What Skills Are Employers Looking for: Discover the Top 13 Skills Employers Want

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Have you ever felt frustrated or upset when you apply for a job and the employer responds that your qualifications don’t match their requirements? So you ask, “What skills exactly are employers looking for.” The answer varies according to the job market and industry you are applying for, but this article will highlight a list of basic skills most employers look for.

The job market is getting more competitive each day. You must have the skills to be competitive regardless of the reason you are seeking a job or your interest in the hiring process. When searching for jobs or considering being hired by a new employer, you need to be sure that you have these crucial skills.

The following are the top skills employers are looking for. 

1. Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills

If you want more than just a job that pays the bills and offers some sense of security, it’s important to become strategic about your choices now. Employers are desperate for creative critical thinkers, who can solve problems with little help and enjoy the work they do.  

Critical thinking skills and problem-solving skills are now among the most sought-after skills in any employee. They are becoming other core competencies for the workplace and employers, thanks to the shift towards a knowledge economy. A person who can think critically and solve problems is an asset to any company. 

SEE: Why is critical thinking important in the workplace?

2. Continuous Learning 

Employers are looking for candidates who can learn on their own and continue to learn throughout their careers. It’s no longer enough for an applicant to get by on what they learned in school. 

Employers want someone with skills that can be developed over time and shown through experience. A good way to show this is through participation in community service projects, career-related organizations, or special classes taken to fill a skill gap.

3. Transferable Skills

What employers look for in a candidate has changed dramatically over the years. Gone are the days when school grades and an expensive degree were enough. Having good IT skills is no longer a novelty either. 

Transferable skills are a must-have, but they’re hard to identify. If you’re entering a new industry, it’s vital to know what skills are transferrable. The skills that you acquired in your last job could be just what is needed for your next career move.

SEE: What are transferable skills?

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

Communication, collaboration, and teamwork are among the most sought-after skills in the workplace. Communication is fundamental, but it’s not nearly enough to simply be good at what you do. Employers want team players who get along well with others and can tactfully communicate their thoughts and opinions.

When it comes to landing your first job and moving up in your career, your personality, professionalism, and skills as a people person are more important. Obviously, there are other factors to consider, but even in tough economic times, employers say that working well with others is a must for new employees.

SEE: Collaborative learning 

5. Computer Literacy skills

According to statistics in 2017, about 48% of employers are looking for computer skills as a common skill among potential employees. This means that an employee must have digital intelligence in the workplace. Computer literacy is an essential component of the job market in today’s world. 

Most professionals require advanced computer skills to perform their daily tasks, and many jobs require employees to use technology that they are not familiar with.  Computer literacy skills are not just about being able to use these technical devices but more importantly, applying this knowledge to accomplish tasks and a goal.

6. Professionalism and Strong Work Ethics

In the increasingly competitive job market, employers appear to be seeking candidates with a variety of skills and experiences. Positivity and professionalism are important to employers. This means that you should always present yourself as a candidate who is eager to work, is responsible, and can excel at their position. 

It also means that you should not give employers a reason to doubt your motivation or credentials. Having a professional attitude and work ethic is important to employers. Demonstrating a strong work ethic means always being on time, working hard, and being reliable. After all, why invest in training someone if they are not going to do the job well?

7. Time Management

Employers want to see that you can manage your time effectively and that you’re not a clock watcher. The term “time management” is used to describe the decision-making and planning activities that individuals use to manage their own time or the time of others. 

The development of skills, knowledge, and abilities that are necessary to make informed decisions about tasks, goals, and resources makes up time management. 

8. Oral and Written Communications Skills

Companies are constantly on the lookout for individuals who have strong oral communication skills along with a grasp of the English language. Regardless of whether you work for a business, a government, or a non-profit, you’ll have opportunities to interact with clients, colleagues, and the public in person. 

If you’re going to make a positive impression on someone, you must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently. Especially in this era of social media and increased job competition, the ability to communicate is critical.

SEE: Why is communication important in a team?

9. Leadership Skills

All companies want to hire for leadership skills as a company needs to be fully functional. A worker with leadership skills would possess high levels of emotional intelligence, confidence, ability to handle pressure, and can persuade people easily. 

However, leadership skills come in a variety of forms depending on your background, experience, and how you choose to demonstrate them. If you are creating your profile, remember that leadership is not always about the things you can accomplish. 

It is also about how well you can demonstrate the knowledge and skills required for the position you are applying for.

SEE: Leadership skills that will make you a great leader

10. Planning and Research skills

Research and planning skills are valuable skills in business and across most careers, whether employers are searching for entry-level employees or experienced ones. Research and planning skills give you the ability to gather information and determine how to proceed when dealing with a specific situation. 

