City : Learning Slopes : What Employers Want
What do employers want?
There are some key skills that all employers look for, so it's worthwhile investing time and a sometimes bit of money into developing your key skills...
The most important key skills are the 'basic skills' English and Maths at level 1 (i.e. GCSE, NVQ level 1, BTECH level 1...). Most employers look for level 1 English and Maths, as they're essential skills for a variety of jobs.
Another key skill is IT, which is becoming increasingly important as technology grows!
More specific courses in the sector you want to go in to can show potential employers that you are dedicated to your career, 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) Maths: The 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. It also shows you have good learning skills!
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 Sector Specifc Qualifications floor.
6) Team-work: Employers want someone who is able to work well with the rest of the team. Think about times you have worked on projects with others or even a time you had success playing a team sports.
7) Effective Communication: Being able to express yourself and share your ideas in person, over the phone, and in meetings is important. If the idea of talking infront of others seems slighlty terrifying - don't panic, it's a learning curve you'll get used to. You can always contact the National Careers Service for some help boosting your communcation confidence!
8) Organisation: This can range from organising documents, to prioritising tasks for the day, to making sure you have all you need for meetings. You'll likely have used these skills in daily life, school, or college and they're great skills to show off!
9) Time Management: Time Management skills assure your employer that if they give you a task with a deadline, you will get it done before it's too late! They'll also want to know you can get to work on time and plan your day to fit tasks in!
10) Problem Solving: Employers 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:
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 giving real examples, whether it's from school, work, or daily life.
For more information about putting your skills on your CV, you can check out the CV Hothouse.
In person you can show your skills by discussing times when you have used them. 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.