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Learn High-Value Skills Employers Look For

Skills Employers Value

Did you know there are certain skills employers look for regardless of the job? These skills are called ‘soft’ skills and employers look for them when hiring a new team member. Soft skills are key to being career ready.

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified career readiness as the attainment and demonstration of knowledge, skills and abilities that broadly prepare young people for a successful transition into the workplace. The eight competencies associated with career readiness are:

Critical thinking/problem solving

Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. Ability to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and demonstrate originality and inventiveness. Watch the related Skills to Pay the Bills video below.

Oral/written communication

Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. Public speaking skills; ability to express ideas to others; and write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively. Watch the related Skills to Pay the Bills video below.


Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. Ability to work within a team structure, and negotiate and manage conflict. Watch the related Skills to Pay the Bills video below.

Digital Technology
Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. Demonstrate effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.
Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. Ability to assess and manage one’s emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.
Professionalism/Work Ethic

Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. Ability to demonstrate integrity and ethical behavior, act responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and ability to learn from mistakes. Watch the related Skills to Pay the Bills video below.

Career Management
Identify and articulate one’s skills, strengths, knowledge and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. Ability to navigate and explore job options, understand and take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understand how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.
Global/Intercultural Fluency
Value, respect and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations and religions. Demonstrate openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals’ differences.
Other Helpful Skills to Pay the Bills Videos

Take a look at these other Skills to Pay the Bills videos about Soft Skills, Enthusiasm and Attitude and Networking to help you further understand what employers are looking for in employees.

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