What skills do businesses seek in job candidates? It’s the key question on the mind of many job seekers, especially those who have recently left education and are new to the job market. Answering it can be difficult both when creating your CV and when applying for jobs.

We’ve set out to provide answers to all of these concerns and more by gaining insight into the hiring employers’ thought processes and the qualities they are looking for in candidates.


Communication skills, both verbal and written are essential for almost any job role. Employers will be looking for someone who can easily understand instructions as well as give instructions if they are in a leadership position. Organisations function at their best when employees can express themselves in a clear and focused way and can listen to and understand others.

Communication skills will be the first thing an employer will notice and assess. How well you communicate who you are through your CV and in your interview will be a huge factor in whether or not you will get the job.

Problem-Solving Skills

A situation that requires critical thinking and creativity is a regular occurrence in any job, and the better job, the more common and complex issues will be. Having the ability to respond well to difficult, unpredictable situations with a creative solution is a skill that will make you extremely valuable to any employer.

You will often be asked in interviews to give an example of your problem-solving abilities. Chances are you will have a story from a previous job. If this is not the case, you can use an example from your personal life, such as managing your money and resources when living as a student, or finding out how to fix a leaking pipe.


Teamwork is a part of almost any job. Any role in a company will include some degree of teamwork. Companies themselves are large teams of people working toward the same goal, the better you fit in with the team the smoother the company will run and the more value you will have to those above you.

Employees that can effectively communicate with others and comprehend their points of view frequently develop innovative ideas. In a firm, every role is intertwined with another role and every team is connected with another team.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and control your own emotions and recognise, empathise with and respond well to the emotions of others. Examples of this can be having the common sense not to bring your personal problems into the workplace and being able to understand someone else perspective when having a disagreement with a colleague.

To become a valuable employee, it is an essential skill to be able to perceive information from the viewpoint of a peer. With just one mindset adjustment it is possible to create a happier, more cohesive workplace.

Organisational Skills

The biggest advantage of having good organisational skills is efficiency. More time saved equates to more time available for useful activities. A well-organized employee will spend less time rectifying errors and looking through a messy desk or computer for information.


Even if the job you are applying for isn’t a leadership role, employers will often keep an eye out for people that might have the potential for career progression within the company. Employers will be looking for someone who can motivate, organise and instruct others into working toward a shared goal.

A leader represents the company to their team and influences the tone of the workplace. A good leader can help others feel appreciated and confident in their work team. A good leader’s job is to be of value to those above and below them in the company.

Time Management

Since it enables you to identify and prioritise different tasks, get ready for meetings, and adhere to your schedule, planning is a crucial part of time management.

Effectively managing your time allows you to identify the most important tasks, and work out how much of your time will be allocated to each one. This will help you understand if you need to say no to, or delegate additional tasks that you won’t be able to fit into your schedule.

Digital Literacy

In a world where every business is at least partially run online, understanding how to use a web browser or Microsoft office won’t make you stand out to a potential employer, but not having these skills can put you at a huge disadvantage. These days understanding how to use digital technology is not a special skill anymore, it is an essential component of almost any job. As working from home becomes more common, the ability to understand and communicate information digitally is something no potential employee can afford to go without.


Being adaptable means, you can quickly change your behaviour in response to new situations. A flexible worker can keep up with shifting priorities whether it be clients, projects, or goals.

Adaptable employees are good at taking criticism from both superiors and peers. A critical talent that not only improves your job but also makes you a better team member is the ability to listen, process, and apply feedback.

Continuous learning

Employers are looking for job candidates who show a desire to constantly develop new skills and improve themselves as an employee. Innovation does not occur when businesses do not support a continuous learning process.

Being able to continually learn new skills will give you more opportunities for career progression. Being able to frequently improve your abilities can drastically increase your confidence and overall job satisfaction.

We hope you found this article on job skills useful, and will shortly be able to apply some of our tips and advice in your next job interview. Don’t forget you can use our candidate registration form to start your job search now.