What exactly are employers looking for in a candidate? The answer to that question is that what an employer is looking for is a complex web, but it’s all in how you package yourself. We all wish to learn the secret code to winning over employers and get hired on the spot.
Each position is unique and the employer is equally looking for a unique set of skills from the candidates. Certain skills tend to be somewhat universal to what employers look out for. Technical skills will always be important, but soft skills have become the most sought after employable skills today.
The good news is, most candidates possess these skills. The not so good news is, candidates with weaknesses in these areas have time and resources to improve their skills through professional development, mentorship and/or training. The best news is that, once you get to understand the skills that recruiters seek, you can tailor your job search to bring them out in a smart way. What skills are the most sought after by employers?
Here are the 5 top skills that will get your CV noticed
1. Communication skills
This is cardinal to every position. Expressing yourself clearly, effectively and confidently is very important. How you communicate, verbally, non-verbal and in writing, is a cardinal requirement no matter what job you have or industry you work in. In an organization, you will need to communicate with colleagues, managers, and customers and these can be in person, in writing or on the phone.
“Work on your communication skills, put emphasis on your word articulation, be a good listener and use the appropriate body language. Showcase your communication skills by communicating clearly and confidently”, advises Cynthia Wangeci, Recruitment manager at Corporate Staffing Services.
2. Team work skills
Every employer wants an employee who will contribute towards the organizational goals in a team. A team player is someone who is cooperative, acknowledges others and is committed to whatever they do or are entitled to do.
So many jobs at different workplaces involve working in one or more groups; no employer will want to hire a difficult person who will jeopardize the efforts of others. “During the interview, share examples of how you worked well in a team and what the successes were”, adds Ms. Wangeci.
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3. Leadership skills
When recruiting, employers are seeking candidates with extra skills they can tap into. Leadership skills are key in every candidate. What are your abilities to take charge and manage tasks, projects or even colleagues? How do you self-assess if you possess leadership skills? Do you motivate people to go an extra mile? Do you delegate tasks or take them all by yourself? Are you trustworthy and possess a positive attitude that makes you approachable?
If it’s yes to those questions, you are on the right track to becoming a leader. If the answer was no, don’t worry, these are things you can work on with a mentor. “A leader should always be confident, this will ensure your colleagues, juniors and clients will believe in you”, advises Ms. Wangeci.
Every employer wants to hire a dependable person. A dependable person is one who can be trusted and relied upon by colleagues. Dependable employees will be sure to show up on time, stick to deadlines and complete tasks assigned to them.
Dependable employees can be trusted to contribute to an organization’s commitment to excellence and success. Dependable people can easily adapt to new ideas and concepts and they can be relied on to work independently or as part of a team and carry out multiple tasks.
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5. Interpersonal skills
People skills are what you invoke when you have to interact and engage with people on a daily basis. How well do you interact with people? Are you the type that just needs 5 minutes to connect or are you the type that never puts in any effort to interact with people? If the latter is you, you need to change.
Have an approachable personality that will make it easy for you to interact with your colleagues, managers, and customers. “Your interpersonal skills will always be evaluated during an interview. Prepare and be as comfortable and confident as possible and showcase your interpersonal skills”, concludes Ms.Wangeci.
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When submitting your CV, tailor it to the position you are applying for. Reference the skills the position is seeking when writing your CV and cover letter, and apply the same during the interview process. Once you have reviewed the job advert required skills, assess the degree to which you possess them and tailor them into your CV, Cover Letter, and your interview answers, for a successful job search.
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The writer is a Communications Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading Recruitment firm that offers CV Writing, Job Placement & Career Advice. Email: Elizabeth@corporatestaffing.co.ke