Express Yourself

The Top 10 Skills Employers Look For

COMMUNICATION

 

Employers look for people who can get the right information to the right people (customers, colleagues or management), at the right time.

 

 

Which makes sense – employers want to know you can communicate on behalf of their business effectively and with confidence.

 

Imagine you work in a hospitality role in a café...

You’ll need to communicate with customers and other staff all day long. Many business roles rely on effective communication to get the job done, and even in roles with less customer interaction, like engineering or science roles, you’ll need to write down your findings, apply for contracts and grants, and explain your work to others.

What’s so important about communication?

Employers need to know that you can communicate well in order to add value to their business:

  • Will you be easy to integrate into the workplace? They want to know you understand your role and can follow instructions and processes
  • Can you represent the employer well? Can you speak clearly, be polite and adjust your tone depending on who you are speaking to?
  • Can you handle any written tasks, and will your work need to be altered or checked each time?

When people communicate well it creates a better working environment – better teamwork, better morale, better relationships within the company and with customers.

Show future employers you have what it takes

Use the Skills section on your CV to highlight your fantastic communication skills, with phrases like these:

  • Effective interpersonal skills
  • Exemplary written and verbal communication abilities
  • Confident and articulate communicator
  • Experienced in public speaking and negotiating
  • Proficient listening, written and speaking skills
  • Competent in all forms of communication

 

But you need to be prepared to back up your CV in an interview (pro tip: interviewers will always ask you questions about your CV and will want you to back up any claimed skills you have).

Which means you need to actually practice your communication skills (and not just on Instagram) – here are some suggestions:

  • Take on a role in a club at school or in your community, and offer to be the ‘Secretary’ for a year
  • Join a journalism club or work on the school newspaper to show how you have interviewed people and improved your written communication skills
  • Submit assignments on time and get your teachers to write you a statement as evidence
  • If you’ve received any awards for your written work, or subject awards, include them as evidence
  • Have you taken part in any English, debating or writing competitions? You don’t need to win a prize – just taking part is evidence you’re serious about communication
  • Become a member of a debate team and do some public speaking when you can
  • Take on any customer service part-time or volunteer roles

Quick tip – be sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors in your application or the employer can rule out your communication skills before you even make the interview

 

What now?

You’ve identified your communication strengths, included them on your CV and got some experience to improve your skills. Now you just need to back up everything you’ve said in your interview, and don’t forget to refer to specific examples of your skills.

 

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