What Skills Do Employers Really Seek?

Michael writes:
I have a question about the types of skills employers are searching for from job-seekers.
I’m about to start my last year of college and if I can pick up a course or two during this
year to make it easier for me to find a job in May when I graduate I want to do it. So
can you help me?

The Career Doctor responds:
Great question! I actually encouraged my juniors and seniors when I weas teaching to conduct a
SWOT analysis in preparation for better career planning and job-searching. A SWOT analysis
examines your strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats in your
chosen career field. And it’s something that ALL job-seekers can and should do occasionally.
Matching your SWOT with the skills employers are seeking then gives you some directions
for finding educational opportunities or experience to fill the voids of any skills where you are weak.
You need the so-called hard skills of your chosen career and I am assuming you have been
gaining those as you have attended college. However for your enlightenment – and to strengthen your
resume — you need to fully know what those skills are that employers seek of a college graduate
with your career interest.
Then there are the soft skills that all employers seek of prospective employees. These skills include teamwork communications (writing oral listening) organizational analytical creative thinking/problem-solving
leadership adaptability and multicultural sensitivity.
A great way to conduct some easy research on the dominant soft and hard skills that employers in your
career field are seeking is to gather a variety of job postings and simply do a content analysis of the
requirements that these employers seek. Then find experiences you have had that used those skills
and highlight them in your resume and cover letter (and later in the job interviews).
Here are some key articles that can give you a lot more depth on the topics covered in my answer to you:

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