9 Important Job Skills Employers Want

These job skills can increase your career chances. If you learn them.

Image of top job skills employers seek and need.

Knowing the requirements of a potential employer is a crucial aspect when searching for new career prospects. This fact applies to both fresh graduates as well as seasoned professionals. Hence, understanding which job skills future employers value the most could be the difference between success and disappointment.

The importance placed on various skills will certainly vary from employer to employer, but there are good job skills that employers value the most. We list them below and show priority levels from ‘Critical,’ Moderate,’ to ‘Bonus.’.

1. Ability to Work in a Team & Collaborate

The capacity to work, collaborate, and compromise with people around them is an essential skill for anyone who wishes to work in a team. Employers are aware that a team that works well together will be more productive and efficient than a single talented individual who cannot function well with others.

There is no replacement for this important job skill, and employers will value this over all other comparable factors. Since this skill directly translates into productivity, which in turn affects the profits of any given business, the importance attached to it is understandable.

Although the ability to interact and collaborate well with people is inborn in some, it is a skill that can be groomed and enhanced through training. However, online courses will probably not help in this department.

Priority Level: Critical job skill
Training: Face-to-face, workshops, seminars, projects
Related: Project Management Courses

2. Having Commercial Awareness and Ability to Understand a Company’s Market

Training an employee in core competencies tends to cost money, partly due to the number of days that the employee is unproductive, coupled with the actual cost of training. Hence, if you are aware of the commercial aspect of the business and understand its market and how it makes money, employers will see a valuable, productive asset in you instead of a financial liability.

A functioning resource is a more attractive hire for any employer and hence, having a basic understanding of your prospective employer’s business is paramount.

Online courses do help in this regard, but a few sessions of web research should have you covered if you do not have the relevant experience that has already honed this ability.

Priority Level: Moderate job skill

3. Able to Analyze Data, Research New Information & Evaluate Results

The capacity to analyze and understand data is a skill that requires a significant amount of mental strength in addition to a brain capable of analytical thought. Employees having this ability are a prized possession in the eyes of employers, as they can be confident that the employee in question does not need to be spoon-fed instructions and will be able to make decisions when required.

Even though a majority of job descriptions do not explicitly list this as a requirement, employers do value employee prospects who possess it.

Unfortunately, this ability is innate and is hard to learn without years of training and experience in this direction. There are, however, plenty of good courses to get started that also combine well with point 4 below.

Priority Level: Moderate job skill

4. Self-Motivation, Initiative, Motivating Coworkers

Employers look for employees who will work as needed, without additional prodding to perform their duties and even go above and beyond in the interest of the company.

Exhibiting an aura of confidence in addition to the fact that you display the ability to motivate yourself and those around you successfully will be seen as a great advantage in hiring you.

Although personal development courses offer many tips and techniques for taking the initiative, self-motivation, and motivating others, these skills are also hard to teach through an online training medium. Physically attending training sessions and interacting with real people is a better option if you wish to hone this top job skill.

Priority Level: Critical

5. Good Verbal Communication

Being able to communicate with your co-workers and clients/customers is a skill that is arguably the most crucial ability that a candidate must possess. Moreover, employers are always on the lookout for prospects who are articulate, in addition the capacity to interact with others without causing friction.

Daily interactions with other people are a part of any job; whatever duties the job may entail; communication will remain an essential component of all kinds of work.

Thankfully, hard work and persistence will serve as handy tools to sharpen this particular job skill. Several online courses, blogs, and other resources will assist you in this regard.

Priority Level: Critical
Skills: Public Speaking Courses | Public Speaking Techniques

6. Good Writing and Reading skills

Drafting, noting, and emailing are part and parcel of every job in this world. Hence, being able to put your thoughts into writing as well as accurately reading a text is an essential and unspecified job requirement.

Employers require employees who can interact with clients and colleagues without any communication gaps, for fear of the business losing face in case of miscommunication.

However, there are a multitude of online speed reading courses that stress on the skill of effective reading and others of writing, which offer a helping hand to those who want to improve in these areas.

Priority Level: Critical
Skills: How To Improve Writing

7. Planning, Time Management & Organizing Skills

The phrase ‘time is money is a popular saying for a reason, and it applies to every single business that relies on its employees functioning at optimum capacity. Hence, planning your every move, and organizing and prioritizing your work are skills that attract employers. Additionally, displaying an ability to use each hour spent fruitfully will further cement the value a prospective employer sees in you.

Consequently, possessing and portraying these talents are a huge bonus, as they directly translate to the output you can achieve.

Several online courses allow you to hone these job skills, however, having a knack for planning is an innate ability that develops with experience. Here is a tutorial that will help you improve your productivity.

Priority Level: Bonus

8. Computing, Technology & Software Skills

Gone are the days when being technologically sound was optional. As in this digital age, where the assistance of a computer is required for the completion of even the most basic tasks, displaying expertise in computing and technology-based tasks or familiarity with the software used by the company – are top-rated job skills expected by a majority of employers in the job market.

However, the existence of multiple online learning platforms that allow you to equip yourself with this knowledge has made life much easier for the job seeker of this age.

Priority Level: Moderate

9. Leadership Skills

Although you might be applying for a non-managerial role, employers like to know they are investing in a future asset to the company. They can trust to be a good leader if needed, keeping the company functioning as usual.

Moreover, showing employers that you can lead will lead them to believe you will be a valuable addition to any team. Companies are aware of the fact that their employees could quit with a few months’ notice. Hence, hiring someone who can fulfill team leader roles, even temporarily, is a huge advantage, and they keep this in mind when hiring someone fresh.

Thankfully, many courses that teach you how to manage a team, and how to be a good leader have cropped up all over the internet. However, online courses will cover only one facet of this job skill. Another side of this skill involves interacting with others, directing, and delegating your team, which is hard to learn online. Hence, I recommend considering physical training sessions if available.

Priority Level: Bonus

Most Important Job Skills 2020 – Conclusion

Preparing for a job interview or deciding to start down a new career path is a scary scenario. Thus, keeping the above list of top job skills that employers value in mind will make your journey trudging down a new career path slightly bearable and much more fruitful.

Remember – companies are attracted to smart, talented individuals who can prove to be an asset to the large cog that is a corporation/business. Thus, ensure that you portray the abilities to work well with others and clear verbal communication while showcasing your talents.

Further reading: Checklist with skills

Survey: In your opinion, what is important and good job skills? Please share them below.


  1. Absolutely true! Every job seeker actually needs this skills to be at the forefront. I’m just a fresh graduate and hope to fully master some of the above mentioned skills, especially the ability to work in a team and collaborate, really important, imo.

  2. Being able to work in a team is definitely a job skill you must have today, I agree. There’s nothing worse than having to work all day long with someone who doesn’t know how to do this. I know from experience and these same people happen to be the same people who need to be motivated to work by others. It’s not fair to the people they work with.

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