What are employability skills?
When employers look to fill a job opening, they will take a range of things into consideration. One aspect that employers will consider is the general skills that a candidate has and how that can help them get the job done.
Which of these employability skills are valuable to your employer will depend on the job however, many of these skills will also help you in your day-to-day life so it’s never a bad thing to develop them!
Top 10 employability skills
A great attitude is crucial when things get tough at work. Staying positive and getting on with the job is a trait that most employers find very valuable in an employee.
In fact, in entry-level jobs, many employers tend to prefer a better attitude over greater experience. Skills can be taught easier than changing a negative mindset.
Being able to communicate effectively with others is not just an important employability skill but is also a pretty important life skill to have.
When employers say they are looking for good communicators they don’t just mean you can hold a conversation either.
Being able to listen and empathize with people and being able to adapt your conversational style and tone to your audience are all key to being a great communicator.
Even in jobs where there is a lot of responsibility, teamwork will likely be needed at some point. Whether working with colleagues you know or don’t, being able to put aside ego and work towards a common goal is a useful life skill.
Teamwork isn’t necessarily always about directly assisting people with a task either. It’s also about doing the little things within your work that help make the job easier for the whole team.
Whatever job you have there may be difficult and stressful days that you will need to work through. Being able to bounce back after a challenging moment or customer, maintaining your composure and giving it another go is not just a key employability skill, it’s also important for your day-to-day life.
Resilient people tend to have improved self-esteem, better interpersonal relationships and a greater sense of purpose. Thankfully there are many things you can do to build your resilience if it isn’t your strongest skill.
The specific skills required to solve certain problems will depend on the job you have, but the ability to break a problem down, create a plan of attack, and follow-through, is very desirable to employers.
Problem-solving can be broken down into 5 steps:
Understand – breaking down the problem into manageable parts is key to creating an effective plan to solve the issue.
Brainstorm – cycle through a range of different approaches to the problem so you have all the options on the table.
Make a plan – pick the best approach and plan out who will help you, how they will help you and what tools you need to solve the problem.
Take action – Follow through with your plan enlist the help you need and get it done.
Review – take stock of what went well and what could have been done better next time.
You can utilise these steps for any problem at work or your personal life that you come across. The more you follow these steps and work through the process the better your skills can get.
– Organisation and planning
Being able to manage your time effectively is important in any job. Employers need certainty that the job will get done on time and to quality their customers expect
If you are the kind of person that gets things done in a chaotic flurry, however, this could lead to errors or cost and time blowouts.
Thankfully, developing your time management skillsreally comes down to just having a plan, ideally, one written down, and having the discipline to stick to it.
– Work ethic
This is a pretty simple one. No boss wants to hire lazy workers! Depending on the job hard work looks a little different. It could be more physically demanding or require longer hours, or it may mean putting extra effort into study or learning something.
A good work ethic can be learned or worked on but requires discipline and a drive to make better habits.
Creativity isn’t just about being good with a microphone or a paintbrush in hand. Being creative can be strongly linked to your problem-solving ability.
By using your creativity to solve problems in interesting and unique ways businesses can uncover new or better ways of doing things.
Don’t stress if you aren’t very creative because this can be one of the more fun skills to develop. Trying new things and having new experiences is a great way to influence your mind to think differently.
Leadership skills aren’t just for a manager. Different jobs or special projects might run more smoothly when other people take charge and utilise their skillsets.
Employers want to know that their staff have the self-motivation to take charge of a situation and won’t need to be pushed every time.
This skill might be harder for introverted people to develop, but leadership doesn’t have to mean public speaking and ordering people about. It’s more about leading by example and being confident in your skills and abilities.
How new technology will change the workplace or entire industries in the future is unknown. But many employers are preparing by making sure their workforce are adaptable.
Being flexible enough to change how you do your work or dealing with new processes or technology is something you can develop.
By being open to learning from others and asking lots of questions, the exposure to different ways of thinking can make you more willing to change your habits.
How can I develop my employability skills?
The first step to becoming more employable is working out where you need to improve. You may be great at a lot of the skills above, ok at some and not so great at the others.
That’s ok though as once you know what you need to improve you can start putting a plan in place to work on them.
There are resources out there to help and having a discussion with your consultant is a great place to start. They can provide some suggestions on where to go for your unique needs and specific requirements to get the job you want.