What do employers look for in potential employees? That was the question that was posted recently on a career discussion forum online. Naturally, for each different position, the particular answers to that question would be different. However, there are some common skills that employers look for in employees, whether the employee happens to be a network engineer or a cook.
In-Demand Skills for Success
1. BASIC SKILLS: Reading, writing and arithmetic. Employers are seeking employees who can read well, can write coherently, and who can calculate mathematics in a business environment (fractions, percentages, etc.) Add to that the modern basic skills of keyboarding skills, basic computer knowledge, and the ability to use most tools (e.g. fax machine, basic word processing program, etc.) to round out the basic skill sets needed for employment success.
2. PERSONAL SKILLS: Can a potential employee speak well? Can he/she answer questions of customers in a positive, informative manner? Can the prospect provide good customer service? While not everyone has an outgoing sales’ personality, successful employees can communicate in a non-confrontational, positive manner with their coworkers, team members, subordinates, management, and customers. Being able to work well with others is a vital skill for success in all jobs.
3. JOB ATTAINMENT: Employers are seeking employees who know how to present themselves in a positive manner and who display enthusiasm and knowledge about the companies they approach. Not only do candidates get evaluated on their skills and experience, but also on how they are approaching the job search. Enthusiastic candidates with fewer skills can have an even chance of getting the job as dull candidates with better skills. Your resume also needs to show that dynamic and position you ahead of candidates to get to your goal faster.
4. JOB SURVIVAL: Now there’s a hot topic in this period of layoffs. Who gets the ax and who doesn’t is often a matter of numbers, but it is also often a matter of performance. Surviving within a company through layoffs or moving up the career ladder is a success skill that is learned and is consciously cultivated among successful professionals.
5. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: As all high tech and engineering pros know‚ it’s learn or burn in today’s work environment. Attaining new skills, applying new concepts, updating established skills is an absolute necessity to succeed in today’s work force. The successful individual is attending seminars, taking classes, attaining training on new products or releases, and otherwise learning new skills that will keep them marketable in their careers. Successful people are lifelong learners. Employers are looking for people who have the training necessary to fulfill their needs.
6. CAREER DEVELOPMENT: Career Development is a planning and goal setting process. Successful individuals design a career plan with written goals for the short term and long term. They lay out the steps needed to move their careers from Point A to Point B within Timeframe C and plan how they are going to achieve those steps. Employers are seeking individuals who (believe it or not) wish to commit to the company for a long period of time. Good career progression is a high selling point of candidates to prospective employers.
How do you measure up? Do you have the 6 In-Demand Skills for Success? If not these skills are learnable to help you drive your career forward.