What Employers Want

Written by Sherrie Brann, Central Region Workforce Specialist 
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The good news in today’s job market is that unemployment rates are low. However, for some employers, this makes it hard to fill key positions with strong candidates.

So what are hiring managers looking for when selecting employees? Every field requires a unique set of technical skills, but what sets one job applicant apart from the rest? The answer may be in the personal skills and attributes a job applicant presents in their cover letter, resume, and job interview.

Identify Skills

Some of the most commonly identified skills employers seek are strong communication skills, problem-solving skills, ability to find more and work as part of a team, and willingness to learn.

Others important skills include:

  • Adaptability
  • Ability to prioritize work
  • Attention to detail
  • Dedication and patience
  • Decision-making skills
  • Honesty
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Professionalism
  • Responsibility
  • Stamina and endurance
  • Self-confidence

Find more personal skills with examples here.

Illustrate Skills

Interviewees are often asked to provide examples of how they used their skills in previous jobs. Applicants can ace these behavioral interview questions by preparing short stories that include:

  • Examples of prior work challenges
  • Their role in the situation
  • How they found a solution to the problem
  • The end result

Read more about answering behavioral interview questions here.

Understanding interview trends can also support job seekers in preparing for the interview process.  Check out this video to learn more:

Strengthen Skills

Strengthening personal skills and being able to communicate these skills is important. Workshops, professional development experiences, and individual coaching can help.  Consider participating in one of our upcoming tuition-free career planning and confidence building classes to help you reach your career goals!