Are you hoping to land that perfect job just out of college, or are you about to begin your search for new employment after years in the same job?

If so, take a look at these essential skills employers are looking for in top candidates:


A deep awareness and understanding of your particular field

Learn as much as you can about each company you interview with. You’ll impress interviewers by showing that you have done your homework and can present yourself as a candidate who will be able to solve that company’s problems in concrete, clearly explained ways.

In addition, get and stay in touch with professionals in your chosen field; network with and utilize their knowledge. They can point you to resources that will help you learn more about and keep abreast of changes in your industry in a realistic, practical sense. This first of the essential skills is also one that you will continually need to revise as changes in your industry occur.


Top-notch communication skills

The second of the essential skills is especially important in today’s world, whereby communication increasingly takes the form of text messaging and social media. Leading employers’ organisations, in fact, have found that nearly 25% of hiring managers weren’t satisfied with college graduates’ basic grasp of the English language, whether verbal or written. You’ll put yourself far ahead of the crowd if you have excellent verbal and written communication skills. With this, you are concise and to the point; you also have the ability to tailor your message to different audiences so that you’re always understood no matter who you’re talking to.

Listening is also an important part of communication. While it’s important to be clear and concise with your message so that your audience understands you, you must complete that communication loop by making sure you understand what others are saying, as well.


The ability to be a team player

“Works well with others.” This phrase has probably appeared in your scholastic records since childhood at least occasionally, and it’s an important skill. When you work well with others, you know how to cooperate so that you can achieve shared goals. You build positive relationships that help everyone succeed, and have the ability to both assume responsibility and to delegate responsibility as necessary.


Excellent negotiation and persuasion skills

Good at more than just “getting your way,” you also have the ability to see others’ points of view and to work to achieve a result whereby everybody’s voices are heard and their needs considered; you don’t simply barrel on straight ahead with only your own goals in mind, but instead seek to include outside opinions. This isn’t to say you should or will please everyone with your decision-making, but understanding the opinions of others, and why they believe it is vital to smooth negotiations.


Excellent problem solving skills

You have the ability to “see the whole picture,” and to be logical and analytical when you’re resolving issues; you explore solutions from every angle and solve problems as quickly and easily as possible whenever they arise.


Natural leadership skills

Even though you may not assume a leadership position right away, employers look for candidates who can motivate colleagues and fellow team members and keep everyone on task as applicable. If you exude an air of honest confidence, can delegate as necessary, set deadlines and keep to them, and demonstrate your own solid work ethic and a good example to others, you are well on your way.


The ability to work under pressure

Crises happen. What’s important is not that they do happen, necessarily, but how you handle them. Employers look to you to remain calm under pressure and to simply stay on task get the job done with a cool head.