Skills Employers Want: 10 Ways Newcomers Can Be Job-ready

Skills Employers Want: 10 Ways Newcomers Can Be Job-ready

Although you may be able to tick off many of the skills that are mentioned on any given job posting, there may still be other transferrable skills that employers expect from you. Once you know what employers are actually looking for, you can easily customize your resumé, cover letter and even your job interviews to let them know that you understand their needs and that you possess the range of skills they expect.

Here are the top 10 skills hiring managers look for in today’s hyper-competitive workplace.

1. Communications expertise
No matter what the job, hiring managers continually seek candidates who possess great writing, speaking and listening skills. The ability to communicate effectively is definitely a most preferred skill and, if you can demonstrate your mastery in that, you definitely have an edge over the competition.

How you can excel:
> Make sure your resumé, cover letter and Linkedin profile communicate your proficiency in communications, with examples and testimonials. Be prepared to talk more on this subject at the interview.

2. Analytical and research skills
The ability to optimally assess a situation, gather relevant information and identify multiple perspectives is crucial to progressing in your career. Every employer is looking to hire candidates who can help him or her solve problems.

How you can excel:
> In the interview rounds, make sure you showcase your ability in coming up with multiple solutions to complex problems.
> Make sure you have some good “real story” snippets ready of how you have analyzed and solved complex problems in the past.

3. Internet, digital and social media mastery
Regardless of your industry or background, just about every job today requires a basic understanding of the internet and, more and more, social media, in addition to your prowess with word processing, spreadsheets, presentation software and email.

How you can excel:
> Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was built every day. Increase your social media proficiency day by day and regularly keep polishing your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles.
> Make sure you optimize the use of keywords and highlight your capability in these areas on your resumé and within your cover letter.

4. Flexibility and adaptability to manage multiple priorities
Your ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions, set priorities and manage multiple work assignments is absolutely critical in almost every field. This skill has become an integral part of corporate life so make sure you articulate it at every opportunity.

How you can excel:
> You should stress that not only are you a successful multi-tasker, but that you also thrive in an environment of change.
> Demonstrate through testimonials that you have the capabilities to effectively prioritize and juggle multiple projects simultaneously.

5. Interpersonal abilities
This relates specifically to your ability to relate to colleagues, clients, customers and others, and how you share ideas, inspire others to participate, manage conflict and more.

How you can excel:
> In your resumé, include information regarding your initiatives, collaboration with co-workers, group participation and facilitating teams in previous work environments.

6. Leadership and management skills
The ability to motivate and lead others is a skill that companies definitely value in the workplace. Every employer desires a goal-driven leader who maintains a productive climate and confidently mobilizes others to meet high performance standards.

How you can excel:
> Share your top leadership and management success stories that demonstrate your ability to take charge and manage co-workers, meet goals and deliver to high standards.

7. Multicultural awareness
The Canadian workplace and society in general are becoming more diverse than ever before. If you can demonstrate your astute understanding of other cultures, you can be truly successful in the long run.

How you can excel:
> Showcase your understanding of workplace diversity and dealing with other cultures.
> Exhibit any multicultural or diversity campaigns that you have been involved in, places where you have volunteered in multicultural settings and your ability to build rapport with people from diverse walks of life.

8. Planning and organization
The ability to plan, organize, set goals and get the work done in a realistic timeframe is a must-have skill for job candidates old and new. It’s critical that you know how to take unorganized information and deliver it in a meaningful and concrete manner.

How you can excel:
> Demonstrate that you are a results-driven achiever with exemplary planning and organizational skills, along with a high degree of detail orientation.
> Share examples of how you determined the best course of action by evaluating all options, resulting in creating intelligent solutions.

9. Problem-solving, reasoning and creativity
The ability to think logically and solve problems creatively will make you a very valuable member of any team. From negotiating with clients to handling customer complaints and more, these skills are a must. Organizations daily face internal and external issues that affect the workplace. And every manager wants to hire people who can help him or her solve these problems.

How you can excel:
> In cover letters and during the interviews use the STAR Formula (Situation, Tactics, Action, Results) to show that you are an innovative problem-solver who can generate workable solutions and resolve complaints.
> Keep a set of case studies ready to exhibit your ability in finding solutions to problems using your creativity and reasoning.

10. Teamwork
Most jobs require people to work effectively in teams, so employers certainly look for previous examples of teamwork in your profile. As a potential employee, you must communicate and demonstrate that you have the ability and experience of working effectively with other people in a professional manner to achieve common targets and goals.

How you can excel:
> Show how you have been a resourceful team player in your previous assignments. Have references and testimonials of people appreciating you for building trusting relationships with customers and colleagues.

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