City : Learning Slopes : What Employers Want

Learning Slopes

What do employers want?


There are some key skills that all employers look for, so it's worthwhile investing time and a bit of money into developing your key skills...

qualification.gif The most important key skills are the 'basic skills' English and Maths at level 1 (i.e. GCSE, NVQ level 1, BTECH level 1...). If you can show your employer that you have these skills,  they are more likely to employ you or even promote you.

qualification.gif Another key skill is IT, which is becoming increasingly important as technology grows!

qualification.gif Also, taking on a course in the sector you want to go in to shows your potential employer that you are dedicated to the job you are applying for, and that you have prepared for it.

Below we have listed the top ten key skills employers look for, and how you can show them...

  • Top 10 Skills Employers are Looking for

    1) English: Your employer will expect you to have a basic level of English and they may even expect a higher level depending on the job you are going for so it's worth while brushing up on these skills.

    2) MathsThe same applies as for English, check out the English and Maths floor for information on what courses are available.

    3) IT Skills: IT (Information Technology) skills are getting more and more important for a lot of jobs so having strong skills in IT could really help you stand out as a job applicant.

    4) Languages: If you can show that you have a global outlook, with language skills and knowledge of other cultures, you will be impressive to any employer who operates in other countries.

    5) Sector Specific: The sector that you are applying for may have specific courses that are either expected of you, or which would give you a head start. Check out some of your options on the Employment Sectors floor of this building.

    6) Team-work: Can you work well in a group and with others? Have you completed tasks and met targets as part of a wider team? Employers want someone who is able to work well with the people already in their office. Think about times you have worked on projects with others or when you played on a sports team and had success and tell your employer about it.

    7) Effective Communication: Being able to express yourself, in person, over the phone and in meetings is really important. You'll find there is some excellent advice on this on the Kent University website.

    8) Organisation: Can you show that you are well organised? That if your boss gives you some document or item you won't lose it? This is all stuff that your future employer wants to know before they hire you.

    9) Time Management: Time Management is important because your boss needs to know that if they give you a job that needs to be done by a certain date, you will get it done!

    10) Problem SolvingEmployers like to be able to see that you can solve problems confidently and independently. Being able to use your initiative and think creatively when a problem needs solving is a very valuable skill.

  • How Do I Show These Skills?

    When applying for a job, you will need to show your skills in two ways: 1) on your CV and 2) in person

    cv.gif On your CV you can show your skills by documenting your education, qualifications, work experience, and hobbies.

    Education and qualifications will be easy to demonstrate with certificates, but skills such as team work, time management, and communication, can be shown by explaining the roles you undertook during work experience or previous jobs.

    For more information about putting your skills on your CV, you can check out the CV Hothouse.

     mentor.gif In person you can show your skills by discussing times when you have used those skills. It's a good idea to use the STAR technique when giving examples of your skills:

    • Situation: What was the background to the situation
    • Task: What was the challenge, what needed to be done?
    • Action: What did you do specifically? Although they may be interested in teamwork skills you need to show how you made a difference.
    • Result: What was the outcome? Even if the overall result was not ideal try and mention the things that did go well. Try, if you can, to be specific e.g. give numbers of how you improved performance or made sales.

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