The Most In-Demand Employability Skills To Work On When You Want To Advance Your Career
When you’re looking for opportunities to advance and accelerate your career, you’re most likely to focus on education and “hard skills,” which are specific to your line of work: Knowledge and experience relating to technologies, procedures, and processes. It comes as a surprise to many job-seekers at all levels, how important it is to develop “soft skills,” also known as employability skills, in order to remain as marketable as possible, no matter what their field of expertise. These soft skills weigh heavily in hiring decisions; in fact, some employers report that they are equally as important as hard skills, especially in management-level positions and above. In a recent report by LinkedIn, the 291 hiring managers studied said up to 59 percent of their job openings are hard to fill, or remain unfilled, because candidates lack the soft skills these employers know it will take to succeed in these positions.
What Are These Employability Skills?
Employability skills are learned attributes that successful employees have, skills that allow them to communicate effectively, foment a culture of innovation, and build teams that co-operate in ways that allow them to “flow around” problems, rather than being obstructed by them.
- Resource Management – One of the most commonly sought-after soft skills is efficient management of resources like time, space, budget, materials, and staff skills. Obviously, these skills are mandatory for a management-level position, but when employers make hiring decisions, they tend to do so with an eye to the future. It’s a smarter move to hire an employee today who has good potential to become a manager later, than to hire an employee who lacks advancement potential just to fill today’s open position. From an employee’s point of view, this means that even if the job you’re applying for is “just” a staff position, you need to think in terms of presenting yourself to employers as someone with a solid understanding of how important these skills are and an attitude of responsible stewardship of company resources, even if that’s not part of the description of the job you’re applying for right now.
- Interpersonal Relations – Skills like team building, giving effective feedback, cultural and gender sensitivity, understanding group dynamics, and clear, timely verbal communication are critical for employees at every level. Employers are looking for people who can build a positive, constructive, and productive environment around themselves.
- Written Communication – Whether you’re writing for clients or for co-workers, clear, concise written communication is a must. This includes not only basics like correct spelling and grammar, but also the ability to accurately determine what kind of writing the intended audience is going to connect with. If you’re writing an in-house document for people who are all familiar with what’s happening, it’s fine and appropriate to use jargon, for example. If you’re writing for public consumption, jargon does not generally help you communicate effectively.
- Information Management – This skill set includes things like research, analysis, and using technology to accomplish those things, and, ultimately, the ability to take useful information from raw data and apply it to developing new ideas that further the employer’s goals and interests. Organization of information also falls under this heading, and it’s a skill that’s becoming harder for employers to find.
Are You Presenting Your Best Selling Points In Your Job Search?
It can be frustrating, when you’re preparing for a job search, to know what skills to highlight in your resume, and which to leave out. Working with a recruitment firm like The Lawler Group gives you the advantage of getting advice from a recruiter who knows exactly what their client companies are looking for.