Employers love this kind of skill. Having these skills is essential for any position, and employers will ask for them in an interview, so it’s important to have them. Remember, developing a collection of skills that employers value is an important part of lifelong career development.

11. Adaptability

There are a few of you out there who are pretty adaptable. You can go to any environment and fit right in. Employers want to know if you can handle different tasks and responsibilities. Adaptability is all about being able to keep yourself relevant and current in your workplace. 

Every job requires a different set of skills, but employers look for applicants who are flexible, adaptable, and able to adapt quickly. Besides, this skill is often tied to emotional intelligence. Adaptability is a key factor that determines your future. It’s important to note that adaptability is hard to measure, so you’ll have to be proactive about demonstrating it.

12. Ability To Work Under Pressure and Accept Constructive Criticism

One of the most important skills in seeking employment or starting your very own business is the ability to work under pressure.  Employers want well-mannered, efficient employees who don’t panic when they are given instructions to do something.  

Working under pressure means performing tasks without panicking during times of chaos. In other words, showing poise when called for. The pressure is on to see if a candidate can stay cool and collected in a stressful job interview or pressure situations the job may bring. 

This ability is critical because there will be many occurrences where you have to stay objective and think clearly, especially in high-stress situations. Many jobs in the present-day workplace demand this skill, especially for those who will soon be working in the HR department. The good thing is that it is a learnable skill. 

13. Analytical skills

Employers are looking for applicants who can bring more than just a good set of skills to their companies. This means that employers are looking for candidates who are not only intelligent but who can also analyze data and come up with an effective solution. 

It is the ability to look at a situation, evaluate it and reach a conclusion. Furthermore, it’s the ability you have to make split-second decisions when necessary and avoid getting embroiled in unnecessary minutia. 

The more analytical skills you have, the better you can break free from a day-to-day routine, an outmoded system, or what might be considered ‘group think’. Analytical Skills include the ability to review data, facts, and figures and use them to infer useful conclusions.

SEE: How to get better at math

Here Are Some Tips for Describing Your Skills on Your Resume

A lot of people ask what skills employers are looking for and there are multiple factors involved in the hiring process. No doubt, the best places to showcase your skills are in your resumes, cover letters, and during interviews. 

Another factor is understanding what skills you have and which ones employers will be interested in.  The point is that knowing your potential future employer’s skill set will also help decide how to best outline your abilities on your resume. Here are some tips to help you craft a descriptive and effective resume.

  • Be honest
  • List all your skills
  • Treat cover letters like a business letter
  • Look for strategies to emphasize your skills for employers
  • Use keywords in your resume
  • Make your resume scannable
  • Organize your information by categories
  • Give concrete examples
  • Include a summary section

Employers are looking for people that can make their business successful. This is why employers seek out candidates with the necessary skills to do their jobs. The trouble is, when it comes to writing resumes, most people have a hard time communicating their skills in a way that will catch the eye of an employer and get them excited about hiring an applicant. 

Employers want someone who can do one thing well. If you can do that, you have a good chance of standing out from the crowd and being selected for an interview.

FAQs

What can you do as a job seeker to stand out from other applicants?

There are a variety of ways to stand out. One of the most important tactics is to show the hiring managers that you are worth the investment. Employers invest time, energy, and money into hiring employees, so companies want to know that their investment will last. 

Employers are looking for flexible candidates, have a broad range of skills, and can work with others. It makes sense to present yourself honestly and thoughtfully.

How long should your CV be?

A CV needs only to be as long as it needs to be. There is no right or wrong length. Basically, there are no rules for CV length. You do, however, want to make sure you have included all your relevant skills and experiences. Don’t forget to remove fluff too.

Do you have to write a cover letter for every job application?

In most cases, you need to write a cover letter when applying for jobs. The purpose of a cover letter is to tell a prospective employer something about yourself, beyond what’s in your resume, that will make you stand out as a good fit for the job opening.

Final Thoughts

Today’s competitive job market means that employers are receiving more applications than they did in the past. Candidates must compete not only on qualifications and experience but also on skills. Are you equipped with the skills employers are looking for?

As a job seeker, you should represent yourself as someone who understands the business or industry that you would like to work in well. Remember that this is an opportunity for you to sell yourself to the company. By acquiring knowledge, you can impress your potential boss and land your dream job by demonstrating your value to them.

Now that you know the various skills employers look for, it is equally crucial to know that some employers value employee training as well. In the article on employee training, you can learn why it is a crucial tool for increasing organizational productivity as a job seeker. This article not only benefits employees, but employers can also gain insight from it.

Thanks for reading.