7 Skills You Need for a Job

Planning Personal Development

An organization is there to make money and they will only hire you if you can help them do that. Employers are looking for candidates with the right set of skills to add to their team to increase productivity and efficiency.

Today, we examine the skills that employers look for in a job candidate. We have not included any domain-specific or technical skills, rather these are the general, transferable skills that you need to be hired.


This is one of the most important skills that employers look for in candidates. You need to be able to move into any role seamlessly and take charge.

You may think that you are specialized in a particular field so you should expect to work in that field only. But it is not the case these days. A company will have various requirements and the interviewers might be looking for candidates who can fulfil these.

So, if you need a job, you have to show them that you are ready to take on any role and give your very best. You also need to understand that the job market is always changing and many skills are becoming less sought after, if not obsolete. If you cannot adapt to these changes then the company will go forward with a candidate who will.

Taking the Initiative:

This is something many people shy away from. After all, we all want to live comfortably without having to do too much. But the current market demands people who are good at taking the initiative.

When you are in an interview, try to show the interviewers that you are willing to take the initiative and are not going to sit around waiting for someone to tell you what to do. Employers want people who are willing to actively participate in the growth of the company. Of course, you can choose to sit around and wait for instructions, but chances are when new opportunities arrive a person who is willing to take the initiative will be chosen. Another benefit of having this skill is that you get to learn more and hence develop faster than others.

This is because by taking the initiative you are also taking responsibility as well, which will require you to perform better than you normally would. This can be a huge advantage because you will be working a few levels above your peers and will increases your chance of being selected for new opportunities. If you do not have full-time experience, you can talk about any part time jobs you have had to provide examples of where you took an initiative.

A Willingness to Learn:

Interviewers will often tell you that they have lots of different fields available and may allocate you to a new area. They may then ask whether you have any problem working in a field that you are currently not interested in or do not have in your résumé? Of course, you will say yes but they will test your conviction throughout the interview. You have to be curious and always willing to learn. Upskilling oneself is the need of the hour.

The job market is very competitive and a skill or subject sought after by employers might change in an instant. Plus, many employers are just looking for candidates who have a malleable mind in terms of learning new things. You can correlate this with adaptability. What if the company suddenly decided to switch gears towards a field which is more profitable?

They will only be willing to keep on people who are willing to learn new technology and help the company grow in this field. If you are not willing to learn, then you might not be selected. If you are not willing to learn new things, your personal growth will cease, your career will stagnate and you may find it harder to get a new job.


Another important skill many employers look for in a candidate is their communication skills. Many employers value this as one of the most important skills and may reject a candidate for poor communication skills.

So, start working on these skills as soon as possible. What you need to understand is that a business is heavily dependent on the internal and external communications that takes place. All information needs to be shared with the appropriate people via the appropriate channels, and on time.

This means that you have to be able to communicate effectively and efficiently, both verbally and through the written word in messages and emails. You may find yourself tested on your communication skills in an interview, for example by introducing yourself or answering questions. If you struggle to communicate naturally, you increase your chance of rejection so prepare well and practice your communication skills.


Teamwork is another skill on which you may be judged. An organization basically thrives on teamwork. Of course, individual skills do matter but, on most projects, you will have to work in a team. The more comfortable you are in working with other people, the easier this will be. Let your interviewers know about any projects you worked on with a team and let them know how you solved problems as a team.

This is another reason why communication skill is judged by the interviewers as for a team to be efficient the members need to be able to share information as smoothly as possible. Currently, many organizations are flattening their hierarchy which means more responsibilities fall on teams interns of decision making and designing solutions. So, this is a must have skill if you are looking for a job.

Problem Solving:

If you have good problem solving skills then you will not have to wait too long to get a job. Recruiters are actively looking for people who can take a challenge head on and deliver a solution. The ability to solve problems is one of the most sought-after skills in industry today. Top IT giants, big financial institutions, top law firms etc. all require you to have good problem solving skills.

After all, if you can design solutions for your company, it means you are directly helping them to earn a profit so they will want you on their team. Many candidates are low on confidence when it comes to this skill, but don't worry as you can start practicing now. Whatever your field or specialism, you can learn to solve problems but, out of all the skills, problem solving needs the most practice.


The last skill that we will discuss is positivity. You might be thinking that's not much of a skill, but it is another one of those little things that employers look for.

Imagine you are given a project and it didn't finish on time or it failed. You have lost your company a lot of money and will be reprimanded. Should you just wrap yourself in a cocoon of sadness and cry, or should you be calm, cheerful and try to motivate others in your team. The latter positive thinking is a skill that employers look for. After all, being negative or pessimistic can bring down the morale of the whole workplace.

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Further Reading from Skills You Need

The Skills You Need Guide to Getting a Job

Develop the skills you need to get that job.

This eBook is essential reading for potential job-seekers. Not only does it cover identifying your skills but also the mechanics of applying for a job, writing a CV or resume and attending interviews.

About the Author

Anirban is a working professional at a multinational company. He is passionate about writing and contributes to various blogs and websites. He has a background in Business & Marketing and is motivated to share his ideas based on experience and research to help others.