What would you say are your strongest skills as a job candidate? If you’re unsure of how to answer this question, it’s time to get some clarification. To do this, take a few minutes and make a list of things that come naturally to you in the workplace (for example, communication, customer service, etc.). Then, pare that list down to what you believe are your top five skills. Now you can compare your list to the average hiring manager’s list.
The Top Five Skills Employers Want Job Candidates to Have
Not only are companies looking to hire people with confidence and self-awareness; they also want candidates with specific skills. Every hiring manager’s top five skills list will look a little different, but many will look something like this:
1) Verbal communication – According to the University of Kent, the number one skill that makes a job candidate employable is the ability to communicate verbally. If this is an area of challenge for you, check out your community’s local chapter of Toastmasters.
2) Teamwork – Rarely will an employer want to hire someone who cannot work as part of a team. Most positions, even if they allow an employee to work remotely, require teamwork. The ability to work as part of a team is better caught than taught, so putting yourself in situations that demand teamwork will sharpen this skill.
3) Problem solving – Ohio Means Jobs believes that the number three skill employers look for in candidates is the ability to solve problems. OMJ’s article Top 10 Employability Skills says, “Employers want people who can use creativity, reasoning and past experiences to identify and solve problems effectively.” Find out how to improve your problem-solving skills here.
4) Ability to work under pressure – Would you agree that every job has its own demands and pressures? Because of this universal truth, it’s important to employers that you have the ability to work while under pressure. If you don’t handle tension well, certain coping strategies may help you deal with stress in the workplace. A quick tip for coping with stress is to practice 4-7-8 breathing: inhale through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, exhale for eight seconds, and then repeat the cycle a few times.
5) Self-motivation – Also reported by the University of Kent, self-motivation is the fifth most important skill a job candidate can possess. The University defines self-motivation as the ability “to act on initiative, identify opportunities, and be proactive in putting forward ideas and solutions.”
Compare your personal top five skills list with the one above to find out what areas you need to strengthen or develop. The combination of your best abilities AND the skills employers most want you to have will give you an incredible edge in your job search.
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