Seven Top Skills That Employers Look for in Applicants

Seven Top Skills That Employers Look for in Applicants

General , Human resources , Recruitment , Strategies

Whether the unemployment rate is high or low, job hunting is not always easy-breezy. On most times, it’s taxing and in some occasions, hopeless. Job openings may be aplenty but the competition among applicants is quite fierce.

Back in 2016, LinkedIn conducted a survey among 291 hiring managers within the United States, whom a little over half of them believe that soft skills among applicants the most difficult to find. So what are soft skills? And which of these soft skills are most in demand?

According to Investopedia, Soft Skills are the character traits and interpersonal skills that characterize a person's relationships with other people. In the workplace, soft skills are considered a complement to hard skills, which refer to a person's knowledge and occupational skills. Sociologists may use the term soft skills to describe a person's "EQ" or " Emotional Intelligence Quotient," as opposed to "IQ" or "Intelligence Quotient." In basic terms, Soft Skills refer to who an individual is as a person rather than the measure of his knowledge (which are the Hard Skills).

Soft Skills are innate in a person, defining to his character, definite, and difficult to change. Hard Skills on the other hand are those that can be learned and acquired. For example, a teacher can show off in his or her resume his or her education background, the training and seminars he or she has attended – the best qualifications there are to prove that he or she is suited to the position. While these skills or traits may be important, if the teacher has poor Soft Skills, he or she may have a problem on interacting with his or her colleagues and students.

Below is a list of 7 top skills that are in-demand among employers:


Author and motivational speaker Paul J. Meyer said that Communication - the human connection - is the key to personal and career success. Good communication skills help a person get his ideas across to others clearly. With that, it doesn’t matter what profession you have or what business you do – good communication is a must. All your ideas and the effort you put into something will only be put to waste if you do not know how to communicate properly and effectively.


In a workspace, organizational skills are very important. It goes beyond just being able to arrange things inside the office or being able to organize reports. It is an important skill to employers because organizational skills are vital in the areas of time management, in arranging meetings and other work-related events, and in meeting and beating deadlines. Although there are people who claim to work better in a non-organized environment, companies prefer their employees to follow organizational method. Employees who can follow organizational methods give the impression that they are able to work with transparency and efficiency.


Joining a company means you are placing yourself in the middle of groups of people working together for the company. When you get employed it immediately means that you will not be going about your work alone. You will have to interact with your fellow employees, whether you like them or not.


This is not actually a skill but companies categorize it as one because of its importance, which employees should follow. In businesses, time is gold. One wasted minute spent on waiting for an employee to come on time can never be taken back. Punctuality means that you come before or right on a specific pre-established time. When you are working, the heavy traffic cannot be an excuse for you to come late to work or to a meeting. The company will want to see your commitment on this.

Critical Thinking

This skill is very much sought after by employers, whether for professional or non-professional job hiring. Critical thinking is the thinking about things in certain ways so as to arrive at the best possible solution in the circumstances that the thinker is aware of. In more everyday language, it is a way of thinking about whatever is presently occupying your mind so that you come to the best possible conclusion. It is an important skill, regardless of a person’s job position, because a person who knows how to think critically does not need constant guidance from the manager or supervisor. He is able to analyze an idea or concept, find errors if there are any, and come up with ways to improve it.

Social Skills

These skills are the ones we use to communicate and act with other people. We do this verbally and nonverbally through gestures, body movements, and facial expressions. These skills are important in getting our thoughts and feelings expressed and be known to others. Social skills are important since companies function in collaborative efforts. There cannot be a place for a person who cannot and is not willing to socially interact with his or her colleagues. Interpersonal skills, friendliness, and adaptable to the environment are among the other things that social skills are about.


It is a skill not just referring to being able to create something artistically good, but it also refers to being able to come up with original concepts and ideas. Creativity is very important especially in business areas such as marketing and strategy. Companies have to be innovative and strategic in capturing their audience, and because of this, they cannot afford to play the same tune again and again. They have to revise or make new ideas from scratch, and this is when creative mind are their best.

While Soft Skills are mostly what employers look for in applicants, it also would also be a good point to have basic computer skills, as these are fairly important in any business setup, given the technology these days.

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