The Skills that Set Candidates Apart Today

Posted by Bliss Parsons on 2/17/17 5:00 AM

Workplace collaboration.jpgThere are always lists of the latest ‘hot skills’ in demand. But even the most sought-after skills need to be accompanied by soft skills in order to be desireable. Soft skills give job seekers the competitive edge needed to land a job. It’s not just nuts-and-bolts training; you could be a UI designer or senior software engineer, and still be turned down if you’re not the right culture fit. Here, we examine what it takes beyond knowing ‘your stuff’ and what employers say set candidates apart.

LinkedIn’s Soft Skills Data

It’s important for job seekers to understand what the most sought-after skills are around the global marketplace. However, having technical skills will only get you so far. Over half of employer survey respondents from LinkedIn’s survey of 291 hiring managers in the U.S. reported that soft skills are actually difficult to find. Data reveals the top 10 sought-after soft skills in marketplace today are:

  1. Communication
  2. Organization
  3. Teamwork
  4. Always Punctual
  5. Critical Thinking
  6. Social Skills
  7. Creativity
  8. Interpersonal Communication
  9. Adaptability
  10. Friendly Personality

These soft skills are most likely in high-demand because they’re applicable to essentially all job positions, and contribute to a company’s culture of productivity. Most of the 10 soft skills listed above contribute to the ability to be able to adapt. This is key in today’s marketplace, as companies quickly change, grow, and evolve to meet the needs of the tech-driven marketplace.

Millennial-Specific Soft Skills

Besides the skills listed above, there are additional soft skills that employers like to see in Millennial candidates, in particular. Forbes recently identified four major categories of skills that are integral for the success of Millennials in the workplace:

  1. Attention + Focus: It’s rare to have new job candidates with experience seeing a project through end-to-end, which is understandable. But a willingness to ‘own’ projects and take initiative with attention to detail is very much desired in new hires.

  2. Curiosity + Commitment: Now that a college diploma in hand is no longer enough to land a job, a serious willingness to learn and show of a positive, productive attitude is key.

  3. Agility: Since technology, software, and businesses are constantly evolving, an eagerness to learn and ability to overcome setbacks has become an invaluable skill. Employers now place more value on a candidate’s resourcefulness and ability to change directions quickly.

  4. Humility: It’s no easy task admitting you’re a beginner. But entry-level job seekers can’t expect sizeable compensation without first having the experience. Employers value new candidates who are  humble and ready to work and gain their stripes.

These ‘Millennial’ soft skills are in no way reserved only for younger job candidates. It will increasingly become important for employees of all ages to be willing to learn and adapt as the economy, industry, and society continues to expand further into the technological age.

Recommended for You: Why Companies Must Adopt a New Culture of Technology & Learning

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Topics: Employers, Millennials, soft skills, Skills Gap

 

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