12 Job Skills to Look for in Future Employees
A lot of articles have been written about the job skills of potential leaders, but in this article, we cover a list of basic job skills which every employee should have. While some of you might consider the job skills that are listed out here as very basic, the reason for revisiting or restating these skills is recruiters are consistently highlighting that most of the candidates do not possess these skills.
- Communication (written and verbal) – When we say communication, you need to understand that nobody expects you to be a public speaker or showcase the skills of a proficient author. What you do need to possess, is basic grammar that demonstrates your skill in simple sentence construction without errors. It is a real turn off for recruiters when scanning through resumes with grammatical and language errors. Hence, you must practice the habit of referring to the Associated Press (AP) style guide from time to time so that you do not lose touch with the basic written and verbal communication skills.
- Digital Skills– Despite digitalisation kicking in, we still have candidates who do not possess the basic knowledge of working effortlessly on computers. Organisations these days compulsorily need you to be computer and online savvy so that you can take up any online based training programs as and when required. Also, you must have a sound knowledge of the MS Office suite comprising of the hands-on knowledge of the latest version of Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. These are must have skills. So, you should polish your skills on the latest versions and be aware of the functions and functionalities of each so that you can put them to use as part of your day to day job requirement.
- Multitasking- There’s high chance your people will be simultaneously involved in some projects or tasks. The ability to juggle these with finesse and efficiency is a high-value skill. Effective multi-tasking is about completely the tasks efficiently and accurately, with a minimum of stress.
- Integrity- Integrity is all about being true and honest to oneself and others. It demonstrates an employee’s strengths and weaknesses, with fear of mistakes or accepts responsibility for doing so. This is usually paired with a high degree of loyalty. What that means in the real world is you have an employee with strong integrity that can be trusted to show respect and take responsibility.
- Customer Service– The majority of job openings these days belong to the service industries. So, it is imperative that you understand the value of customers and live by the thumb rule that the “Customer is the King”! You must possess the basic customer service skills such as greeting customers, maintain a cordial and effective flow of communication, respond timely to queries of customers, remember and pronounce and writing their names correctly, and try to keep your customers happy.
- Empathy– Most of you probably know the difference between empathy and sympathy. While empathy is putting you in the shoes of another, sympathy is feeling compassionate for others. However, empathy can be quite difficult to learn and even more difficult to project towards others in the workplace. But you need to know that the quality of empathy is a must have which recruiters look for to gauge if you are an ideal candidate to handle customer service, teamwork, and effective communication.
- Learning Agility– When it is said that learning is a lifelong process, it is not just a philosophy, but indeed it is a workplace reality these days. In today’s competitive environment, you need to continuously upgrade yourself by learning new skills. It is important that candidates need to be open to imbibing new learning experiences and they should also be prepared to articulate their learning style to management.
- Math– Well, do not get alarmed hearing the term “math”. You are not expected to showcase your skills in algebra or trigonometry. However, you need to at least know basic arithmetic and accounting skills to maintain the cash register well if your job requires you to do so.
- Organisation– While we all do practice some organisation and multi-tasking in our lives, it is important to carry these skills to the workplace as well, as this where you need them the most. You should be good at planning and scheduling because forgetting stuff all the time at work isn’t an option that you would have.
- Problem Solving– You need to possess the innate ability to solve your problems at the workplace. You cannot expect other people to solve all your problems. You should have the ability to think critically, possess logical reasoning abilities, and the knack of problem-solving on your own when faced with a situation at the workplace.
- Research and Information Gathering– This is a linked skill. In other words, this skill ties to all the other skills discussed so far. You need to be proactive enough in today’s working environment so that you can figure out certain things on your own by carrying out the necessary research. Be it searching various computer forums to troubleshoot a problem or the means to calm down an irate customer; you need to carry out your research to some extent at the workplace.
- Teamwork– You need to be a team player at all times in an organisation. Working in isolation without coordinating with your team is not an option. You must be able to work and gel with all kinds of individuals in such a manner that your work is not getting impacted. You need to be able to effectively communicate with everyone around and be empathetic towards others as well. Learn from your peers. Even virtual employees are not exempted from possessing this basic requirement of being a team player.
Now, while we have tried to cover a job skills list above, it is important that you gain some expertise in practising them if you wish to progress in your career path. Try rating yourself on a scale of 1-10 in each of these skills. If you have rated yourself in any of these skills at 5, it is an indication that you need to focus on this area. You may develop your job skills by reading good books, online articles, magazines, and blogs. Similarly, you may develop your listening abilities by attending conferences, webinars, and listen to podcasts. As time passes by, obviously this list will change, since workplace is evolving and changing all the time. For now though, these skills hold true, so keep polishing and honing these job skills!