Skills Students Need to Learn: The Top Skills Employers Look For

Navigating the job market can be overwhelming. Whether you’re in high school, college or have just graduated, having the right skill set can put you ahead and make you stand out from other applicants. In school, you are likely learning and practicing tons of technical or hard skills. Skills like math, language, analytics, etcetera. But the top skills employers look for now are soft skills. Employers are telling us they are critically important right now, more so even that technical skills.
So what’s a soft skill? A soft skill is an ability or trait that relates to how you work and interact with other people. You can think of them like interpersonal skills that help you successfully work with others. Let’s better understand some of these skills (an these are just some) and why they are so important to companies and your future.
Soft skills and hard skills.

Top Skills Employers Look For

1. Collaboration

Employers look for candidates who are able to be team players. Working together allows a team to succeed much better than if everyone had an individualistic mindset. You can pitch ideas and connect other people’s ideas to create exactly what the company needs. A different perspective is always valuable which is why companies love people who offer their unique thoughts. Collaborative people are also able to accept another person’s idea and run with it making them a key player for potential employers.

2. Versatility

Showing your versatility to a potential employer can give you a leg up. This quality proves that you have more than just one strong characteristic and can be resilient in the face of adversity. Employers look to promote versatile candidates within their company because this trait equals adaptability and it’s one that coworkers respect and enjoy. Practice your problem-solving skills at home, at school, and at your current job or internship to show how versatile you can be. 

3. Communication

Healthy communication is key to any type of relationship, including professional ones. When there is clear communication, you can overcome problems and solve issues within your work with ease. Employers look for candidates who have strong communication skills. In today’s digital world, it is also important to consider the caliber of your online communication skills.

4. Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is a critical skill that employers like to see in a potential employee. Whether you’re interacting with other customers or businesses, it’s important to show kindness and empathy towards others. Showing empathy in the workplace makes you see things from their perspective at a business level and at an emotional level. In the end, you’ll be able to connect better with your coworkers, clients, and customers if you’ve mastered emotional intelligence.

5. Leadership

Though not everyone can hold leadership roles or positions, it’s important for employers to see that you can take the lead when and if needed. Being able to guide your peers in the right direction is a great skill to have in any type of job. Leadership requires patience and allows you to consider everyone’s voices before making a decision for your team. You can develop these skills in group projects at school, on your sports team, or even when you’re planning a vacation with your family.

Applying Critical Skills for Jobs of the Future

Having these skills on your resume will help you stand out from other applicants in your field and prepare you for many types of jobs no matter your college major.

These skills are highly transferable and can be used as a stepping stool to develop more skills later on in your career. Almost anyone can learn these skills. There are no limitations on where you can develop them. You can learn them throughout high school in the sports that you play, the clubs that you’re in, and the part-time job you may have. In college, you can learn these skills when you work together with other students and are around other people with different ideas.

These skills look great on resumes and are an awesome way to nail your interview. Show your soft skills when applying for jobs and conducting interviews by being ready to talk about specific situations in which they’re highlighted. Situational questions in job interviews are very common so it’s best not to be surprised by them. When everyone has the same skills, it’s important to be able to stand out. With soft skills, you can stand out from other candidates when you all have the same qualifications. Mastering the soft skills we’ve discussed will help you to catch the eyes of your future employers.

Use our Career Finder Tool to find the perfect career for you to apply your awesome soft skills.

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