Seven Essential Employability Skills You Need This Year

Here are some of the most valuable employability skills you need and should improve on to land the right job.

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Employability Skills

Professionals who stay with one employer and establish a lifelong career are rare these days. Most professionals in today’s job market will be employed by a variety of employers in varying industries and will hold varying professional roles throughout their career paths.
 
Therefore, professionals across all industries need to be flexible with their competencies and skill sets, and demonstrate adaptability if and when they change professions or industries entirely. For this to be possible, you need to sharpen your learning skills and develop certain in-demand skills and employability skills.
 
Employability skills are soft skills that employers seek out when evaluating the fit of job candidates. These are transferable skills that can be universally applied across varying professions and are crucial to improving your job search process and landing your dream job, regardless of your industry.
 
This article will go over the top seven employability skills you need that employers seek in candidates. We’ll then walk you through how to highlight employability skills in your resume to impress hiring managers and future employers. You should also look into updating your resume to look its best and impress recruiters across all industries, which is easy with Resume Help.


What Are the Top Employability Skills?

Typically, most employers are willing to teach new hires the job-specific skills that will make them successful in their line of work. However, employers prefer candidates who already possess the necessary soft skills needed before hiring.
 
Below, we’ll cover the top seven employability skills employers seek in candidates:
 
1. Communication 
Effective communication skills are required for nearly any job and work environment today, regardless of the industry. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are necessary to effectively communicate with clients or collaborate productively with team members by effectively getting your points and ideas across. Excellent nonverbal communication like body language is equally important as it allows you to display a positive attitude when communicating.
 
2. Leadership
Companies want to hire candidates who already possess leadership skills in one form or another, regardless of whether they are applying to a management position or not. They want employees who can foster positive relationships with coworkers on any level. Leadership is required to motivate and build teams to take on any task productively and resolve any conflict.
 
3. Critical thinking
Critical thinking skills are important for the workplace because they can be applied to virtually any task or situation, regardless of the profession. They allow employees to think independently to come to logical and correct conclusions about situations or problems using the available observations and information. As a result, employees effectively improve their decision-making process which leads to greater productivity. Therefore, critical thinking skills are highly sought-after skills by employers across all industries.
 
4. Problem-solving
Problem-solving skills enable employees to effectively identify issues and understand their implications to find effective solutions. They show potential employers that you are effective at overcoming difficulties and achieving results, regardless of what’s thrown at you.
 
5. Initiative
Showing initiative means taking it upon yourself to figure out solutions for potential problems ahead of time, and going beyond what you’re asked to do. It shows potential employers that you can think for yourself and take the necessary steps to problem solve and achieve results without being told to do it.
 
6. Time management
Time management skills involve making sure you plan, organize and schedule your tasks and projects to complete everything in a timely manner – a crucial skill to feature on resumes and during job interviews. Having good time management skills shows potential employers your expertise in self-management and that you can effectively carry out job duties with minimal supervision.
 
7. Teamwork/collaboration
Working and collaborating effectively within a team is important for nearly any profession. Good teamwork is needed to reach company goals. Hiring managers always seek candidates that demonstrate they are team players and can productively work on group projects.


How To Highlight Employability Skills on a Resume

The first step is to make a list of all the employability skills you possess. Then, review the job description and research the company to determine required skills, and tailor your resume to match the company’s needs.
 
You should then choose a skills section format for your resume:

  • Feature employability skills in your skills section
  • Mention employability skills in your resume summary or objective (e.g., “Program manager adept at problem-solving and communication”)
  • Tie your skills to your work history by giving examples of responsibilities and achievements that make use of your skills

Regardless of the format, you choose for your resume, don’t just restrict employability skills to your skills section. Mention duties and accomplishments in your work history section that show your expertise with these skills and the results they achieved.

FAQ: Employability Skills

Q: Why are employability skills important?

Employability skills are important regardless of your profession, and can help you stand out in a competitive job market. Even if they don’t list them as a requirement, employers will always welcome candidates who possess the skills to be competent, critical-thinking team players.

Q: How can you improve your employability skills?

You can improve your employability skills by looking over the list of key skills above, singling out a few skills to focus on, and then looking for learning opportunities to improve them, both at work and in other situations. Some examples of learning opportunities to improve your employability skills are advancing your education by getting a formal degree or certification. You can also partake in local industry networking events or industry training courses to sharpen your professional skills. While at work, you can improve your employability skills by voluntarily taking on new job assignments that are out of your comfort zone, as they provide the perfect opportunity for you to hone your professional skills and refine them.  Create a list of objectives and goals for improving your existing skills before you start your professional self-improvement journey. Make sure to periodically review and assess your improvements along the way.

Q: How do you demonstrate employability skills during an interview?

You can demonstrate your employability skills during an interview by being enthusiastic, positive, and using examples from previous jobs to prove you’re a problem-solver, have good communication abilities, and that you are a team player. 

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