Important Employability Skills For Workplace Success

two employees utilizing their information technology skills working on fixing a tech issue at a computer
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What are employability skills, and why are they important both to get hired and to succeed in the workplace? Many of the most highly sought-after skills today are soft skills pertaining to your ability to communicate and work with a team or hard skills focused on basic (though newer) technology.

What are Employability Skills?

Employability skills are core skills and traits needed in nearly every job. These are the general skills that make someone desirable to an organization. Hiring managers almost always look for employees with these skills.

Employability skills are sometimes called foundational skills or job-readiness skills.

They are soft skills that allow you to work well with others, apply knowledge to solve problems and fit into any work environment. They also include the professional skills that enable you to be successful in the workplace. These are also seen as transferable skills because you can apply them to a job in any industry.

Types of Employability Skills

Communication

All employers look for job candidates with strong communication skills. These refer to one’s ability to convey information clearly to others. Employers want employees with strong written, verbal, and nonverbal communication skills. Part of being a strong communicator also includes being a good listener; employees need to be able to understand the questions and concerns of their clients and listen to their employer’s directions.

  • Written Communication
  • Oral Communication
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Active Listening
  • Attentive

Teamwork

Teamwork is important in almost any work setting. If an employee works on a number of group projects, he/she needs to be able to get along well with others and carry their share of the workload. Even if an employee does not do a lot of team projects, he/she still needs to be able to get along with other colleagues.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking refers to one’s ability to understand, analyze, and interpret information and draw conclusions. In any job, an employee will have to assess situations and solve problems. Employees need to think logically and make sensible judgments.

Ethics

Ethics is a broad category that refers to an employee’s principles. Companies want employees who understand and follow company rules, are honest and trustworthy, and act professionally and responsibly.

Computer

While most employability skills are soft skills, computer skills are hard skills that are required in all jobs. While some positions in the field of technology (such as software developers or IT specialists) require extensive programming knowledge, most jobs simply require basic experience with computers.

Employers want candidates who can use common programs like Microsoft Office, especially Word and Excel.

All candidates must exhibit a willingness to learn and adapt to new or changing technologies.

More Employability Skills

  • Flexibility
  • Life Skills
  • Motivation
  • Organization
  • Ability to Learn New Skills
  • Administrative Skills
  • Phone Etiquette
  • Customer Service
  • Client Relations
  • Presentation
  • Office Equipment
  • Bookkeeping Software
  • Efficiency
  • Multitasking
  • Time Management
  • Sales
  • Goal Setting
  • Prioritizing
  • Supervision
  • Troubleshooting
  • Information Management
  • Initiative
  • Proactive
  • Focus
  • Enthusiasm
  • Negotiation
  • Memory

How to Make Your Skills Stand Out

Add Skills to Your Resume: The right keywords can let employers know that you have the employability skills they seek, and they can increase the likelihood of your application being noticed when applying electronically.

Highlight Skills in Your Cover Letter: Apply the same care to include employability keywords in your cover letter.

Use Skill Words in Your Job Interview: In your interview, employers expect you to be able to share real-life examples of when you used one or more of the skills listed above.

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