Top 32 Qualities and Skills Employers are Looking For
In these wild times of capitalist society, it is hard enough to find a job you find appropriate for yourself.
That being done, comes the next step – you should send your resume to the company and hope you will get elected to come to the interview.
In the process of getting a job, you are thinking about your qualifications – where did you go to school, what were your previous employments, and so on.
Now that you have listed all the needed information about your education and experience, comes the part that might turn out to be easier said than done.
You should also list the qualities you have and the skills you have mastered over the years.
This is a part that might come pretty tricky – when it comes to your education, there is not much space for manipulation, simply because those are pure facts that can not be changed (well, at least until someone invents the time machine or something similar).
However, when it comes to your skills and expertise, you can say something that will sound pretty catchy and make you stand out in the sea of resumes that all look and sound the same.
Of course, you can totally blow it as well, if you list something that is not desirable or that makes the reader get the wrong or unwanted impression.
We have tried to do a little research and see what are the qualities and skills a company with a good reputation would expect the job candidate to have.
1. SKILLS OF PRESENTATION
Before we get started, I feel like I should emphasize this first – not all of your skills are equally important for every job you are trying to get.
This is why I suggest making a separate resume for every job position you are applying for. For example, your administrative skills won’t be essential if you want to be a nurse.
This is the reason why you should try and pick the ones that you consider to be important for the employment you are seeking.
Of course, you can always list some additional qualities that you have, but you do not want your resume to be five pages of you bragging about yourself – if it turns out like that, the chances are, the employer probably won’t even read it.
So, try and list your skills by their importance. Always remember, the way you organize and write your resume also says a lot about you, it should show your organization skills and your skill to prioritize.
2. SPECIFIC SKILLS FOR A SPECIFIC JOB
As I have already mentioned, not all skills are important for a specific type of job. If you are looking to work in a company’s sales department, your communication and customer service skills will be crucial, for example.
In this specific example, your skills can directly benefit the profit of the company, making you the perfect candidate for the position. So, always keep this in mind while applying for the job.
3. COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Communication skills are pretty necessary for every job. Even if you are working from home on your own, you will have to communicate with at least a couple of people, being that your boss, or some colleagues from the company.
This is the reason why you should always emphasize your communication skills. If you feel like you are bad at communicating with your coworkers, you have to have to overcome that obstacle and try to be better at it.
It can get very hard if you are in a group of employees who do not suit you in any way and you would never even meet them in your private life, but the bottom line is that you are working together.
You should never observe them emotionally, but wake up your common sense and realize that they are your coworkers and that all of you have the same goal – to earn your salary and give your best for the company.
That is the glue holding you together, and once you step that line of them being mean or anything else that crosses your mind whenever you see Karen from the fifth floor, always badmouthing the rest of the coworkers, keep in mind – she is just a person sharing your ambitions, and nothing more.
4. CUSTOMER SERVICE SKILLS
This is also one of the most important qualities to have because most jobs require being polite and pleasant to the customers. Customer service skills are simply a must.
Even if you do not work directly with the clients, it is possible that you will get in touch with them at some point, whether you like it or not, so try to improve your skills when it comes to communication with clients.
This is an absolute must-have, no arguing there. Even if you want to work in a position that doesn’t require much communication with your co-workers, it must include some communication, and it is essential for the relation between the employees.
Every successful company is a structure built of people who rely on one another and therefore, make it strong and sustainable.
You do not have to love or even like your coworkers, but you do have to respect them and their work. Also, all coworkers must be aware of the fact that, besides working for yourself, you are working for the whole team, so act as you do!
6. INDIVIDUAL WORK
Besides being able to work in a group, you must also show that you are capable of solving problems on your own.
The key here, I guess, is finding that perfect balance between showing that you work for the team, but not showing that you constantly rely on other people, and showing how capable you are to work on a problem on your own, without being selfish and not letting your coworkers stand out, as well.
7. ADMINISTRATIVE SKILLS
I will not even talk about how crucial administrative skills are if you are working in economics or some similar department, it is the essence of your job.
However, many people neglect the fact that this might come in handy in other jobs, that are not even related to economics.
