Skip Navigation
Mobile Menu

Top 5 Skills
Employers Are Looking For

by Paul Northway

A small, happy group of people sitting in chairs

In today’s changing career landscape, competition is high and employers are able to select from a wide array of new potential applicants and a talented existing workforce. That’s why it’s essential that your skills stand out if you want to succeed.

Gone is the heyday of technical skills when people were trained for one specific job such as machining, coding or budgeting. Instead, soft skills are now highly sought-after. These skills are more social in nature and indicate a person’s ability to collaborate, accept feedback and maintain organization. These highly transferrable skills make you a great fit anywhere—no matter where you work or what you do:

  1. Emotional Intelligence
    Emotional intelligence (or E.Q.) is a big buzzword right now. It’s defined as the ability to manage one’s own feelings and emotions and be aware of the feelings and emotions of others. Ask yourself: How do I behave during an embarrassing moment? How do I handle frustration? And how do I help my co-workers when facing the same? When you’re able to be acutely aware of feelings and emotions and use that awareness to guide decisions, you have a high E.Q.
  2. Adaptability
    Our world is changing more quickly than ever. Technology has shifted the way we work and communicate more in the past 10 years than in the previous 50 years. Employees who are curious and eager to adapt to these changes are quite attractive to employers. Stay on top of current industry news and technology and maintain an open mind!
  3. Communication Skills
    Communication is such a broad but critical skill. Focus on delivering a clear, concise and honest message—whether written or verbal. And suss out when is best to speak up and how long to take the floor. These skills are learned through experience, over time and are not easily taught.

    Also key to killer communication skills? Listening. As Stephen R. Covey said, “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Make understanding your goal and listening becomes much easier.
  4. Interpersonal Skills
    These skills are about managing conflict and stress while each person handles their role and responsibilities in the workplace. Aim to delegate and trust others to do their part. Employees who believe they can perform the task best and who do not have faith in their co-workers can cause tension and bring down office efficiency. It’s also important to give and accept ideas respectfully and compromise when necessary.
  5. Personal Productivity
    Employees who make work a high priority are becoming more and more rare. That’s why small things like being on time and completing tasks on schedule help you stand out. Also, learn to manage your time by prioritizing your to-do list and taking care of the most important items first. Highly-efficient employees are a big money-saver for businesses.

Whether you’re in the market for a new career, looking to sharpen your game at the office or climb the corporate ladder, leveraging these top skills will help your opportunities flourish!