Important Skills that Employers want

Monday, July 2nd, 2012 - Competencies, Skills Qualifications Experiences


Important Skills

that Employers want


Last week we put up a post about the Top 10 Skills that Employers want. It casued so much interest, that we dicided this week to follow up with another post about Importat Skills.

Skills v Skills?

As I pointed out in the last post on this subject, my first problem with putting any list down is that from an employers view point application counts as much as capability. Secondly, while any one can claim a skill, but the deciding point for the employer is:

  • Have you ever applied it (ie: where’s the evidence)
  • Who will support that claim (ie: where’s the supporting reference?)

Job market skills auditing

Going beyond the Top10 skills, there is a further problem: most of those required skills get very job or market specific. I hence advocate a system of job market skills auditing, as outlined in the 5 Steps To Employment:

  • Decide what you want to do
  • Find 50+ jobs in that market (ie: confirm that that market is hiring)
  • Audit these jobs for the required skills (ie: what competencies are these employers looking for? There will be common patterns across the sector)

I will close this section with the reminder, that in the eyes of the employer, application and referencing count as much if not more than any claimed skill.

List of Important Skills that Employers want

  1. GLOBAL SKILLS: Able to speak and understand other languages; Appreciation of other cultures; Experience of working abroad; Study and work placements outside the UK
  2. NEGOTIATING & PERSUADING: Able to influence and convince others, to discuss and reach agreement
  3. LEADERSHIP: Able to motivate and direct others
  4. NUMERACY: beyond basic maths skills, can show application in a working environment. Mental artithmetic is highly prozed, particularly in Retail Jobs
  5. COMPUTING SKILLS: we still see various job applicants claiming great Microsoft suite skills, like this was something new. Computing skills are now expected as given basics of every job applicant. Secondly, most employers will need to give you specific post-hiring training on their specific programmes or application of within their process. So claiming base knowledge is not as imporatnt as showing an ability to apply that skill to a solution
  6. SELF AWARENESS: Awareness of achievements, abilities, values & weaknesses & what you want out of life
  7. PERSONAL IMPACT/CONFIDENCE: Presents a strong, professional, positive image to others which inspires confidence & commands respect
  8. LIFELONG LEARNING: Continues to learn throughout life. This one in the present employmet market is very highly prozed, but also an essential. The modern organisation is constantly changing and adapting. This means that the ability to learn quickly ad adapt is essential in all emplyees. Show that you can adapt hence is a highly prized skill by employers
  9. INTEGRITY: Adheres to standards & procedures, maintains confidentiality and questions inappropriate behaviour
  10. PERSONAL OWNERSHIP: Accepts responsibility for views & actions and able to work under their own direction & initiative
  11. PROFESSIONALISM: Pays care & attention to quality in all their work. Supports & empowers others
  12. ACTION PLANNING: Able to decide what steps are needed to achieve particular goals and then implement these. Which goes along with..
  13. DECISION-MAKING: Determines the best course of action. Evaluates options based on logic & fact & presents solutions
  14. INTERPERSONAL SENSITIVITY: Recognises & respects different perspectives. Open to the ideas & views of others
  15. CREATIVITY: Generates & applying new ideas & solutions

Skills v Power Words

Both of these lists were compiled from a number of sources, but the first thing that struck me as a recruiter and Professional CV Writer on reading them was:

  • How many actually are required/essential skills
  • How many were also CV Power Words

What worries me most at present about many CV’s that we see at this time of the year, is that they will be splattered like a Jackson Pollock painting with both claimed skills, and power words. It’s like there’s a current trend to do this, much like wearing Gucci.

However, the problems arise when these job applications arrive on our job applications desk:

  1. They have not been adjusted to reflect the requirements of our job adverts
  2. If they have, the power words and skills out rank our requirements, and we have to dig deep to find them
  3. When we do find them, there is no evidence of application of the claimed skill or any thought to support through a reference

So please don’t go using either list like an artists colour work board! Don’t think that just because we have written these down for you, that by using them you will gain instant employment: err, you won’t!

Follow the 5 Steps To Employment system, and you will see where these skills fit in to communicating your suitability to do that job or jobs.

Good Luck!

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