Employers are often looking for skills that go beyond qualification and experience.
Employers place a lot of emphasis on hiring candidates with the right skills and competencies for their organisations. Depending on the industry and domain you choose to work in, there could be very specific skills, abilities and knowledge needed to do the job.
Your education and experience may make you eligible to apply for a job but to be successful in most roles, you will need skills that you are likely to develop over time. Some will be specific to the job, but the vast majority will be so-called ‘soft-skills’ that can be used in any job or employment sectors. These soft skills are called ‘employability skills’ and these can significantly help improve your employability quotient.
Complementing these are general competencies and behaviours that are essential for thriving at the workplace. These are the key employability skills – the core skills that make you effective at work.
- Zeal/passion to work
Companies look for employees who are passionate about what they do; this results in employer and employee being happier and more productive at work. Their passion stems from caring deeply about what they do or where they work and being personally invested in and motivated by the organisation’s mission.
As Steve Jobs famously said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
- Personality (body language)
The importance of body language cannot be emphasised enough since it constitutes a large part of how we communicate with others. The reality is we’re communicating with people all the time even when we’re not speaking. Being mindful of what our gestures, expressions, voice, and appearance are communicating can greatly impact our interpersonal skills.
Your level of education is often paramount to future success. Completing increasingly advanced levels of education shows that you have a drive and commitment to learn and apply information, ideas, theories, and formulas to achieve a variety of tasks and goals.
- Professional skills
An individual’s professional skills are extremely important in the business world. The way that someone cooperates with others, handles their workload and acts around the office can determine their success or failure as an employee. These professional skills includes interest in work, initiative, planning and organising, setting goals, ability to learn, quality of work, quantity of work, creativity, problem solving skills, etc.
- Knowledge as per market needs
Employers want employees who fit in and get along well with others at the workplace. This requires knowledge as per the market needs. This is so valuable that based on an employee’s knowledge, the employer can decide to keep or promote him/her.
An expert is someone who has an authority on a particular subject, or has mastered a specific technique or skill. When you become an expert, you will be the go-to person for help or advice. You will be more innovative in your role, too, because you will be able to spot opportunities. This can open doors to better assignments, promotions, speaking invitations, and to a great reputation.
This skill refers to the employee’s ability to offer new ideas to benefit the company. Employers look for bright, imaginative minds that can keep their business ahead of the rest in a competitive environment.
This covers verbal and written communication, and listening skills. It’s about being clear, concise and focused; being able to tailor your message for the audience and listening to the views of others. Communication is really more of a package than an individual skill.
- Learning ability
Learning is about wanting to understand new things and picking them up quickly. It also involves taking on new tasks and being able to adapt to change. Learning ability refers to how much information, knowledge and skills the employee can pick up while on the job. It is important for an employer to see progress in their employees and have them discover new possibilities.
Authored by Bhanu Pratap Singh, director, Marg Skills Private Limited.