What Employers Look for in 2018
Employers value technical skills but they also want to see soft skills as communication and collaboration are so important in the modern workplace. Soft skills, in essence, are the interpersonal or “people” skills that help you to successfully interact in the workplace.
GMAC’s 2017 Corporate Recruiters Survey shows that communication skills top the list of skills and abilities that employers look for in hiring business school graduates.
Key to success in business, because so much depends on people's interactions with each other. According to data compiled by jobs board Monster, being able to communicate well is the most common soft skill employers are looking for.
Aim for clarity but remember to be kind and professional. Make eye contact, speak up and use body language that conveys confidence. Don’t forget listening skills and presentation skills, these are components of good communication.
Attention to detail
Focus and attention to detail are important. We all do our own typing now, so make sure you proof-read as typos and poor grammar in a CV or cover letter are inexcusable. To be so careless is indicative of sloppiness that may mean your CV goes straight to the discard heap.
Employers want people who know how to solve issues on their own, and when to ask for help. You need to demonstrate resourcefulness, goals-oriented behaviour, team player mindset and persistence. Employers want people on their teams that don’t give up easily, but work hard to overcome issues and push through tasks to their completion.
When preparing for a job interview, make a note of a time you helped solved a problem at work and think about how you will discuss it.
All employers want people who are real team players. Collaboration is key to any team that consistently produces results; collaborative teams drive better outputs while showing greater levels of engagement. Recruiters value candidates who can offer examples of when they’ve put the team before the player.
Increasingly, this is something recruiters will look for. It refers ‘the ability to consider a range of information derived from many different sources, to process this information in a creative and logical manner, challenging it, analysing it and arriving at considered conclusions which can be defended and justified’. Employees need to be logical, and make reasoned judgments to assess situations and solve problems.
If psychometric tests are used the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal is the standard instrument, it’s a high-level analytical test in 30 minutes and 60 minute versions.
Even if the job does not involve interacting with others very much, social skills are essential as we all interact with our employer and colleagues. Empathy, co-operation and listening skills are the sort of social skills you are expected to demonstrate.
Such skills are also important for effective professional networking, and for managing your own career growth.
One top tip
Make sure you read the job description carefully, and focus on the skills listed. If the role involves working on group projects, ensure you emphasise experience and skill as a team player and an ability to communicate with team members.
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Posted: Saturday 10 February 2018