10 Key Skills that Employers Look for in Candidates

Applying for jobs can be a stressful and daunting process, especially if you’re entering the world of work for the first time. Knowing what employers are looking for when interviewing candidates can make this process a little easier and make you feel a bit more prepared. In this blog post, we’ve put together a list of key skills that employers look for in potential employees that can be applied across every industry.

1) Communication Skills
Knowing how to communicate effectively is a key skill in almost every industry, particularly if you are working as part of a team. Proper communication makes it easier to get things done, work more efficiently, and solve any problems that may arise. Communication skills include written skills (writing emails) and spoken communication, (speaking in meetings, liaising with clients.)

2) Organisational Skills
Being organised is an essential skill in most jobs. Having good organisational skills allows you to prioritise tasks, meet deadlines, reduce stress, and increase your productivity. Being organised might look like making use of planners and calendars, scheduling time to focus and delegating tasks where appropriate.

3) Leadership Skills
Being able to take the lead is important in every role – even if you’re not applying for a managerial position. Showing that you have the potential to be a leader can set you up well for future career progression. Being a leader isn’t just about managing other people, it also applies to how you are able to manage your own time and tasks.

4) I.T Skills
It is important to have a basic understanding of how to use I.T. For example, most employers will probably expect you to be able to complete basic tasks such as sending emails, creating Word documents, and using internet browsers. Certain jobs will require more in-depth knowledge of specialist software, so it’s important that you research any specific I.T skills you will need for a certain role. For example, if you’re applying for a remote role, you’ll probably be required to use software like Zoom or Teams to communicate with your colleagues.

5) Analytical Skills
In most jobs, you need to be able to analyse information in some form, whether this be deciphering the most important information from a lengthy email or figuring why a customer’s car won’t start. Having an analytical mind can help you spot things that others may have missed and help you to solve problems faster. If you’re stuck for examples of your analytical skills, essays and school assignments are a great example of analytical thinking.

6) Problem Solving
In most roles, you will encounter problems at some point. Some roles require problem solving as default in day-to-day tasks. For example, someone in a customer support role will be working to solve customer issues every day. Employers will be looking for candidates that can be proactive and work to overcome any issues or problems they encounter.

7) Teamwork Skills
Even in remote working roles, it is essential that you can work well within a team. Having good teamwork skills allows you to complete tasks efficiently and effectively. Being able to work well and build a relationship with your team also helps to make work a more enjoyable experience.

8) Independence
Whilst it is important to be able to work within a team, it is also essential to be able to work on your own terms and be trusted to get tasks done independently. Employers will be looking for a good balance of independent and team working skills.

9) Perseverance
Employers will be looking for candidates that can demonstrate their ability to persevere through difficult tasks or stressful times, remaining calm under pressure and seeing tasks through to completion.

10) Confidence
Confidence is important in many different job roles. This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be an extroverted people person who thrives in social scenarios – although this would be ideal for certain roles. Your confidence may come across in different ways, such as your confidence in your skills or how confident you are when it comes to making important decisions.

I don’t have much experience – how do I demonstrate my skills?
If you’re looking at entering the world of work for the very first time, it can be difficult to know how to demonstrate your skills. In this case, it can be useful to look at the activities you were involved in during education. For example, writing essays and assignments demonstrates that you are able to think in an analytical way. Taking part in your school sports team shows that you are able to work well in a team. Getting a good grade in a subject you struggle with demonstrates your perseverance.

We hope you found this blog post helpful and have learned a little more about the key skills that employers look for in interviews.

If you really want to stand out from the crowd, we have a range of online courses that can help you brush up on your skills and provide proof of your ability. Take a look at our full range of online courses here.