13 Skills and Values Employers Seek in Jobseekers
Every job seeker wants to know the secret formula for getting the job. What are those skills that’ll get you noticed?
The answer often lies in the soft skills and values you can present because the hard, concrete skills are easier to possess – most candidates for a specific job title will have the education and the technical ability to perform in the role.
Therefore, to separate yourself from the other candidates, you need to possess and showcase those soft skills and value.
The below list of 13 outlines the skills and values you need to highlight in your resume and during the job interview – there will be tips for doing just that as well.
Professionalism is right there at the top when it comes to skills employers value. But what does professionalism mean?
It’s a rather fancy word but in short, when employers are looking for a professional, they are looking for someone who is:
- Responsible and fair – you understand your responsibilities and you treat people fairly; you’re a team Player.
- A person with strong work ethic – you put work high up on your list and you take things like timelines and rules seriously; you aren’t afraid to work hard to achieve goals.
- Good with situational awareness – you can adapt to different situations and you understand what is happening around you; you can manage different situations in style and without causing problems.
How to show professionalism when seeking a job?
Professionalism is shown in the little things and in the seriousness you show when applying for a job. Things like professional-looking cover letter and resume are a big deal when it comes to professionalism.
You want to make your application polished and ensure your communication with the employer is positive and shows a strong attention to detail.
Learn to craft a professional application and to teach yourself the secret of professional e-mails and phone conversations.
Positivity is the key to surviving the world of employment. Not only does it help you during the tough application process, but employers also appreciate candidates who are positive and willing to keep going.
Employers want employees to have a positive attitude at work and to avoid complaining about things – positive employees will ensure the work environment is positive and productive.
It’s not surprising this skills is at the top of the list – smiley and good-humored people are appreciated everywhere in society.
How to show positive attitude when seeking a job?
It’s possible to show your positive attitude throughout the application process. You want to focus on your attitude by showing up on time for interviews and keeping a smile on your face when talking with people.
Don’t wallow in disappointments but show your willingness to learn from mistakes and to use the process to gain experience.
Another essential skill for jobseekers is good communication skills. The Wall Street Journal found by analyzing LinkedIn profiles that almost 58% of employees who mentioned stellar communication skills in their profiles were hired over the course of the year. The employer looks for employees who:
- Are able to communicate and present their points of view clearly.
- Are able to listen to other people.
- Are able to take and give feedback in a constructive and respectful way.
Good communication skills are needed in a wide variety of industries. You’ll need to be able to work with your team members, suppliers and clients and customers to a varying degree – it’s crucial to know how to talk, listen and discuss things without causing problems.
How to show communication skills when seeking a job?
You want your job application to be written in professional and concise language. It’s also important to mention your experience in communicating – perhaps you have worked in customer service or you’ve gotten recognition regarding your communication within a team.
You can also positively highlight your communication skills during the job interview. Be respectful of your interviewer and make sure to take time to listen to their questions.
Be polite throughout and focus on talking clearly – sometimes it’s a good idea to pause and gather your thoughts before speaking out.
The workplace is constantly changing due to innovation and technological advancement – employees who can show adaptability will do superbly.
Employers want someone who is flexible to these changes in the workplace – they don’t want to have to hold their employees’ hands continuously. If you can be flexible in things you do and adapt to things around you, the employers will appreciate you.
What’s important is the ability to think quickly and to stay calm under pressure. Change is not easy to handle but if you show resilience in the face of it then you can succeed.
It’s not just about being able to adapt to the changing workplace, it’s also about getting along with people with different backgrounds.
Teams are diverse in the modern world – employees must be flexible enough to get together with people that might not be similar to themselves.
How to show adaptability when seeking a job?
In your resume it’s a good idea to focus on transferable skills and present examples of situations where you had to adapt – for example, taking charge of a new team, stepping up to solve a tricky situation and so on.
You essentially want to highlight your experience and ability to adapt to new situations whether it is moving town or being part of a diverse working environment.
You also want to show your openness to new ideas. Perhaps talk about situations where you tried something completely new or stepped out of your comfort zone – for example, trying sales even though you’d been working in the presentation team at work previously.
Find examples like this and mention them in your resume or during the interview.
The ability to solve problems is crucial for job seeking success. The workplace has many challenges and employers want to find employees who have the resilience and the capability to solve those.