If you are a writer, it is not essential for you to know a lot about administration, but you will surely need to know the basics in order to set the price of the text you are writing, the points of the agreement both parts should sign, and so on.
The truth is, we are dealing with administration every single day in our private lives, as well (you pay your bills and do your taxes, right?), so why not make it an asset that could help you get the job position you want?
8. WRITING AND RHETORIC SKILLS
This one is not given the attention it deserves. Let’s face it – you can’t pull out a single job in this world if you are not a good orator.
You should know how to manipulate your words (not your clients, honesty is one of the most important things in busyness, but we will talk about that later), in order to improve your job.
Your writing skills are equally as important. A quality written e-mail can save a job contract sometimes. The good thing is, this is something you can learn as well. If you feel you lack these skills, you can take a course in writing and gain confidence in talking about your ideas.
Another situation – imagine you are doing a pitch for your company. What is the most important thing there? The way you present your idea. What is the essence of presenting? Oral skills. Do you see the pattern here?
9. FOREIGN LANGUAGE SKILLS
Although you might be applying for a job that doesn’t require knowledge of foreign languages, you should never skip this point. Write all of the languages you use – your writing, reading and communication skills.
Do not hesitate to write the languages of which your knowledge may be very poor. For example, if you studied Russian in elementary school, the chances are, you have completely forgotten about it, but it would take you a month or two to gain that knowledge back.
That kind of knowledge might be crucial in a situation where you have a foreign client and your employer needs a quick translate, not too accurate, just the framework of an important e-mail, for example.
My advice – never stop learning languages in your life! They will always come in handy, at one point or another. Also, you don’t need money to learn languages these days. All you is need motivation and internet access.
There are hundreds of tutorials on YouTube and other web sites that you can use to expand your knowledge. You can use apps like Duolingo, or some similar apps, that are interactive and make the learning much easier.
10. TECHNOLOGY SKILLS
I think there is no point at even discussing this one. Whether you like it or not, we are living in the 21st century, the technology is booming, and in order to survive, you have to be in the game.
The basics of computer science, such as Microsoft Office and similar programs are the fields where you must know your way, no matter the nature of the job.
If you feel like it is important for your employment, you should mention your work on social networks, as well. These days, your Instagram and Facebook profiles are a form of your virtual ID, so use them in a smart way.
Express your creativity and your knowledge there, as well! Keep in mind that most of the companies in the western world explore candidate’s social network profiles, so be smarter than your recruiter and use the situation to your advantage!
11. NEGOTIATION SKILLS
Your ability to negotiate is meaningful, as well. Even if you are just a worker in a factory, you will need to express your negotiation skills when trying to get a day off! Of course, these are needed by default if you want to work in marketing or administration department.
A famous American businessman Chris Voss was a former hostage-situation negotiator for the FBI and he made a private business based on teaching the art of negotiation to entrepreneurs. My point here is that Negotiation skills can and will take you much farther than you expected.
Motivation is important in two ways – are you motivated enough and can you motivate others? In both cases, it is highly needed. You could show your motivation and dedication by giving a 101 percent of yourself to the job. Always try to achieve higher goals.
Mention that you are willing to give even more than the position requires (of course, do not exaggerate, try to stay objective while describing). You can mention a project you did on your own while you were in college, for example.
If you studied the Italian language, you organized a lecture on Italian culture with your colleagues, with no direct benefits from the University, just because you wanted to spread the knowledge.
Motivation is something you build through years of education and dedication to a certain field of your life, so even if you currently have a job you don’t like, find the positive aspects, focus on them and improve them as much as you can!
13. ANALYTICAL SKILLS
Too much analysis leads to paralysis, and it is a philosophical truth. However, analysis in a certain amount, especially when it comes to busyness, is one of the imperatives.
You can not run or be a part of a successful busyness unless you can name the problem and get into the structure of it, no matter how small or insignificant the problem itself might be.
14. ENTREPRENEURSHIP SKILLS
Entrepreneurship is the main business in a capitalist society. Whether you like it or not, entrepreneurship skills are what distinguishes a regular employee from a successful businessman.
