Employability Skills: 10 Highest In-Demand Examples of Skills

Updated Oct 14, 2022.
Employability Skills

Developing employability skills does not just make you employable but offers you the qualities you need to thrive in any workplace.

In addition to possessing job-specific skills and academic qualifications, most employers search for candidates with employability skills such as the willingness to learn and time management.

Having employability skills keeps you prepared to change jobs for better opportunities. These skills are helpful even if you want to take the self-employment path and start your own business. 

This article will teach you the in-demand skills you need to thrive in today’s workspace and how to improve employability skills.

Let’s get started.

What are Employability Skills?

Employability skills, referred to as transferable skills, soft skills, work readiness skills, job-specific skills, or foundational skills, are essential in your search for a dream job.

These skills work on transforming your mindset, knowledge base, and gathered experience towards making yourself more attractive to employers in the job market. 

Whether you are ready to dive into the job market or not, well-rounded employability skills come in handy in helping you improve your overall job performance. These skills make you less susceptible to errors that characterize every work environment. 

Collaboration is an employability skill that positions you to carry out your roles and responsibilities more effectively. 

Employability skills are part of the criteria of skills that employers list as requirements for most job applications. With these skills, you have the edge over other candidates.

With these soft skills, you are more attractive to employers based on what you can offer them in various capacities. 

Employability Skills
Source: ResearchGate

List of the Most Important Employability Skills

Most hiring managers are looking for employability skills. Employers have recognized that employability skills are much harder to teach when compared with job-specific skills. 

Having employability skills is advantageous to you in your search for a viable employment opportunity. These skills come naturally or can be acquired through education or constant practice. 

Your mindset should be to develop employability skills that make it very difficult for prospective employers to turn you away. 

Employability skills employers are gradually becoming a norm. These skills are what employers are conscious of when hiring to fill an opening in their organization. 

You may already have some of these essential soft skills, but your goal should be to improve your employability and develop new skills, as it is never enough. 

Here are some important examples of employability skills to take advantage of in bridging your skills gap.

1. Communication Skills

Communication skills are needed in any job, making it one of the essential employability skills you must have in your corner. You must pass through these five elements to communicate effectively: the sender, receiver, message, medium, and feedback. 

As long as communication ticks cover all these five elements, you can be assured that your message is efficient and devoid of misunderstandings and errors that usually plague the communication process. 

Effective communication aims to ensure the receiver understands the message being delivered clearly. 

Communication does not end after the message has gotten to the receiver. The receiver sending back feedback to the sender is what completes the communication process and makes it effective. 

Tips to improve your communication skills
Source: UpRaise

Effective communication is one of the skills employers look for, as it is needed to improve the organization's productivity. 

Employers expect you to have soft skills like knowing how to communicate effectively. If you already have this skill, it enhances your employability. 

Learning the art of being an effective communicator is essential. Any job situation you find yourself in, even if you want to start your own business, would require you to convey your thoughts and ideas.

To be an effective communicator, you must first be an effective listener. You must highlight important points that pertain to you and work on delivering them to the best of your ability. 

Depending on your job description, it is best to avail yourself of all the different modes of communication: verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual. You do not know which communication type will be handy in the future. 

One of many ways you can improve your communication skills is to communicate regularly to keep the flow. Here are some other ways you can improve your communication skill. 

  • Communicate regularly on social media. 
  • Take time to practice non-verbal cues and awareness of your facial expressions. 
  • Join a local club around you where you can practice communication skills. 

2. Teamwork Skills

Every organization is designed into groups and teams. They play a crucial part in the organization's structure. Teamwork allows you to work productively with other employees to achieve a common shared goal. 

Teamwork skills include collaboration and self-discipline as building blocks to improve your employability chances. Team roles are pivotal in helping a company reach its goals, which most employers consider when hiring. 

Effects of Collaboration on Company Success
Source: Zippia

Organization teams are made up of people from different backgrounds and ages. You need to prove that you can work effectively in any team assigned to you. 

With teamwork as one of your soft skills, you can better contribute to positively impacting any work environment.

Good leaders are first great team players with people management skills. Teamwork as a skill requires you to be comfortable working with other people while taking responsibility for your share of tasks that add up to the team's goals. 

Developing teamwork skills requires you to make conscious and deliberate efforts to be a team player. 

Here are some ways you can develop your teamwork skill.

  • Volunteering to help organizations with projects. 
  • Working alongside others in a local organization in your immediate community.
  • Joining a sports team. 