Problem-solving skills is about tackling challenges intuitively and quickly. It’s about the ability to think for yourself and to have the ability to think outside the box for the solutions. But it’s also about the resilience to stick to working on a problem until it’s done – even if you don’t first find the solutions, you should keep moving forward.
How to show problem-solving capabilities when seeking a job?
It’s crucial to use your resume for showcasing situations where you’ve solved problems (big problems!) and come out as a winner.
You want to mention problems like a change in the deadlines, missing equipment, problems in understanding/communication and so on. Be meticulous when explaining these situations – focus on outlining the problem, talking about your approach to solving it and highlighting a positive result.
You can also emphasise your problem-solving abilities during the job interview. Be a quick thinker – don’t say you’re not sure or you can’t answer.
Put your problem-solving abilities to show by walking the interviewer through your thinking process – don’t be afraid of showing how you need to analyze the questions, take your time to come up with an answer and then present it.
This will tell the employer that you know how to deal with the unusual and the unexpected.
There have been enough corporate scandals to fill the pages of newspapers. It’s not a big wonder then to notice that employers are after honest employees to help them keep away from the headlines.
For the employers, finding someone with integrity and honesty is super important and being able to highlight your honesty can get you a lot of points. The workplace is a team and each person must have the honesty and integrity to work for the team.
More specifically, employers want an employee who is able to live up to their own values and ideals – there is nothing wrong with showing what you live by in the world, especially if they align with the company’s values.
The employer wants someone who understands the company vision and the common objectives and feels a certain pride in working towards them.
How to show honesty when seeking a job?
The easiest and most effective way to showcase your honesty to the employer is quite simply by not lying. There are still people who think that a few untruths in the resume or during the interview won’t hurt but that’s not true. You need to be honest throughout the process and trust in your actual talent to do the job.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t be afraid of talking about your values. It doesn’t have to be just about your skills but also mention things that are close to your heart. Explaining your work ethic and values is beneficial, especially when they align closely with the employer.
Employers are always looking for those who can also lead, not just perform. All top companies have plenty of leaders inside – to succeed you often have to lead. The employees who can lead others and boost the performance of not just their own but that of others are super valuable in the job market.
If you’re a charismatic person who is able to show enthusiasm that leads to others performing at their best then you are going to be an employer’s dream candidate.
You want to inspire people to do their best and to work towards the common goals.
Employers don’t want to be telling you what to do at all times – if you can take the initiative and get others to follow you, you are a true leader.
How to show leadership when seeking a job?
You should mention leadership positions in your resume and during your interview as much as possible. Talk about any leadership experience you have even if you’ve not officially been in a managerial position.
So, think about times you took charge or helped other people achieve their best – it could be sorting a problematic customer problem, tutoring at school or so on.
The modern workplace is also hectic and employers need their employees to stick to a schedule, managing the busy schedule they might have.
You’ll be appreciated more if you can showcase good time management skills. This quite simply means employers will like it if you are:
- Punctual – arriving on time to work and to meetings.
- Able to stick to the schedule – you can keep up with your schedule and produce work according to the timelines set for you.
- Good at scheduling – you can create your own realistic schedule and timelines.
How to show time management skills when seeking a job?
You can talk about your ability to stick to the schedule on your resume by stating any achievements you might have. When talking about a big project, a part of your discussion could be on how you stuck to the schedule, for example.
Of course, you should also make sure you stick to any deadlines during the application process. If you’re supposed to send a form or make a call within a specific timeline, then you must do so. Also, don’t show up late for a job interview!
The importance of teamwork is often talked about but your ability to work alone is also important to an employer. The ability to self-motivate is crucial because it tells the employer they don’t have to micromanage your every move.
Self-motivation manifests in two major ways. First, it has the part of being able to stay busy and occupied with the job without constant management. It’s about knowing what to do and when to do it. But it’s also about your passion.
Employers love employees that love the work they do and who are passionate about succeeding in their roles. Self-motivated employees are those who love to learn and develop their skills further.
How to show self-motivation when seeking a job?
You can highlight the above qualities by doing your research and showing you know the industry and the company inside out. You want to put this passion towards the role and the company on paper – show in your resume that you know the skills the company is looking for and the values the company has.
It’s crucial to go beyond just the job posting and the things the employer mentions there. Conduct research on the business culture and check what big projects the business is working on or has worked in the past.