In order to achieve your goal and get the job you want, you must show that you are worthy enough to be a part of the economy, bot micro, and macro. You can learn these skills from reading books written by famous entrepreneurs, such as Bill Gates of Elon Musk.
You can listen to interviews with successful people in different fields and see what there is to learn from their experience.
In the era of change, where the busyness as we know it is in constant danger of changing its forms and
becoming something new every day, it is very important for an employer to see that the employees have his back.
Of course, by this I do not imply never leave the sinking ship, that would be pure madness nowadays. But, show that you are willing to step out for your company even if the times get hard (because they do get hard).
Take the story of The Lego Group, for example – during the 90s they were close to shutting down, their profits were very low, and of course, a lot of employees had to be fired, but the ones who stayed, showed their loyalty and dedication, and the company got back on its feet.
Confidence is relevant both in your personal and professional life. Your career may stagnate or go up, depending on how much you believe in your ideas. While writing a resume or taking an interview with the recruiter, you must express that you stand behind your ideals.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that all of your ideas will lead you in the right direction, sometimes just the opposite will happen, but the most important thing is that you are ready to take full responsibility for your actions.
I know it sounds hard, but the employer will value this skill – have faith in yourself, even when no one else does!
This one is pretty similar to confidence, and you don’t even need to list it as one of your skills, but I felt like it needed to be pointed out because, without bravery, confidence can not do much by itself.
Of course, confidence can get you places, but bravery is the feature that will make you stand out in the sea of employees similar to one another. It will make your product the best selling among similar products.
The bravery and the faith that your idea, product or service, will make an impact, no matter how small, insignificant or even funny it may look to others, is crucial.
Ambition is a crucial skill for every job position. Even if you are applying for the position of a janitor, you must show ambition to be the best janitor there is! Employers love enthusiastic people, wanting to achieve more for themselves and the company, as well.
Always remember that the employees are actually a mirror of the company, they are reflecting the energy and the vibration of the company itself.
That is why, for example, Google always tries to keep their employees relaxed and makes that feel-at-home atmosphere – they are rising productivity, but also showing the world that, by keeping their employees happy, they are keeping the company itself happy and satisfied.
19. OBJECTIVE ASSESSMENT
While showing your skills and listing all the good sides of your work, you should try to stay realistic. Do not try too hard, so to say, because it might sound like you are bragging off. The recruiter must never get suspicious that you are telling him/her stories without a backup.
Always leave them under the impression that all that you have stated is one hundred percent true, and that they are dealing with an objective and realistic candidate. It will make them value your accomplishments even more.
20. THE ABILITY TO WORK UNDER PRESSURE
As we have already concluded, all of the companies go through rough times. On the other hand, times do not even have to be hard, it can just get crowded sometimes. For example, if you are working in a toy company, you are likely to go through a period of pure madness just before Christmas.
It doesn’t even matter what position you work in, you will feel the chaos even if you are a cleaning lady. During an interview (and in your resume, of course), you must show you are capable and relaxed when working under pressure.
Deadlines, chaos, and rush – they do not frighten you at all, as far as your employer is concerned (no matter the fact that you will most likely wish to explode from time to time, try not to show it). Present how you have operated different tasks in your previous working experience.
Leave them under the impression that no obstacle is big enough to defeat the worker in you.
21. HOW YOU REACT IN STRESSFUL SITUATIONS
This one is tightly connected to the previous point. Some companies even give you an assignment during an interview – they give you a hypothetical situation you should solve it the best possible way.
Now, this is the time when you should combine all of your skills together and show what would you do during a stressful situation and how would you carry it off.
Display that you are capable to react quickly in order to solve the problem in the most efficient way.
22. LEADERSHIP SKILLS
No matter if you are applying for a spot that has absolutely nothing to do with team-leading, it is good to give them the appearance of someone who will step out and become the leader, if a situation demands so.
It is an important skill that combines some of the earlier listed ones – it shows your confidence, courage, management skills, your ability to motivate others, etc.
23. CAN YOU PRIORITIZE
Prioritizing is essential while working on every possible task. A person who knows how to prioritize well will finish a job in two hours, while someone who doesn’t may spend the whole day on it. You should learn how to split the important things from the ones that do not matter.
