Are you sick of the daily grind? Do you wonder why others land their dream job while you’re stuck in a career that offers minimal emotional rewards? The good news is that you can find the job you want and make a positive change – as long as you have the right skills.
Skills are the difference between a person getting a mundane job or being able to build a career, and if you can show you possess transitional skills, it’s much easier to change jobs.
It’s no secret that the job market is incredibly competitive, so we’ll reveal the top eleven skills potential employers seek in this post.
Let’s dive straight in.
The Competitive Job Market
Finding the perfect job has always been challenging, but today’s competitive market means many people find themselves in careers they hate. The only way to secure gainful employment is to set yourself apart from other candidates, which isn’t easy.
The UK has always had a competitive job market, and even entry-level jobs can seem complicated to secure when there are so many applicants. For example, statistics show that there are 118 applications for one position on average, and 73% of people state that job hunting is one of the most stressful life events.
It would be nice to think prospective employers would give someone a job because they like their attitude and enthusiasm, but if another applicant has more skills, they’ll likely get the job.
Top 11 Skills Employers Look For
So, now you know why skills are essential for securing suitable employment, it’s time to look at the skills you should have. The best thing about these skills is that they’re transferable and can apply to numerous jobs or careers.
Communicating effectively is one of the most valuable skills a person can have because it shows you can connect with others. Clear communication is essential in the workplace, whether you’re writing a report, giving a presentation, or simply interacting with co-workers.
This skill is so essential that many employers will test it during the interview process. For example, they might ask you to give a presentation on a topic or talk about a time when you had to deal with a demanding customer.
If you want to improve your communication skills, plenty of online resources and courses are available. Alternatively, you can practice in your current job role or join a group to build confidence and learn how to come across to people.
When dealing with angry customers or clients, the ability to mediate effectively will set you apart from other candidates. Mediation is beneficial if you’re hoping to enter a management role, as conflict is all part of the general workplace.
The best thing is that mediation is a straightforward skill to learn, and there are plenty of books and online courses available.
An organised person is an efficient person, and efficiency is something all employers value. If you can show that you have good time management skills and can prioritise tasks effectively, it’ll demonstrate that you’re capable of meeting deadlines and working well under pressure.
There are several ways you can improve your organisation skills. One is to invest in a diary or planner so that you can keep track of your commitments, and another is to create a system for naming files and documents.
These might seem small things, but if an employer sees that you’re organised, they’ll know they can rely on you.
Although some employers value creativity more than others, most agree it’s a beneficial skill. After all, being creative shows that you’re innovative and open to new ideas, qualities that can make a big difference in the workplace.
There are many ways to be creative, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a writer or musician. For example, if you’re good at problem-solving or coming up with new ideas, that’s a form of creativity and employers appreciate this skill.
If you want to improve your creativity, plenty of online resources and courses are available. Alternatively, you can try brainstorming with co-workers, working on projects outside work, or volunteering with a non-profit agency.
Commercial awareness is basically an understanding of how businesses operate and what makes them successful. It also involves being up-to-date with current affairs and the latest industry news.
Employees with a deep understanding of the marketplace can make proactive decisions, which benefits companies. If you’re aware of the competition and roadblocks that might stand in your company’s way, you can contribute positively to its growth.
Improving your commercial awareness doesn’t have to be a challenge, as plenty of online resources and courses are available. You can also read business news, listen to podcasts, or attend industry events.
Interpersonal skills involve the ability to build relationships and interact with others effectively. This includes things like communication, empathy, and problem-solving.
Employers value interpersonal skills because they show that you’re able to work well with others and that you have the ability to build relationships. If you can demonstrate these skills during the interview process, it’ll give you a significant advantage over other candidates.
Interpersonal skills are something a person learns from a young age, but you can also work on your ability to understand and connect with others through reading books and building your empathy.
Being a team player is one of the most important skills an employer looks for because it shows that you can work well with others, meet deadlines and work under pressure.
While the job market is competitive, those with a ‘me first’ mentality will soon learn that their peers and employer don’t respond well to their accomplishments. You won’t get very far if you don’t support others and put the company’s needs above your own.
Most people learn teamwork early on in life, but you can continue to update your skills and learn how to recognise when a colleague might be struggling.
