No two employers, as no two people, are the same.  What one employer may value highly in their employees is often of little consequence to another.  However, where there are several candidates that fulfil the skills and educational criteria set out in the job description, there are a few key factors that significant numbers of experienced employers will place a very high value one.  These characteristics, sometimes referred to as ‘soft skills’, generally support the success of the business in more subtle, but no less important ways, than the candidates qualifications and previous work experience.

Communications Skills:  Crucially, being a clear, concise and effective communicator creates the best possible impression on those you come into contact with  Being a good communicator combines several different traits including the ability to listen, speak with ease, confidence and authority as well as the ability to write effectively. Strong communication skills demonstrate that you are mindful of the expectations of the person or people you come into contact with, you are able to negotiate your position or the position of the company and you aim to reach a mutually beneficial outcome.  People who have strong communication skills are adept at building relationships both in a personal and a professional context.

Problem Solving Skills:  Being a self-motivated individual who has a good capacity to evaluate situations, identify potential solutions and execute them decisively demonstrates leadership. The ability to approach problems looking for a positive result show that you have a proactive nature and are not intimidated by others when putting your ideas forward.  It also demonstrates a strong work ethic and someone who is willing to shoulder their responsibilities, instead of making excuses.

A willingness to learn new things:  A desire to stay up to date and relevant in your chosen field of work is a quality that both large and small employers value and seek out.  Keeping up with recent changes in your industry and anticipating future changes help employers stay ahead of the competition, enabling them put things in place to expand the growth of their companies.  Due to the huge, and continued, advancement in technology, this applies to employees at every level of the company.  Showing that you are prepared to keep up with industry changes, by taking courses, networking or reading relevant material, lets your employer know that you are adaptable and can adjust easily to the ever-changing working environment within your industry.

Team Player:  For the majority of people, the ability to work well as part of a team creates significant benefits for employers.   Many areas of work involve group setting so the ability to form bonds with your colleagues makes for a working environment that improves life for everyone.  When interactions between colleagues are positive, the sense of comradery in working towards common goals are strengthened which makes for happier, more productive employees and a better work culture.  This very often leads to a stronger, more profitable company and a happy employer.

Organisational Skills:  Even for the most creative of industries, good organisational skills are a pre-requisite for getting things done efficiently and on budget.  Working in a disorganised environment, where files are not stored in the correct place and tasks are not prioritised, is often a chief determinant of whether the company will succeed or not.  Poor organisation wastes time, resources and creates anxiety and unnecessary friction between colleagues.   Being able to demonstrate good organisational skills will make you a valuable asset to the company and it is likely that your advice will be sought in the planning of future restructuring.

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