3. Reliability

Reliability is a skill that instills the confidence of others in you as a viable option. This soft skill promotes trust in you from your employers. Being reliable means your employers can bank on you even in difficult circumstances.

As an employee, you are reliable to your employer when they trust you to deliver on tasks assigned to you as when due. You must have a good track record of consistently completing your tasks to the highest possible standard. 

Employers are looking for employees who can deliver their tasks on time while making minimal mistakes. With reliability as one of your many employability skills, you stay employable. 

Most employees are constantly biting more than they can chew because they offer high expectations to pitch themselves as reliable to potential employers. This habit is a ticking bomb as you are bound to fall short of requirements sooner or later.

Reliable employees make promises they can keep and are ready to be called upon for pressing tasks at any time. 

Here are some common ways you can improve your reliability.

  • Making a constant habit of consistently delivering or exceeding your expected work performance levels. 
  • Create schedules to guide your daily tasks and stick to them.
  • Acknowledge when you make mistakes and make conscious efforts to prevent them from reoccurring.

4. Problem-Solving Skills

Your ability to identify and solve problems before they get out of hand is a skill that organizations seek. Business is all about identifying problems in the market and bringing up new ideas on how to solve them. 

Problem-solving skills test your resolve and understanding of problems. For more complex problems, you need to break them down into smaller tasks and tackle them individually, as complex problems can be very overwhelming. 

Solving problems for your employers effectively is one of many interpersonal skills you need to tilt the job in your favor. 

Solving problems helps an organization maintain efficiency in its operational process and meet up to its business goals and objectives

Problem solving skills
Source: StandOutCV

Problem-solving is a beneficial skill every team member should have. Teams face obstacles and difficulties daily, and solving complex problems makes you a valuable team resource.

Depending on what job search you are concentrating on, you need to have some already cultivated skills that revolve around your ability to solve problems and make efficient decisions. 

Here are some ways you can develop problem-solving skills.

  • Carrying out extensive research on assignments and projects.
  • Actively participate in brainstorming sessions. 
  • Focus on extracurricular activities that improve your problem-solving skills, such as puzzles and games.

5. Organization Skills

Practical organization is one of many employability skills needed for a successful professional career. It involves your ability to organize and plan effectively. 

As a job seeker, one of the best ways you can come out as employable to potential employers is to pitch yourself as a master of organization. Practical organization is one of the best time management strategies organizations need. 

Disorganization is one of the biggest impediments to workflow, especially in a structured organization. Your ability to be orderly even in the most disorderly situation is a skill that will work effectively in your favor in your job search. 

An organized employee ensures projects and tasks assigned are completed on schedule. You do not wait until the last moment before rushing to complete them. 

Effective organization skills work hand-in-hand with planning. You must create a working formula where tasks are identified, prioritized, and scheduled on the best time management strategies to deliver on your assigned task when due. 

If you seek a leadership role, you must delegate appropriately and monitor them effectively. 

Here are some ways you can develop your organizational skills.

  • Create a daily timetable to guide your daily activities.
  • Practice your organizational skills in planning and organizing an event. 
  • Utilize a planner to assist in planning your daily activities. 
  • Make a habit of listing out your tasks to be completed every day. 

6. Initiative

Your ability to take the initiative means recognizing a problem before or immediately after it arises and coming up with instant solutions to avert a potential crisis. 

Taking the initiative requires you to be proactive in identifying unique opportunities to take advantage of alongside a positive attitude. 

Strategic thinking also has a part in your taking initiative. You need to be able to think out of the box by yourself without being instructed.

People who take the initiative are characterized by a strong desire to succeed and keep improving through continuous learning. This skill is one advantage for your job-seeking journey and makes you a valuable resource to any organization. 

Employers value employees who possess self-motivation to carry out tasks without being instructed to, as taking the initiative is a top employability skill on their watchlist. 

By taking the initiative, you can be the needed push for organizations to innovate and gain a competitive edge. You bring flexibility and courage to the organization's processes. 

Here are some ways you can improve your ability to take the initiative.

  • Advertise yourself to organizations on available job opportunities.
  • Set up a local fundraiser for a charitable cause. 
  • Propose changes in activities or structure in your small groups.

7. Self-Management Skills

Self-management as an employability skill is about your ability to perform exceptionally well in the tasks assigned to you without supervision. 

This employability skill is the habit of delegating tasks to other employees and monitoring them till they are completed, as is experienced by high-level management employees. 

