Skills that matter most to employers

 first wrote this article for 10 Minutes With, a global education and career matchmaking platform with Headquarters in the United Kingdom.

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Every job seeker has a skill set that comprises both hard skills and soft skills.

Hard skills are those tangible skills required to do the job effectively, such as communication skills as required for a sales representative position. Soft skills, on the other hand, are the less tangible skills that employers require of all applicants, such as interpersonal skills.

What is regarded as hard or soft skills vary by job position. In other words, the hard skills for one position can be the soft skills for another. For example, communication skills are hard skills for a sales representative position, but could be soft skills for a database manager position.

Regardless of whether they are hard or soft, some skills are considered highly important by virtually all employers. And applicants with these skills are usually favoured during the hiring process. Here are six of such skills:

1. Interpersonal skills

Also known as “people skills”, these are the skills you use to interact with people. Interaction is inevitable in the workplace; you will have to interact with other employees for varying purposes. This explains why employers test applicants’ interpersonal skills during job interviews.

Examples of interpersonal skills include behavioural skills, collaboration skills, and negotiating skills. The specific type of interpersonal skills required depends on the job position.

2. Teamwork skills

You can only become an asset to your employer when you’re cooperative and can get on well with others. So, employers always want to hire people who are easy to work with. This explains why one of the commonest interview questions is, “Can you give examples of instances in the past when you had to work with a team?”

3. Leadership skills

Just as you’re required to be a good team member, you’re also required to be a good team leader. There will be times when you’ll be saddled with leadership responsibilities—even if you’re not applying for a management job. So, you need to understand how to successfully interact in a leadership capacity with colleagues, clients, and others.

Examples of leadership skills include motivation, creativity, responsibility, delegating, and positivity.

skills that matter

4. Analytical skills

Employers usually favour job applicants that pay attention to detail and are able to figure things out quickly. However, each job or industry has its own required specific analytical skills.

Examples of analytical skills include calculating, budgeting, collecting information, problem solving, quantitative and qualitative analysis, research, and so on.

5. Communication skills

Because communication is a must in the workplace, employers are always on the lookout for applicants who can clearly communicate verbally and in writing. You must be able to communicate effectively with other employees, managers, and clients across different media, including in-person, phone, or email.

6. Technical skills

Technical skills are those skills required to perform highly specialized tasks. And they vary by job position. Since an applicant cannot achieve anything without the required technical skills, employers carefully test these skills during the hiring process.

Technical skills include word processing, analysis, calculating, information technology, networking, and so on.

Showcase your skills

Now that you’ve learned the types of skills that employers want the most, find out which of these skills you have and include them in both your CV and cover letter.

Bear in mind that you will be required during any interview to either demonstrate these skills or give instances where you used them to achieve great results.

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For my and other global education and career experts’ articles on similar subject, check out 10 MINUTES WITH BLOG.  10 Minutes With is an innovative global career matchmaking platform built for graduates with offices in London, Beijing and Singapore. Partners include established brands and top academic institutions in more than 23 countries and 3 continents. 

Sign up to their website to get useful resources on education and career. You can also follow them on twitter, @10minuteswith

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