Whether you are writing an application form, preparing for an interview or completing a work trial, it is really important that you demonstrate how you have all the right skills that your potential employer is looking for. When recruiting, the employer will be looking for both hard and soft skills, it is vital that you display both types of skills to prove that you are suitable for the role. Let's look at the difference between hard and soft skills:
- Hard skills are based on technical ability and are often job specific. Candidates often have hard skills from previous education, training or work experience. An example of a hard skill would be Administration.
- Soft skills refer the attributes and personality traits that you have as an individual. Soft skills can't really be taught in a step by step process and are often aquired through experience or emotional intelligence. An example of a soft skill would be communication.
The easiest way to see which skills the employer is looking for is to review the job description. The majority of job descriptions will have a list of duties and requirements for the role. In the duties list, it will tell you exactly what you will be doing whilst completing the role - this is a great place to find desired skills. The requirements section will highlight exactly what type of candidate the employer is looking for. This will often be in a list form and include both hard and soft skills.
So let's look at the top 5 hard and soft skills that employers are looking for. Please keep in mind that these may change dependent on the job role or industry that you are applying to work in.
Communication Skills - Communication is key, if a candidate lacks communication skills it can often highlight to the employer that you are not confident in talking to other people and you may not fit in with the existing team. In the majority of roles, you are going to need to communicate with new people in a professional manner, this is something that your potential employer will want you to be great at.
I.C.T skills - With the world being more digital, a lot of companies use computers in their everyday work. This hard skill is vital, especially if you are looking to pursue a career in an office environment. Luckily, with practice this hard skill can be perfected and the more experience you have using a computer and different software's, the easier it will be!
Desire to learn and progress - With every new job, there is new things to learn. Showing that you are keen to learn new things is a great way to impress your employer. When recruiting, employers will often look for candidates who they believe will progress within their business. If you have a personality that demonstrates determination to succeed, your employer will often recognise your potential.
Commitment - Being committed is a great attribute to have. It shows that you are loyal and willing to dedicate your time and efforts towards your new role. Recruiters will often be able to see if you are a committed candidate by looking at your previous work or education history. If you have been in and out of jobs or education institutes without reason, this can show that you are less committed and that you don't settle well. The recruiter may also request references from previous employers or teachers - this reference will highlight your attendance and performance. If you have excellent timekeeping and punctuality, this will show the employers that you are a committed individual.
Adaptability - The skill of adaptability is a hard one to master. It requires you to be able to shift a change in behavior and technical or personal skills dependent on the role or working environment. In a lot of roles, it is possible that you will have to change your duties and responsibilities to help the team succeed. This may occur if another staff member if off work or if you need to meet a strict deadline. Demonstrating that you are adaptable can show the employer that you are a flexible member of staff and willing to compromise your role to help the business.
We wish you the best of luck with impressing your potential employers, if you would like to discover the skills required for our Apprenticeship vacancies, click here!