Do you ever wonder if there is some magical formula that human resources personnel and hiring managers have tucked under the last page of their notebook? For serious consideration, is there some clandestine group which you must belong to?
Actually, the answer isn’t anything so mysterious. For employers and hiring managers, it’s a matter of finding a candidate who has the highest number—and highest quality—of skills needed for a job that they have posted. It really is often that simple. But it is also that complicated, since you don’t always have the same playbook they have.
Don’t worry, we have compiled a list of some perennial job skills that can always give you a boost for your job application and interview. Take a look at these five must-have skills that employers are looking for—and consider your options on how to get the skills needed for the job:
1. Sharp and Thoughtful Communication Skills
This skill will never fall out of fashion, and it becomes more important over time. Whether communication means talking to your colleagues in the office kitchen, via email, or over a Skype video chat, you need to feel comfortable communicating with your peers, superiors, clients, and anyone you need to address. So no matter how shy you feel about public speaking or making phone calls, you need to make sure you have this skill tucked neatly under your sleeve and be ready to use it all the time. Keep in mind that listening is also an integral part of communication, so make sure that you pick up and transmit information during every exchange.
2. Current Computer and Technical Skills
Most businesses rely heavily on their staff’s computer literacy, so you must have this skill or seek out the appropriate career skills training immediately. These skills include working with word documents, spreadsheets, presentation software, and internet operations through your computer, tablet and even your smartphone. The positive part of all this is that most devices and software are so intuitive that, with a little training, you will find yourself up to speed rather quickly.
3. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Skills
Employers want job candidates who look at a problem from several perspectives in order to find one or more possible solutions. You can then test the possible solutions to see how they do or do not work and, if necessary, start over again. While most job ads don’t note this must-have skill, it’s a valuable weapon that can give you a serious edge over the competition.
4. Adaptability and Willingness to Learn New Skills
Many offices continually try to refine their staff’s abilities to cross-train and learn new skills. So the more you demonstrate your versatility and eagerness on the matter, the more you will impress your prospective employers. This skill set also shows that you can stay on top of your own tasks and you’re ready to pitch in for others when necessary—highlighting your “team player” status.
5. Savvy Leadership Skills
You might not feel like a leader, but you can actually train yourself to think like one. And really, leadership is more about becoming the ideal team member—since you work to set a positive example for your colleagues through high-productivity and high-quality work, while making yourself available to your team members and keeping a genuine and upbeat attitude.