List of the Top Skills Employers Want

Ways to Make Yourself More Marketable in Today's Workplace

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What Do Employers Want?

Whether you are a graduating senior or you still have a few years left in college, being aware of what employers look for in their job candidates is extremely important for all job seekers to know. So you’ve maintained a high GPA, made the Dean’s List all 8 semesters, participated in several community service projects in your community, and were elected as President of the Student Government Association and Captain of your basketball team, you may still be wondering if all of this is going to be enough to get you hired in today’s competitive job market?

What Students Can Do To Prepare

I’ve recently done some research and compared what many employers out there are saying about what they look for in their entry-level candidates. Although employers do look for job candidates who have the necessary skills to do the job, there are other transferable or "soft" skills that employers look for in their job applicants. Students can gain these skills through their college coursework or by gaining relevant experience by completing an internship, research project, co-op, or by volunteering or doing community service in their local or college community.

It’s important to take a look at this list even if you are a new college student just entering your first year of college. That way you can begin preparing yourself by identifying the important things to learn in your classes as well as any internships or research projects you do throughout your four years in college.

It may be surprising to learn that the things employers look for are not just what classes you’ve taken or the grade you received; but more importantly, employers are looking for specific skills that they value which can predict how well you will actually do on a job once you get hired.

Once you know what employers are looking for you can begin to tailor your experiences as well as your resume, cover letter, and even your informational or internship or job interviews to let the employer know that you understand what they want and that you have the skills to deliver.

The Top 10 Skills Employers Look For:

The ability to assess a situation is important in all career fields. Being able to gather information and understand multiple perspectives is critical to moving up in your career.

No matter what the job most of them require a minimum understanding of computers. As a recent college graduate you will have a heads up due to your knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software, and email.

The ability to manage multiple priorities by being adaptable and flexible will make you a successful employee in almost any field. Things are changing so rapidly in today’s job market that anyone who cannot change course in mid-stream is bound to be left behind.

The ability to solve problems through creativity and a logical thought process will make you a very valuable member of the team. From handling customer complaints to managing a small or large group of people, these skills are a must.

Since so many jobs require people to effectively work teams in order to get work done, one of the things that employers look for when hiring on new people is previous examples of working on teams either in the classroom or previous internships or jobs.

The ability to plan, organize, and set realistic goals to get the work done in a realistic timeframe, is most important for anyone starting a new job.

Since many company decisions are based on gathering and analyzing data, it’s imperative that a company’s employees know how to take the raw data and translate it into something meaningful and concrete.

The ability to determine the best course of action based on evaluating all options on logic and fact, directly results in creating intelligent solutions to any problem.

The ability to direct and motivate others is a skill that employers extremely value in the workplace. Employees that move up quickly in an organization usually possess this valuable skill. It is also a skill that can be learned through specific training and experience.

  1. Strong Communication Skills

    No matter what the job one of the most important skills required to excel in a job is strong communication skills. Employers continually seek candidates who can demonstrate that they possess exceptional speaking, listening, and writing skills.

  1. Research & Analytical Skills
  2. Computer Skills
  3. Adaptability & Flexibility
  4. Problem Solving/Thinking/Creativity
  5. Teamwork
  6. Planning & Organizing
  7. Analyzing Quantitative Data
  8. Decision Making
  9. Leadership

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