The best leaders inspire change, motivate others and pave the way for a better future. Take note, though, that there’s a vast difference between leading and dictating, and employers will always be willing to give people a chance if they can prove they can be a good leader.
If you’re able to support others, motivate people to achieve their goals and put the big picture before the little things, you’ll become a highly valued team member.
Demonstrating these qualities can be complex, but certain interview questions allow you to showcase your leadership skills. If you have any experience leading a team, whether at work or in your personal life, mention it during the interview process.
Employers often look for analytical skills because they want employees who can think critically and solve problems efficiently. If you can take data and information, and turn it into insights that can be used to improve processes or make decisions, then you have valuable analytical skills.
These days, employers are looking for more than just people who can crunch numbers – they want those who can understand trends, patterns and relationships. If you’re good at critical thinking and problem solving, then analytical skills will come naturally to you.
If not, there are ways you can learn to identify critical data, and the internet means people don’t need to perform complex calculations anymore.
As long as you demonstrate that you know how to find the information employers are looking for and use it to solve problems, you’ll have the analytical skills they need.
In today’s ever-changing world, it’s more important than ever to be adaptable. With technology constantly evolving and new challenges arising all the time, employers need employees willing and able to change with the times.
Being adaptable shows that you’re open to new ideas and willing to learn new things. It also demonstrates that you’re flexible and capable of dealing with change. These are all qualities that employers value highly.
Being adaptable doesn’t mean being a ‘yes man’ or going along with everything without question. It means being able to critically evaluate new ideas and processes and deciding whether or not they’re suitable for the company.
If you show that you’re adaptable, it’ll go a long way in impressing potential employers.
Dedication might not seem like an essential quality, but it’s something that employers will never underestimate. If you’re dedicated to your work, it shows that you’re reliable and committed to doing a good job.
Dedication means commitment, but it’s not about always being there because you must ensure you take time for yourself. Instead of burning out by neglecting to take breaks, commit yourself to be all in during the work day and switch off at night.
Being dedicated also means staying focused on your goals, even when things get tough. If you give up easily or are always looking for the easy way out, employers will know that you’re not dedicated enough to stick with something when the going gets tough.
Building Your Skills
Now you know which skills are important, it’s time to think about how to build those skills and secure better job opportunities. Whether you learn alone or attend a course, focusing on your skills is the best way to future-proof your career.
One of the best ways to improve your skills is to dedicate time to self-learning. If you want to work on your analytical skills, you can take free courses from Google or LinkedIn.
You can find data sets and learn how to analyse them or read articles and blog posts written by experts in the field. There are also online courses you can take which will teach you everything you need to know about analytics.
The same goes for other skills like adaptability and dedication – there are plenty of resources out there that can help you improve. All it takes is a bit of time and effort on your part.
Courses and Training Programs
Another option is to sign up for a course and get support from professionals. Our skills centre Scotland team work with businesses and individuals to improve their bottom line and stand above the competition.
You can choose from a range of career-specific courses and work on improving your knowledge of specific topics. Once you do this, you can look for higher-paying roles or make the leap and enjoy a complete career change.
Showcasing Your Skills
The best way to show employers that you have the skills they’re looking for is to use specific examples and experiences from your past.
If you can illustrate how you’ve used these skills in a real-world setting, employers will be more impressed than if you list them on your resume.
When it comes time to interview for a job, highlight any experiences or accomplishments demonstrating these skills.
If you don’t have direct experience, try to think of examples from other aspects of your life, such as when you had to adapt to a difficult situation.
You can also use volunteering opportunities to enhance your skills and demonstrate your capabilities to a prospective employer. While some people think people don’t take volunteering roles seriously, this couldn’t be further from the truth.
When you’re willing to invest your spare time into helping others, any person interviewing you will be impressed at your commitment and enthusiasm.
The Bottom Line
Hopefully, you now know how to develop your skills and carve out an emotionally and financially rewarding career.
There are plenty of other skills employers value, but the ones in this post are the most important ones to focus on. If you can improve your skills in these areas, you’ll be well on your way to impressing potential employers and securing better job opportunities.
So what are you waiting for? Start learning today with the Skills Training Group.