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What work skills do all employers look for in candidates? Here are eight that apply to any job role that you might be interested in.

  1. Self-management skills – these include the ability to take responsibility for what you do, being able to prioritise your workload and organise your time to make yourself efficient and the ability to reflect on your own work and capabilities so that you improve.
  2. Teamwork – nobody works in a vacuum so being able to get along with other people, to cooperate and respecting other people is important in the workplace. It’s not just about doing ‘your bit’ of a job; it’s also about how you make it possible for others to do their bit too. Often other people rely on you completing a task before they can do theirs.
  3. Problem solving skills – being proactive about finding solutions to problems that arise is something that an employer will admire in you.
  4. Digital / computing skills – basic IT skills are needed in just about every job role and often job adverts will specifically ask for MS Office skills. Some jobs will also require you to be able to get to grips with specific software quickly even if you haven’t used them before
  5. Communication – written literacy skills are important, as are listening and speaking skills and more and more you need to have an understanding of how to communicate via digital methods such as e mail, through websites and over social media.
  6. Maths – basic maths skills are needed for some of the simplest tasks. Unless your job is something at heavily relies on complex mathematic equations and calculations then a good overall understanding of arithmetic will be enough to see you through.
  7. Business and customer awareness – all businesses have clients or customers of some kind, so, a good understanding of customer needs and how to keep them happy is relevant to all job roles. It’s also a good idea to have an understanding of the commercial aspect of a business, even if this is only being able to consider cost implications of what you do in the workplace so that you do not cost the company unnecessary money.
  8. A can do attitude – finally, having a positive, can-do attitude will get you a long way. Nobody likes an employee who assumes that something isn’t going to work or who brings everybody down.

When you are preparing for an interview, try to remember that all employers are going to be looking for someone who has these skills. Try to think of examples of things that you have done or situations that you have been in where you have evidenced these skills. This doesn’t have to be an example from the workplace, so don’t worry if you have not had a job yet. It could be an example of a school project that you have been involved in or even an event that you have organised outside of school.