The top skills employers pay more for

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


Whilst qualifications are always important to an employer, key skills are equally if not more advantageous in securing your ideal job. For those who have found some extra free time to fill during the lockdown, make the most of it by working on some skills that employers deem highly desirable.


Basic Skills

UCAS states, “A significant number of employers say graduates lack basic skills in numeracy and literacy”. Possessing these basic skills are necessary across all different types of job roles. From analysing numerical reports to producing written texts, it is crucial that you are competent in your abilities to perform everyday tasks. Brush up on your basic literacy skills by taking up reading and work on your maths by completing everyday numerical tasks without technological help, like adding and subtracting.



One of the top skills to have that has been highlighted is leadership, with over a third of employers expressing they are in need of employees who possess this skill. Whether you are looking for a management role or an entry-level job, employee retention is becoming an increasing focal point for companies and therefore the idea of internal progression is more desirable. Because of this, you must show you possess leadership qualities from the recruitment stage to demonstrate enthusiasm, passion for the business, and eagerness to start a long career with them. Many different qualities make a great leader, in order to work on these, you need to determine what your leadership style is (more on leadership styles here)

Once you understand your leadership style, use it to identify what your strengths and weaknesses are and practice the areas that require improvement. For example, many struggle with a low sense of morale, which often reflects in their work and in turn creates a snowball effect by decreasing motivation amongst colleagues.

Set yourself interview-style questions you can prepare for, such as:

After lockdown, we may face deflation of morale amongst staff upon return, what would you do to combat this?


Verbal and Written Communication

Regardless of which industry you are in, employers are in need of employees that can effectively communicate both written and spoken. It may seem like a basic attribute, however, the ability to communicate excellently is rare which brands it meritorious to employers. Digital technology is becoming more commonly used and whilst you may be competent in texting and using social media, it’s important to remember to use proper spelling and grammar when in your professional environment. You should also be just as proficient in face-to-face communication as you are in writing. In ‘The Rule of 12’, people form their first impression of you in just the first 12 seconds of meeting. Your first 12 words can make a huge impact; consequently, you should conduct yourself professionally and with a warm presence.

Start work on your written skills during lockdown by ensuring you are confident in using necessary applications on your laptop such as ‘Word’. Get into a good habit of proofreading any texts before sending. If spelling and grammar is something you struggle with, revise a dictionary for words you make common mistakes with and try using ‘Grammarly’, a website which assists in checking texts. To help with your communication skills, practice your first 12 words. Oral communication is not always about speaking; remember to listen to what people are saying in order to have a full understanding of your conversations. Become a genuine listener. By that, you will realise you can produce more insightful and valid responses.


Analytical and Critical Thinking

Problems are a guarantee to arise at some point during work and the ability to think critically and analyse these issues to resolve them is crucial. Having great organisation skills is another favourable quality that factors into these skills. Employers admire those who are decisive and able to work under pressure. Thinking analytically improves your ability to draw solutions from data and prioritise given tasks.

You can work on your critical thinking from home just by being more aware of your mental process. Ask yourself, how do you approach a problem? Plan your thoughts and be logical, analyse what information you have and remember to never make assumptions without facts.


ABL Recruitment team