should check the post on important training for employees to see relevant on-the-job skills needed by an employee in an organization.

I hope you got value. Thanks for reading.