The benefit of self-management skills is that you do not need to wait on others. You can motivate yourself to work effectively and deliver consistent performance. 

As an employee that knows how to manage yourself in a work environment, you help your supervisor and manager save time and effort they would have expended monitoring you. 

Today, employers seek employees that require the most minimal guidance and assistance. These employees afford their employers more time to devote to other organizational processes.

Being self-managed means you are self-motivated. With this, productivity is the least of your concerns as you are always motivated to deliver exceptional results, making you attractive as a candidate. 

Here are some ways you can develop self-management skills.

  • Always seeking more responsibilities at work. 
  • Creating a schedule for your daily activities and adhering to them.
  • Volunteering for jobs that allow you to work independently. 

8. Leadership Skills

Good leaders are what employers lookout for as they are scarce to find and offer numerous benefits to their organizations. 

Leadership is a position where you have an essential role to play. As a leader, you ensure the teams understand the organization's vision and translate it into achievable goals. 

With the right leadership skills, you can develop strategies to keep the teams under you motivated to deliver on the organization's goals and objectives. By monitoring the performance of teams, you can position the organization you work for to achieve better results. 

Leadership qualities do not just come in handy in top managerial positions. It is a quality that allows you to climb the ranks in the organization into higher and more advantageous positions. 

Leadership is often a contagious process as you must show those below you that you can lead them, as their faith in you translates into ready results. 

Showing leadership requires you to guide and motivate other employees, set achievable goals and objectives for the team, and take time to identify areas that need improvement in the organization's work practices. 

Here are ways you can develop leadership skills.

  • Take a course that teaches how to be a good leader.
  • Starting a local group and taking on a leadership role.
  • Learning and understudying known successful leaders, especially those particularly inclined to your industry. 

9. Learning Skills

Learning skills open you up to new ideas, concepts, and methods to take on new tasks. With these skills, you are more flexible in adapting to the changes required and pick on new skills to make yourself a viable employment option. 

As a job seeker willing to learn, you are accommodating in filling challenging organizational positions as you are expected to grow and mature into your assigned role. Most organizations are in the habit of employing people that can easily be taught.

Suppose you desire to work for a company that emphasizes innovation considerably. In that case, you need to establish yourself as a good learner, as they constantly transition between new technologies and methods based on demand. 

Here are ways you can improve your learning skill.

  • Take courses that help improve your learning ability, such as speed-reading, memory-boosting, or accelerated learning.
  • Take out time to research skills and activities relating to the job you seek.
  • Make it a habit to portray the body language of someone committed to learning.
  • Learn a new hobby or skill from time to time. 

10. Technology Skills

Technology or technical skills are usually top of the criteria that organizations look for when conducting a job interview for candidates to fill an opening in their organization.

The technical skill you have to offer depends on the type of job you are applying for.  For various job options, word processing, computer skills, video editing, and programming are common technical skills. 

Your ability to understand technology-related concepts and adapt to new emerging technologies is one of many attributes that can make you attractive to employers.

Technology skills do not just happen, as it takes years of learning and constant practice for you to be a master of this skill. 

Here are ways to develop technology skills:

  • Take courses that make you tech-savvy.
  • Open yourself up to trying and mastering new apps and technologies. 
  • Stay updated with the latest happenings in the technology industry so you are not left behind. 

Develop Your Employability Skills to Get a Job (or Even Start Your Own Business)

Employability skills are crucial for a successful professional career. These soft skills give you the needed edge over others vying for the same position. 

Although most jobs come with unique requirements, mostly academic qualifications, your ability to present these soft skills as part of your job applications can move you to the top of the long list of qualified candidates. 

Developing your employability skills has unique benefits in your work journey, whether employed or self-employed. Beyond your quest for a job, these life skills are beneficial in other areas of life, as they guarantee success if adequately used. 

Even when you decide to change career paths later on and seek success in the entrepreneurial world, employability skills will still prove helpful in guaranteeing success. 

Employability skills are crucial for success, even if you want to start an online business, service business, eCommerce business, or online course empire. The benefit of employability skills is that they do not have an expiry date. With constant practice, you can only get better. 

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Anastasia Belyh

Editor at FounderJar

Anastasia has been a professional blogger and researcher since 2014. She loves to perform in-depth software reviews to help software buyers make informed decisions when choosing project management software, CRM tools, website builders, and everything around growing a startup business.

Anastasia worked in management consulting and tech startups, so she has lots of experience in helping professionals choosing the right business software.