What do employers look for in potential
employees? That was the question that was posted recently on
a career discussion forum online. Naturally, for each
different position, the particular answers to that question
would be different. However, there are some common skills
that employers look for in all employees, whether the
employee happens to be a network engineer or a fry cook.
In-Demand Skills for Success
1. BASIC SKILLS ‚
Reading, writing and arithmetic! Believe it or not, a good
portion of high school graduates (and some college grads) do
not read at an 8th grade level and cannot do multiplication
in their head. Employers are seeking employees who can read
well, can write coherently, and who can calculate
mathematics in a business environment (fractions,
percentages, etc.) Add to that the modern basic skills of
keyboarding skill, basic computer knowledge, and ability to
use most computerized tools (e.g. fax machine, basic word
processing program, etc.) to round out the basic skill sets
needed for employment success.
2. PERSONAL SKILLS ‚
Can a potential employee speak well? Can he/she answer
questions of customers in a positive, informative manner?
Can the prospect provide good customer service? While not
everyone has an outgoing sales personality, successful
employees can communicate in a non-confrontational, positive
manner with their coworkers, team members, subordinates,
management, and customers. Being able to work well with
others is a vital skill for success in all jobs.
3. JOB ATTAINMENT ‚ Job
search is a process that requires a great deal of dedication
and attention to be conducted successfully. It follows the
old principal that many veteran programmers refer to as GIGO
‚ Garbage In, Garbage Out. If you put lousy effort in, you
will receive lousy results. Employers are seeking employees
who know how to present themselves in a positive manner and
who display enthusiasm and knowledge about the companies
they approach. Not only do candidates get evaluated on their
skills and experience, but also on how they are approaching
the job search. Enthusiastic candidates with fewer skills
have an even chance of getting the job as dull candidates
with better skills.
4. JOB SURVIVAL‚ Now
there's a hot topic in this period of layoffs. Who gets the
ax and who doesn't is often a matter of numbers, but it is
also often a matter of performance. Employees who have
consistently demonstrated their worth, taken initiative, and
made themselves a valuable asset to the company have lower
incidences of being downsized than employees who put forth
mediocre or average effort in their jobs. Surviving within a
company through layoffs or moving up the career ladder is a
success skill that is learned and is consciously cultivated
among successful professionals.
5. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
‚ As all high tech and engineering pros know ‚ its learn or
burn in today's work environment. Attaining new skills,
applying new concepts, updating established skills is an
absolute necessity to succeed in today's work force. The
successful individual is constantly attending seminars,
taking classes, attaining training on new products or
releases, and otherwise learning new skills that will keep
them marketable in their careers. Successful people are
lifelong learners. Employers are looking for people who have
the training necessary to fulfill their needs.
6. CAREER DEVELOPMENT ‚
Career Development differs from Professional Development.
Professional Development is learning while Career
Development is a planning and goal setting process.
Successful individuals design a career plan with written
goals for short term and long term. They lay out the steps
needed to move their careers from Point A to Point B within
Time Frame C and plan how they are going to achieve those
steps. Successful people have someone to whom they are
accountable for their progress and who will monitor their
success in achieving their goals. Employers are seeking
individuals who (believe it or not) wish to commit to the
company for a long period of time. Good career progression
is a high selling point of candidates to prospective
How do you measure up? Do you have the 6
In-Demand Skills for Success? Feel like you need some help?
Give us a call!