A good way to learn this skill is to study the Eisenhower’s theory of planning, based on Urgent-Important Matrix.
It focuses on your ability to split things that urgent and important from the things that are urgent but not important, the things that are important but not urgent and finally, the ones that are not important nor urgent. It might help you in your everyday routine, as well, so it beneficial on many levels.
I will not spend much time on this one, it is pretty simple – there isn’t an employer in this world that wants workers who work behind his/her back.
State that you are an honest person, even if you make a mistake – every working man is allowed to make a mistake from time to time! It is important to leave them believing you are a trustworthy candidate for the job.
25. TIME MANAGEMENT SKILLS
In the capitalist world, time is money. How many times have we all heard this phrase? Somehow, most of the people seem to be forgetting about this.
For example, if you are running late to your interview, how do you expect you will get hired? If you are going to an interview, it implies that you need a job, if you need a job, you need it in order to live and survive, right?
Then, how do you expect to get hired if you are running late to something on what your existence depends on?
Always come at least fifteen minutes prior to the interview, to leave a good impression and so you can relax a bit, feel the atmosphere in the company and clear your head from all the thoughts that don’t do you good on that occasion.
26. ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS
Organization skills interweave with many other aspects that we have already listed, but this is a must-have, so I feel that we need to go through it one more time.
If you know how to use your time wisely, it will be multiple times more beneficial than spending days or even weeks working on a single problem. You should show that you know how to delegate tasks and solve the problem in the quickest, most efficient way.
27. ARE YOU A HARD-WORKING EMPLOYEE
Well, I feel like there is no need to argue about this one – if you are looking for a job, it should be obvious that you are a hard-working person, who wants to improve his/her life and do the best they can.
There is no need to emphasize this quality in your resume, but it is very important that you leave them under the impression that you are willing to work hard and give your best to the company.
28. CAN YOU SET THE GOAL
This is a skill that you need in life, in general. It is of big importance that you can name and set your goal. This is the first step to you attaining that goal. The second step is motivation and the rest is, well – work, work, work!
It is important that you build the appearance of a person with a vision, someone who knows what he wants and knows how to get it. You could write about the busyness goals that you have managed to obtain during your career. Do not miss the opportunity to show the best of yourself in this field!
I firmly believe this is one of the most important qualities you can have, no matter the nature of the job you are applying for. One might ask why. For example, if you would like to work at a register at Target, your creativity is not important and can’t be beneficial for the company in any way.
Well, let us imagine a situation where you are the register, the person assigned for arranging the store is not present, and the manager assigns you to rearrange the small items at the register.
I know it is not much, but if you express your creativity and the manager spots your gift for something like that, you might get a better position in the company.
This is a small, irrelevant example, but the mechanism can be transferred to some other busyness situations, and I strongly advise you to list your creativity as a part of your personality.
30. YOUR HOBBIES ARE IMPORTANT AS WELL
This is something that usually comes at the end, but it can be pretty significant, in a certain way. Your hobbies and interests outside your work are what distinguishes your resume from all the others.
For example, if you like to play tennis or go to the gym a couple of times a week, you should mention it.
Your recruiter will get the feeling that you are a dedicated person who takes care of his/her health.
Also (and this one might sound like a trick or a manipulation), but it may happen that the person reading your resume happens to like the same things as you do, so that might be a plus in the process of getting the job, as well.
Persistence is what makes the difference between the person with an idea and the person carrying through that idea. It is one of the most important traits.
You could show your persistence through some projects that you managed to accomplish over the years.
Even the worlds’ biggest corporations have had different types of problems over the years, but they managed to stay successful just because they were persistent.
There is another thing when it comes to persistence – one should know when to stop. This is something you learn through your working experience.
32. THE ABILITY TO LEARN FROM PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE
You resume should show how much you have grown over the years of education and hard work. It speaks on your behalf as a person who gained experience and knowledge from every position that you have worked in.
Also, you are supposed to use the experience of other people to gain knowledge, as well. You can mention the current situation in a certain company that you know of, and say what way you would fix their problem, for example.
As Eleanor Roosevelt said,
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
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