Question: “What are the skills that employers seek in job applicants?”
Of course, every employer has a specific set of skills it seeks from job-seekers. Some of those skills are job-specific while others are defined as soft skills. As a job-seeker, you’ll need to know the hard skills — the job-specific skills — you need for the job you seek. These skills typically come from your education and work experiences.
But beyond these job-specific skills, employers are demanding that job-seekers also possess certain critical soft skills.
These soft skills are learned from a variety of sources and are easily transferred from one experience to another.
Communications Skills. Listening, verbal, and written skills are mentioned most often by employers, so be sure to share your ability to listen, write, and speak effectively.
Analytical/Research Skills. Deals with your ability to assess a situation, seek multiple perspectives, gather more information if necessary, and identify key issues that need to be addressed.
Computer/Technical Literacy. Almost all jobs require some basic understanding of computer hardware and software, especially word processing, spreadsheets, and email.
Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities. Deals with your ability to manage multiple assignments and tasks, set priorities, and adapt to changing conditions and work assignments
Interpersonal Abilities. The ability to relate to your co-workers, inspire others to participate, and mitigate conflict with co-workers is essential given the amount of time spent at work each day.
Leadership/Management Skills. While there is some debate about whether leadership is something people are born with, these skills deal with your ability to take charge and manage your co-workers.
Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness. There is possibly no bigger issue in the workplace than diversity, and job-seekers must demonstrate a sensitivity and awareness to other people and cultures.
Planning/Organizing. Deals with your ability to design, plan, organize, and implement projects and tasks within an allotted timeframe. Also involves goal-setting.
Problem-Solving/Reasoning/Creativity. Involves the ability to find solutions to problems using your creativity, reasoning, and past experiences along with the available information and resources.
Teamwork. Because so many jobs involve working in one or more work-groups, you must have the ability to work with others in a professional manner while attempting to achieve a common goal.
Learn how to use these skills in your job-search by reading this article: What Do Employers Really Want? Top Skills and Values Employers Seek from Job-Seekers.
Get more information (definitions and links) on key college, career, and job-search terms by going to our Job-Seeker’s Glossary of Job-Hunting Terms.
Maximize your career and job-search knowledge and skills! Take advantage of the Career Resources Toolkit for Jobseekers from LiveCareer, which enables site visitors to locate articles, tutorials, FAQs, and worksheets in 35 career, college, job-search topic areas.
Additional Resources for Jobseekers:
- Guide to Job Interviewing Resources and Tools
- How to Write a Resume: Expert Answers 19 Common Questions
- LiveCareer Free Resume Builder
- 13 Best Resume Designs of 2018
Dr. Randall S. Hansen is founder of Quintessential Careers, one of the oldest and most comprehensive career development sites on the Web, as well CEO of EmpoweringSites.com. Dr. Hansen is also a published author, with several books, chapters in books, and hundreds of articles. He’s often quoted in the media and conducts empowering workshops around the country. Finally, Dr. Hansen is also an educator, having taught at the college level for more than 15 years. Visit his personal Website. Check out Dr. Hansen on GooglePlus.