The Top 10 Skills Businesses are Looking For
What job seekers should be focusing on in 2018
Written by Darla Palmer-Ellingson in Business Marketing & HR
The key to securing your dream job isn’t all about name-dropping, where you went to school, your major, or even your GPA. At the end of the day, what makes you valuable are the skills that you, as an individual, can personally bring to the table.
According to international career coaching firm Right Management, many people can adequately detail or discuss their hard skills, the more tangible, job-specific abilities, such as computer programming or social media marketing, but often fail to emphasize soft skills, including people skills. The recent World Economic Forum surveyed 350 executives in 9 global industries regarding what they want from employees, and hard skills were not even in the top 10.
If you are in the job market, or will be soon, these are the top 10 soft skills to brush up on and include in your resume:
1. Complex Problem Solving
An affinity for complex problem solving is a treasured asset in the workplace. Approaches can be methodical and logical or unconventional and creative, depending on what the situation calls for. It includes the ability to observe, theorize, collect and organize data, interpret information, detect patterns, conceptualize and apply solutions. Showing cognitive flexibility by adapting communication of problems and solutions across various lines of business is sought after across most fields. Don’t repeat the same information. Think about who your audience is and tailor your information and responses accordingly.
2. Critical Thinking
Applying logic, reason and ethics is what separates humans from machines. Showing how you can critically evaluate information, guard against abuses and optimize plans for the best outcome will benefit the company and the people working in it.
Creativity isn’t merely reserved for “artsy” jobs. Creative individuals are innovative individuals, and can work to smoothly develop unique approaches to problem-solving, competently foster persuasive campaigns, and provide helpful personal commentary on the effectiveness of a marketing project’s visual interest and attention-grabbing effect. Employer’s desire for creativity in its employees ranks in the top three desired skills, as businesses look for novel approaches and how to stand out from the crowd.
Even if you are in a lower-level position, employers want to know about your potential long-term. This includes perceiving how you might handle climbing the authoritative ladder and being required to motivate people, develop the talents and skills of others and pick the best people for a job. Demonstrate that you know how to communicate clearly and efficiently with those above and below you, are responsible, dependable and take initiative, especially when helping others.
Team players are good at listening, collaborating and being reliable for their portion of a project. There are multiple personalities on a team, and being able to be respectful and adjust in relation to others is important. Team players work to effectively resolve conflict as opposed to stirring it. Showcasing teamwork abilities is not exclusive to working in a group. Give an example where you collaborated with a different department or outside resources.
6. Emotional Intelligence
In our fast-paced, hyper-stimulating, technological world, we still need human interaction. Those who are capable of being aware of, controlling and expressing their own emotions in a productive way, and knowing how emotions affect others, have high emotional intelligence. These employees will be entrusted to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.
7. Judgement and decision making
As computing power increases and businesses on all levels have more access to data, being able to distil business information and make intelligent decisions is a growing need. In addition, collaborating and obtaining buy-in from teams or colleagues increases the chance of project success. Ability to communicate and defend rationale for decisions to superiors will show competence.
8. Service orientation
Do you have personality traits and a predisposition to be helpful, thoughtful and considerate? Businesses seek this because it can positively affect a company’s reputation. Show examples of exceptional customer service or an occasion where you actively sought to help others in your work group.
9. Negotiation skills
The ability to negotiate is not limited to sales positions. Those in government relations, nonprofits, human services and many other industries need to know how to expertly help people come to an agreement. It takes preparation, understanding of the issues and desired outcomes, as well as being an effective communicator and listener to negotiate and implement a win-win proposition.
10. Commercial awareness
Right Management advises that candidates never enter a job interview without a thorough understanding of the business they are applying to. In addition, being able to demonstrate knowledge in your field, including economics from the business and customer side, shows your commercial awareness understanding.
Think beyond the tasks you do to how you interact and problem solve. Practicing and expanding on each of these capacities can help you to be viewed as a successful asset in your next position. Most of these skills not only benefit a wide array of positions and fields, they apply to every area of life. These are the skills which make you a better leader, a better team-player and simply—a better you.