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Top 10 Job Skills Employers Value

MVNU-Blog-Top-10-Job-Skills-Employers-ValueKnowing what to include on your resume or what skills you might want to develop or sharpen can leave many adult learners and professionals at a loss. The specific skills that matter most vary depending on a person’s career goals, but there are some skills nearly all employers value. Let’s look at some of the top skills employers are looking for in 2022 and beyond.

The Importance of Transferable Skills

Some of the most valuable work skills are transferable skills. These are flexible skills that are useful in various careers and roles. Whereas some skills are specific to certain roles, transferable skills can remain relevant even in a new position.

These are crucial skills to highlight in your resume because they are relevant to employers outside of your organization. If you want to make a job change, list prior employment skills and consider how they relate to your chosen job. Chances are, many of the skills you’ve cultivated will transfer to a new context.

Understanding the Difference Between Hard Skills and Soft Skills

Another way to classify work skills is by determining whether they are technical skills (i.e., hard skills) or general skills (i.e., soft skills).

Hard skills are often specific to a certain role, though some are transferable. An example of a transferable hard skill is proficiency in using popular software. On the other hand, familiarity with a proprietary program only your company uses would be considered a non-transferable hard skill.

Soft skills are typically very transferable. This includes interpersonal abilities, work habits, attitudes, and other skills that make you a better employee or leader. You may even think of soft skills more as qualities or character traits. However, anyone can cultivate these skills, even if they don’t come naturally.

Professionals often make their hard skills front and center on their resumes, but 97 percent of employers say soft skills are as important or more important than hard skills! Much of your employability comes down to the general skills critical for success in any role.

The Top Skills Employers Look For

So what are 10 skills employers look for? Employers look for both hard and soft transferable skills that will set an employee up for success. Although it’s difficult to narrow these skills down, we’ve identified 10 critical job skills that employers today want to see.

1. Teamwork

Effective collaboration has become a critical skill in today’s workplace. In a survey of employers by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the ability to “work effectively in teams” was considered more important than any other skill.

In the era of remote and hybrid work environments, it’s especially helpful if you have experience collaborating with others virtually. You should also highlight if you have experience working with people of varied backgrounds, communication styles, or other differences.

2. Critical Thinking

Another skill that was a focal point in the AAC&U survey was critical thinking. Ninety-five percent of employers said critical thinking was a somewhat or very important skill. Fortunately, college professors typically share this priority and instill critical thinking skills in students.

Critical thinking involves various aspects of effective reasoning, including evaluating ideas, solving problems, and making decisions. Employers want workers who can think on their feet and devise creative solutions, so critical thinking skills are a must.

3. Digital Literacy

Digital literacy is the ability to use digital technology effectively. Today, digital literacy is crucial in nearly any occupation. Typing skills and familiarity with popular applications like Microsoft Office Suite and email are imperative for knowledge workers.

Digital literacy can also include proficiency in software critical to your career field. For example, this might include familiarity with customer relationship management (CRM) systems, marketing platforms, or electronic health software. Basic programming and coding skills are also great to feature on a resume.

4. Communication

Communication is a soft skill that nearly all employers are looking for. This includes writing, public speaking, and interpersonal communication skills. When it comes to interpersonal interactions, effective communication isn’t just about speaking well—it’s also about listening and showing empathy.

If you have a communications degree or any special communications training, this is a great thing to highlight on your resume. However, don’t be discouraged if you don’t have this qualification—a variety of educational backgrounds and personal and professional experiences can help people develop their communication skills. In fact, employers say one of the top reasons they have confidence in business school graduates is due to their strong communication skills.

5. Project Management and Organization

There are plenty of jobs seeking candidates with good organizational skills. Knowing how to prioritize, delegate, schedule, and manage your time is crucial in nearly any role. Being an organized worker helps ensure responsibilities don’t fall through the cracks.

Effectively managing your schedule is a great skill on its own, but you can impress employers even more if you have experience managing projects involving others. If you’re new to the professional world, consider whether you’ve taken the lead on any group projects in school, checking in with teammates and ensuring the project’s completion. Project management is an extremely transferable skill that will get an employer’s attention.

6. Research and Learning

Students will be glad to know the research and learning skills they develop in college are also valuable in the workplace. Research skills involve finding answers and knowing how to discern reliable sources of information.

Employees who are avid researchers are likely to expand their knowledge and stay on top of developments in their field. The ability to learn is valuable to employers because a teachable employee can reskill or advance their skills to take on new responsibilities or hone their craft. As the world evolves, professionals must be open to continuous learning.

7. Data Analysis

One of the top hard skills employers are looking for today is the ability to analyze and interpret data. Data analysis skills are useful because companies today rely on data to make strategic decisions. In fact, 91 percent of employers identify data analysis and interpretation as important skills.

You don’t have to be a professional data analyst to possess data analysis skills. If you have experience reading and understanding data, presenting data in readable formats, forecasting trends, or otherwise using data to inform decisions and processes, you should highlight this experience on your resume.

8. Creativity and Design

If you have experience with graphic design, web design, film editing, or other creative pursuits, these can be useful skills to showcase. Even if you’ve never taken a class in these areas, you may be surprised how abilities and talents you’ve developed through your hobbies can come into play at work.

Of course, creative skills are essential if you’re applying for a creative job, like a position as a graphic designer. But even if you’re not a graphic designer, being able to design visually appealing slideshow presentations, handouts, pamphlets, and more can be a major plus in many roles.

9. Dependability

Dependability may not seem like a skill per se, but it’s something employers today are on the lookout for. Turnover rates are exceptionally high, so employers love responsible, loyal employees who see their commitments through.

A dependable employee shows up on time, completes projects on schedule, and strives to meet goals. In your resume and interview responses, consider how you can showcase your dependability. Even if you’re entering the workforce for the first time, consider the dependability you’ve demonstrated as a student or in your personal life.

10. Leadership

If you’re interested in a managerial role, leadership skills are key. This includes many of the job skills we’ve already looked at—such as collaboration and communication—but it also includes showing initiative and coordinating members of a team. Do you find yourself taking on a leadership role in group settings?

Good leaders must also have great interpersonal skills to earn the respect of those they manage. If you develop a good rapport with people you interact with and have meaningful, productive conversations, you likely have strong interpersonal skills that would translate well to leadership.

Learn More About the Best Online College Programs for Adult Learners

Consider how many of these marketable job skills you possess and which you need to improve. Going back to school can be an excellent way to sharpen your job skills and boost your resume, and you don’t even need to put your career on hold! 

going back to school, discover your options. the best online degree programs for working adults. Read now