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The Top Skills Employers Look For

Over the past few months, the way companies work has changed dramatically. Small, technology-averse businesses have made the move online, remote working has boomed in popularity and competition for job opportunities is getting fierce. With this in mind, being able to demonstrate to employers that you possess the key skills like adaptability and problem solving has never been more important. But, what are the top skills employers look? And how do you add them to your CV? Read on for our expert advice.

Skills Employers Look For

1. Problem Solving

In times of high pressure and rapid change, the modern employer is looking for candidates that are solutions-focused and are able to resolve issues independently. You might have heard the common saying among managers: "Don't come to me with problems, come to me with solutions." This is more true now than ever.

2. Communication

With a large proportion of the workforce now working from home, the ability to communicate effectively both verbally and orally has never been more important. Candidates who can express themselves with clarity over video calls, through the written word and through email are more likely to be successful in job applications. If speaking on video calls is something you find difficult, you might also want to work on your public speaking skills.

3. Teamwork

You might think that more people working from home means that there is less of a need for teamwork. But in actual fact, being able to collaborate in a team has never been more important! The ability to work together remotely, making use of platforms like Asana, Zoom & Trello, is increasingly sought after by employers.

4. Adaptability

Being flexible and having the ability to think quickly has long been a desirable skill. However, over the past few months, it has become essential. Being able to notice changing market trends, customer demands or even just being willing to cover for a team member are all ways of showing future employers your adaptability.

5. Interpersonal Skills

Communicating effectively with people from around the world is a skill that is always growing in demand. In particular, employers want to see that you can work with a range of people from different backgrounds and react to different perspectives.

How to describe key employability skills on your CV

  1. Always try to adapt your skills and experience to reflect the job application.
  2. Give clear examples of instances when you have shown these skills and provide outcomes.
  3. Focus on transferable skills from your previous positions rather than listing tasks.

Want to know more about how to structure your CV? Read our guide to writing a CV for a job in the UK.

How to gain the key skills employers look for

1. Review your CV

You'd be surprised how many of the above skills you already possess. Think about your school, university & extracurricular activities- can you think of times when you've demonstrated any of the skills above? Have you led a sports team? This shows teamwork. Have you organised an event for school then had to change the plans last minute? This shows adaptability. Let future employers know!

2. Get work experience

It's an age-old question: "How can I get work experience if I don't have any experience to put on my CV?" In fact, there are a number of ways to get work experience without ever having had a job. Try emailing local companies and asking if they need help with administration or consider offering tech or social media support for free to small businesses. It's also true that with many companies working remotely, work experience opportunities are scarce. That's why with the Virtual Internship programme from British Study Centres, you get expert support finding remote work experience opportunities to suit your interests with no need for prior experience.

3. Take a career development course

There are a number of different courses out there that will help you develop the core skills employers are looking for. On the online Skills for Career Success course from British Study Centres, you'll improve your knowledge of the English language all the while developing 21st Century Skills you need to succeed.


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