As industries evolve, the skills employees need to succeed will also change. But there are some traits that employers continually look for in their staff – here are 10 skills employers look for now and will be looking for in 2022 and beyond, and how applicants can display them when applying for jobs.
1. Decision Making Skills
Decision-making skills are a top priority for businesses in a host of different industries, and being able to show potential employers that you’re capable of assessing information efficiently to reach a decision is crucial. It shows organizations that you’re willing to take calculated risks.
A great way of demonstrating this when you’re applying for a role is to highlight examples of how you’ve made decisions in past roles or during your education and the positive impact those decisions had.
2. The Ability to Work Under Pressure
Workplaces can be stressful, from tight deadlines and multiple projects on the go at once to dealing with customers. So, it’s understandable that companies will be seeking people who can work well under pressure – you need to demonstrate that you can stay calm and are prepared for all eventualities. The likes of first aid training is a valuable skill that shows a host of useful soft skills, including the ability to work effectively under pressure.
3. Project Management Skills
Tasks rarely live independently – they’re often part of a bigger project, so being able to manage projects from conception to completion is crucial.
With more businesses going remote, employers need to have confidence that their staff can project manage their time and schedules efficiently. Applicants should make themselves proficient with one or two project management tools, such as Asana or Jira, to stand out among the competition.
4. Teamwork & Collaboration Skills
Teamwork is a core skill that everyone in a business needs to have, from entry-level staff right up to senior employees. It shows that you’re able to work well with your colleagues to work towards collective goals.
When you’re interviewing for a position, stay away from ‘I’ language and instead, focus on the results by explaining examples where you’ve worked with others to bring a project to fruition.
5. Digital Skills
You don’t need to be applying for a social media position in order for this skill to be beneficial. And with digital media running the show, and showing no signs of stopping, you need to have strong digital skills if you want to compete in the job market.
Stay up to date with the latest social media channels and the basics of SEO, as the likelihood is that companies will value these skills going forward.
Related Read: How to Put Skills on a Resume
6. Communication Skills
Effective communication skills are vital in any job, and those in the early stages of applying for jobs need to be able to show their competence in this area. The good news is that this is something you can demonstrate from the initial application stage right through to accepting a position, from the way you correspond via email with the recruiter to actively listening and providing thoughtful answers in an interview, and staying fully engaged throughout.
7. Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is a soft-skill that often gets overlooked, but going forward, it’s something employers will be looking for. The pandemic has forced workplace environments to adapt and this requires what companies have termed emotional intelligence – ultimately this means the ability to handle inconveniences or deal with problems appropriately.
You can display emotional intelligence by being mindful of the language you use, being service-orientated and having self-awareness of your own emotions and tone of voice.
Innovation is important for more than just science-based roles. In fact, businesses now realise that in order to scale-up and expand, innovation needs to bring all departments and teams together.
Think about a school or college project you’ve worked on to showcase your innovation, or perhaps you have an idea for the company you’re applying for that you could share to demonstrate your creative thinking skills.
Not every candidate is honest and trustworthy, but it stands to reason that employers want their staff to be dependable. Businesses need candidates that can follow procedures properly, retain confidential information and uphold the standards of the business at all times.
Are there examples you can think of where you showcased integrity that you can explain to a potential employer, such as being responsible for handling cash for a business or locking up the company premises?
10. Leadership Skills
Many applicants may believe that leadership skills are only relevant to senior-level staff, but this isn’t true. And employers will be looking for examples of leadership now and in the future. A team of people that can motivate and inspire one another, and who can mentor each other to transfer skills, is a team that is of great benefit to businesses in any industry.
Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time leading yourself-your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers.Dee Hock, founder and former CEO of Visa
You can develop leadership skills by taking on a project and managing it from start to finish, or there are courses where you can learn leadership and management skills which you can transfer to other jobs.
Employers will primarily focus on soft skills going forward – the pandemic has taught us the importance of empathy, communication and adaptability, among other skills. These skills are worth practicing and highlighting in job applications to help graduates and entry-level applicants stand out from their competitors.