The ability to talk about these big industry things in the interview is helpful and shows you’re passionate about the sector.
Employers are not looking for robots – those who simply do things the same way over and over. The workplace is changing, as mentioned before, and this means you need to be willing to move with it.
But it’s always best to not just change but be curious about the change. If you’re interested and willing to learn, it means you’ll perform better at work as well and therefore, bring more value to the employer.
There are three key characteristics of this valuable skill. You must be:
- Curious about the world – you don’t have just narrow interest in a single issue but you’re interested in a range of things around you.
- Interested in the industry – you have a strong willingness to learn more and you’re always looking for new things within the industry.
- A person with an open and creative mind – you use this curiosity and information to think outside the box and find new ways of doing things.
How to show curiosity when seeking a job?
Your resume should highlight your passion for knowledge by listing things you’ve done to learn more about the industry. Things like attending workshops, seminars and industry events are important, as are examples of your studies – especially those that you’ve done on your own time.
When you’re in the interview, you don’t want to just sit there and answer questions. Ask about the company and the company’s view of the industry.
For example, say how you’ve noticed certain trends changing the industry and be curious about the ways the company is preparing to manage them.
In today’s digital world, computer skills are definitely sought-after no matter your industry. While the other skills on the list focus on the soft-skills employers seek universally, computer literacy is a hard-skill everyone respects.
You don’t need to be able to write code but there is an expectation of basic computer skills whether you want to work in fashion, media or finance. This means having a basic understanding of:
- The core computer programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint
- How web design and development work in general
- What social media is about and how to use it
Furthermore, employers like employees to be able to pick things up quickly. While you don’t need to know how each industry software options work, you must be able to and willing to learn them quickly.
How to show computer literacy when seeking a job?
You definitely want to include even the most basic computer knowledge you have on your resume.
Include anything related to the above points and knowledge of industry-specific software. It’s a good idea to show your willingness to learn; perhaps by taking extra courses in IT.
The competition to retain talent is high. For this reason, employers have begun appreciating loyalty. Employers appreciate employees who aren’t hopping from one company to another – they want to hire someone who would like to build a career with their company.
The key for employers is to find people who will stay professional and commitment even if things are not always going smoothly. They don’t want to be in a situation where they have to constantly worry and fight for keeping employees put.
It’s not to say they don’t understand they need to stay competitive and focus on employee happiness, but they just don’t want the employees to have unrealistic expectations and show a lack of loyalty.
How to show loyalty when seeking a job?
You can highlight your loyalty and professionalism by showing you won’t change jobs for no reason. It’s OK to move on if it’s for career progression. But you don’t want to show how you’ve changed jobs every time due to not getting along with your team.
You should also avoid talking ill of your colleagues and previous employers. Even if you didn’t like your ex-boss, you definitely don’t want to talk negatively.
Give diplomatic answers when it comes to leaving your previous roles or having to explain your worst management experience.
Focus on concepts and non-personal issues and talk about your own ambitions in a way that shows you’re not using the job just as a springboard for other roles elsewhere.
Employers want their employees to have a healthy dose of self-confidence. It boils down to this: if you don’t believe in your abilities and talent, then why should they?
It’s important to show trust in your own skills because if you doubt your ability to handle certain tasks, the employer will doubt too. You must understand your value because it will help the employer see it as well.
When you apply for a job and once you get a job, you need to feel that you’re the best person to do it.
How to show confidence when seeking a job?
Your resume must be a reflection of your talent and you need to stand by it 100%. You want to focus on your skills and experience, presenting the ones that fit the role you’re applying for but also those that you have the most confidence.
If you’re lacking in confidence, make sure you have great references to talk positively about you and ask for friends, family and colleagues to advice you on your best qualities – just trust your talent and take pride in career achievements you’ve had; no matter how small those might seem like.
THE SKILLS AND VALUES THAT’LL GET YOU THE JOB
The above list highlights the skills and values modern employers are looking for. It shows that it takes a lot to become a valuable employee but it’s possible to present you as a strong candidate with smart little mentions in your resume.
Don’t just mention them but also focus on presenting these skills when at the job interview. Since these are values and soft skills, you can often trust in the saying “actions speak louder than words” – so show in action how you possess these 13 characteristics.
McKinsey & Co, the Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Co, also known as the MBB in short or the “Big …