The 18 Most In-Demand Employability Skills

Team working with their top skills

Nothing lasts forever, and with today’s ever-evolving workplace, it’s only natural that the professional skills employers look for in candidates change from year to year. Obtaining new skills and talents, therefore, allows jobseekers to stay ahead of the competition and create innovative ideas.

Jeff Vijungco, Vice President of Global Talent at Adobe, believes that ‘having high IQ or hard skills alone isn’t sufficient’. That means you constantly need to be advancing and discovering new abilities. Whether you’re looking for a new job or setting an example at work to get a promotion, here is a list of the most popular skills and values you need to have (and which look great on your résumé).

1. Problem-Solving

Soft skills, like problem-solving, will always be in fashion. It’s unavoidable to be faced with a challenge at some point in your career, and when it rises you need to be able to step up to the plate and offer a reasonable solution. Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster, advises that ‘employers want to see that you can troubleshoot and solve [problems] independently’.

2. Data Analytics

In today’s data-driven world, you need to be able to decipher numbers and interpret them correctly. Companies want to see that you can analyse their progress and offer suggestions on how to improve. Don’t worry if you’re not in touch with this skill; you can easily complete a course online that will teach you the basics.

3. Social Media Literacy

Being social media-savvy is a key skill for young professionals. You should first build yourself a strong personal brand so employers can get a sense of who you are. And, secondly, understand the company’s business model through their social media accounts and help them reach a new audience.

4. Creativity

You don’t want to be another sheep following the herd in your office; you want to be the shepherd leading the pack. In order to do so, though, you must constantly be expanding your knowledge and thinking of creative ways to push the company to greater heights.

5. Resilience

It’s inevitable that you’ll be faced with difficulties at work; you might even end up dealing with a bad boss. In today’s working environment, you need to be able to take it on the chin and move on swiftly, not letting the setbacks knock your confidence or affect your standard of work. Don’t crumble under pressure, and find ways to learn from bad experiences.

6. Leadership

It’s not only managers that look for this top skill! You should naturally have the quality to take charge of a situation and ensure it runs smoothly. You might be working with a number of people on a project that aren’t communicating effectively; this is where you can step in, use your initiative and give people duties in order for the work to be completed in time.

7. Willingness to Learn

Some millennials think they know it all because they’ve spent three or more years studying the subject at college or university. However, a lack of willingness to learn new things is a major setback for them. You should always be open and eager to learn new skills at work.

8. Emotional Intelligence

Being mindful of one’s mood and beliefs is very important in our intercultural workplaces. Employees that have a calm and respectful temperament will be much more successful in their corporation. Even with companies automating many of their services, ‘we’re yet to see an algorithm that can read things like humour, temperament or enthusiasm as effectively as a person can,’ as Alistair Cox explains.

9. Attention to Detail

An attention to detail has been one of the most in-demand skills for decades. Employees should have the competence to notice small errors and correct them. Be sure to look through your résumé with a fine toothcomb and correct any typos or inconsistencies that may appear.

10. Humility

Being able to hold your hand up when you’ve made a mistake or to admit that you don’t know something is a really strong trait that most millennials lack. Caroline Beaton commented that: ‘On a day-to-day scale, people who think they know everything aren’t trainable, nor are they good collaborators’. Your only way of advancing is, therefore, being able to admit that you’re a beginner and absorbing all your teachings like a sponge.

11. Oral and Written Communication

Being able to communicate both in writing and in person is the best skill you can possess. You need to be clear, kind and professional in both your interactions online and in person. When speaking to a colleague or business partner, be sure to look them in the eye and ooze confidence with your body language (be wary not to let this come off as arrogance).

12. Teamwork

To increase your employability chances, you need to prove that you’re a team player but also have the ability to manage and delegate to others. You need to use an example of when you built positive relationships to help everyone and achieve a common goal.

13. Tech-Savviness

Most positions require basic technical skills such as Excel, PowerPoint, Word and general use of a computer. Depending on the profession, there are a number of other programmes you should be able to use, too. Being technically proficient is key and will help you advance in your office.

14. Adaptability and Flexibility

Being able to adapt to new surroundings, rules and people is essential in the workplace. You should be flexible enough to drop what you are doing when something urgent comes in and work on a number of different projects at the same time.

15. Time Management

You should be able to manage your time at work efficiently ensuring that you can get all your duties done as best as you possibly can during your working hours. This also involves being punctual and arriving to work on time. The lazy person that strolls in at 9:30am and spends 15 minutes chatting in the kitchen before assembling to their desk is less likely to gain a promotion than an employee who is on time.

16. Positivity

Having a positive attitude is often overlooked as an important skill to possess but is a good trait to have. Employers want staff members with a can-do attitude that work well under pressure and actually enjoy what they do. The ones that think the company owes them everything won’t get that far in life as they’ll always feel hard done by.

17. Determination and Drive

Having determination and drive is very admirable among staff members and is something hiring managers look for. Being passionate about what you do is really important, not only for your self-satisfaction but also for your boss to know that he has a great worker on his team.

18. Organisation

Being organised is a skill that many employers will look for in a candidate; essentially, it leads to a more efficient and transparent worker. You should establish your own organisational routine that works for you and use this in the office to show you have what it takes.

No matter what position you are in, these transferable skills will prove you are able to anticipate, adapt and work alongside the inevitable disruptions in your industry. You’ll be able to advance at a quicker rate and learn a lot more while you’re on your journey.

Are there any areas you need to work on or any additional skills you think are important in the tough job market? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…