What do employers look for in potential employees?
That question was recently posted on an online
career discussion forum. Naturally, for each
different position, the particular answers to that
question would vary. 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
BASIC SKILLS - Reading, writing and arithmetic!
Believe it or not, a good portion of high school
graduates (and even 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.
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 co-workers, team members,
subordinates, management, and customers. Being able
to work well with others is a vital skill for
success in all jobs.
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
JOB SURVIVAL - Now there's a hot topic in this period
of layoffs. Who gets the axe 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
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT - As all high tech and
engineering pros know, it's 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 fulfil their needs.
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 tge 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 employers.
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!