What Skills are Employers Looking For?

The jobs market is more competitive than ever. When you’re applying for a role, you’ll likely be in direct competition with several other people with similar experience or qualifications to yourself.

This is why it’s more important than ever to stand out from the crowd with your job application. A great way of doing this is by highlighting key skills on your CV that employers look for.

Whether you’re demonstrating professional skills, problem-solving skills or ‘soft’ transferable skills, filling out this section of the CV is ideal for building a strong application that is bespoke to both you and the role that you’re applying for.

Below we explore some of the key skills that you might add to your CV, especially the skills that employers are looking for.

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are the technical competencies that you need in a potential role. They’re comprised of training or qualifications that lead to deeper knowledge around processes, concepts or software specific to your field. 

For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you’ll have hard skills around design software, design concepts and specific skills such as illustration or logo design.

Since hard skills are required for a role, they’re often prioritised in a job description and directly asked about in job interviews or similar situations. 

If you’re in a field focused on hard skills, you’ll want to ensure that they’re listed in your job application as much as possible. This is why we suggest writing a CV in a way that highlights these skills and provides context on why they’re useful.

This is a major part of the skills that employers will be looking for and generally what the job requires.

Take a Look at Our Available Jobs

Ready to find a new job? Take a look at the vacancies that we have available across the Channel Islands.

What are soft skills?

Outside of technical skills, you also have ‘soft skills’. These are transferable skills that represent your ability to work across various careers. 

Soft skills may include time management, leadership skills, active listening or interpersonal skills – all of which impact your ability to work across a broader range of sectors. 

While they’re not often prioritised, employers seek candidates with these skills because they demonstrate a much more well-rounded skill set. 

A broad range of soft skills also demonstrates a candidate’s ability to work in different work environments and act as a team player. 

In a climate that focuses increasingly on ‘team culture’, being able to adapt in this way is incredibly desirable to employers. 

What skills are employers looking for?

Based on our understanding of the employment market, as well as the roles that our candidates are often going for, we’ve built a broad understanding of the different skills that employers are looking for. Below you’ll find a round-up of these skills and why they’re beneficial for employers: 

Organisation skills

Organisation skills are ideal for candidates across a range of different markets, experience levels and ages.

Organisation skills can take several different forms – from personal time management to project leadership and account management – which is why they’re so attractive to employers. They show that a candidate has a certain work ethic and capability to handle multiple tasks or even stressful situations.

If you can demonstrate organisation skills, you open yourself up to a multitude of different opportunities throughout your career, most important being managerial positions. 

Communication skills

In a culture that is increasingly focused on work environment and a candidate’s ability to adapt to different teams, communication skills are vital.

When we talk about communication skills, we’re not just considering verbal communication. 

Everything from the way you structure an email, to your body language in meetings, signifies your communication skills.

If you’re highlighting your communication skills in a CV, you may want to focus on email writing, verbal communication, non-verbal communication, your ability to provide feedback and even receive criticism. 

All of this feeds into your wider ‘communication’ skill set and essentially dictates how you operate around team members, managerial staff and even customers. 

Even in professional services that might not seem customer-facing, it can’t be dismissed how communication skills are essential for succeeding. They help you interact with senior stakeholders, contribute to meetings and even present reporting or findings. 

Get In Touch With Us Today!

Looking for a new job? Want to find your next top employee? Let us help you get started.

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills are difficult to quantify but dictate your overall work experience throughout your career. 

If a candidate can solve problems independently via innovative solutions, they make themselves much more attractive in the wider market.

When you’re highlighting your problem-solving skills to an employer, you’ll want to use statistics and past examples of work to make your case. 

The important thing here is to demonstrate your thought process and how you approach a situation by thinking outside of the box. If it led to further success, even better! 

Leadership skills

Having fundamental leadership skills is highly desired by employers, even if you as an individual aren’t applying for a management or executive role.

Great leadership skills help you establish yourself as a key member of the team and a focal point of knowledge for other employees, which is incredibly useful – especially for larger teams.

These leadership skills may also help you take charge during group projects, maintain momentum and keep morale high.

When you’re demonstrating leadership skills, always provide context using real-world experiences rather than simply suggesting you’re a great leader.

Accountability skills

One of the less common skills mentioned is accountability and the ability to work as part of a team in an emotionally intelligent way.

Employers always value the ability to be accountable for your actions – whether good or bad. If you’re constantly passing the blame or causing disruptions during large-scale projects, you’ll struggle.

From a personal development perspective, being accountable also means improving your ability to learn from your mistakes and avoid making them in the future.

Creativity skills

While some industries value creativity more than others, there’s no doubt that creativity skills are beneficial and highly sought-after by employers. 

Many ways of being creative don’t just involve writing or the arts. A data analyst, for example, may utilise creative skills to drive progression across multiple processes or improve efficiency.

The most important element of ‘creativity skills’ is the ability to think outside of the box and consider different angles for approaching your work.

How should you demonstrate your skills on your CV?

In terms of formatting, there’s a broad range of ways to demonstrate your skills on a CV. This is usually done by introducing a stand-alone skills section that breaks down your most prominent skills in a concise and easy-to-understand way. 

That said, others tend to showcase their skills throughout the entire document. When you’re highlighting your work experience, for example, you may add examples where you utilised key skills and the impact they had on your work. 

In terms of implementing your skills on a CV, you should always do the following: 

Highlight relevant skills: Always tailor the CV to the job you’re applying for if possible. You’ll want to read through the job description, understand what they’re looking for and then change your CV accordingly. The most important point to consider here? Pick the right skills. While you might value your organisational skills, if the employer wants to see examples of leadership then you’ll be much better off showcasing these instead.

Provide a cover letter: If you’re struggling for space on your CV, don’t forget about your cover letter. This is a great way of showcasing additional skills and can help create a much more tailored application overall. If you want to know how to write a cover letter, you can read through our article.

Take a Look at Our Available Jobs

Ready to find a new job? Take a look at the vacancies that we have available across the Channel Islands.