What skills are employers really looking for?

We all know that one person. Always late, sometimes forgets to show up altogether, but absolutely brilliant at their job when they finally arrive. While they produce the goods, these days employers are looking more towards their peers who have better ‘employability’ skills.

Employability skills basically refer to grown-up traits like arriving on time, packing a fantastic attitude along with your lunch, and being able to make normal decisions without too much of a fuss.

Read on to find out what other skills employers are really looking for.

Don’t be late, and bring your A-game

It sounds so  simple, but to an employer, punctuality and a positive attitude will make a world of difference to their day, and to the viability of their business.

Having reliable employees means that rather than chasing up missing workers and micromanaging them when they arrive, they can focus on running, and growing, their business.

It means they can confidently leave decision-making to their staff, and rely on them to manage their own working day. They know their customers and clients are always being dealt with in a professional, courteous manner by an employee with a great attitude.

The skills required here, besides just being a responsible adult, include:

Self-management. It’s as simple as setting the alarm clock on time, reaching work at the required hour and then managing your own tasks throughout the day.

Great communication skills. This applies not only to customer interaction, but also any communication with your boss and colleagues.

The best attitude. It can make a huge difference to everyone’s day, and any employer will be thrilled to hire someone positive.

Solve it, and always learn from it

If you are one of life’s great problem-solvers, or even just good at making a decision and sticking to it, then there are plenty of employers who want you. The skills that make a great problem solver are:

  • creative, innovative and flexible thinking, even for the most minor of challenges.

  • an unfaltering willingness to learn. That means accepting constructive criticism and taking on board what you should do next time.

When the going gets tough, get tougher

Resilience is an incredibly valuable skill to any employer. Sometimes life throws up challenges, and if you can show resilience in the face of these, then you can be sure you’ll impress your employer.

Resilience doesn’t mean toughing it out alone. It can mean:

  • knowing when to ask for help, and who to ask

  • strong decision-making skills

  • being flexible, adaptable and able to change your approach quickly to meet the challenge

  • showing persistence to see the job through to completion

  • teamwork. Employees who get on and respect each other will have a much greater chance of overcoming challenges together.

Let employers know how employable you really are

Ensuring that a prospective employer knows you’ve got the full range of employability skills means they have to know you’re out there first. How?

List all your skills on your Trade Me Job Profile so employers and recruiters can match you to your dream job.

Once you’ve created your profile, go back regularly to update your skills. If you’re already employed elsewhere, you can back those skills up with evidence, such as overcoming a challenge or receiving a promotion.

Check out how to showcase your employability skills for more info about putting them into practice.