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What is the employer looking for?

When you’ve left school or graduated from university, taking the first step into the workforce can be a daunting task. As you start firing off job applications or researching an apprenticeship or traineeship program, you may find you are competing against a wide range of talents, skilled and qualified candidates.

Standing out from the crowd is an important step towards making the right impression and landing your chosen occupation. Regardless of whether you’re seeking further training or wanting to jump straight into the open labour force, it pays to know what employers are looking for in order to put your best foot forward.

Fortunately, plenty of research and surveys have been completed on this topic, with a wide range of skills, knowledge and personality traits identified as the most desirable by employers around the world.

To help you make the best impression in your hunt for the right career, here are the top six qualities employers want from potential candidates.

Communication skills

It is likely that no matter what industry you land in, you will be required to communicate with people in and outside of your company. Whether communicating to clients via email or speaking directly to colleagues, the ability to effectively communicate is a key skill that employers want and need.

Soft skills

Rather than focus on the technical abilities that can be taught to workers, employers are increasingly seeking the kind of skills that most people hold naturally.

The term soft skills refers to the personal qualities or habits that influence how a person acts in the workplace. This could include a general tidiness, adaptability or even simply a naturally positive attitude.

The ability to work in a team

Depending on the jobs you apply for, chances are you will be required to work as part of a team. Employers are interested to know whether candidates will be able to work effectively with other people. To demonstrate this, jobseekers will need to prove that they are able to socialise with, but not get distracted by, colleagues.

Additionally, in occupations that require heavy machinery or physical activity, you must hold the ability to remain aware of your team’s health and safety – as well as your own – when conducting relevant tasks.

Time management and organisational skills

Productivity is a significant issue in businesses around the globe. Ensuring that employees make the most out of every work day is an important factor in boosting production and achieving organisational goals.

Time management and organisational skills are effective tools when improving productivity, as these qualities ensure employees can stay on track and remain engaged and committed to the task at hand.

Cultural fit

Beyond simply getting the job done, employees are also aware of the importance of a good cultural fit. Making sure that an employee’s goals and objectives align with the values of the company will help encourage engagement and efficient business growth.

A desire to learn

Most employees would prefer to hire workers willing to stay with their company for many years, as a low employee turnover is good for boosting engagement, morale and attraction while also reducing recruitment expenses.

An effective way to measure an employee’s desire to remain in a certain role or industry is to gauge their desire to learn and develop in the workplace. An individual who actively seeks to learn and improve their knowledge is more likely to commit to a long and sustainable career in that field.

As an apprentice or trainee, you will be in a unique position regarding this quality, as your employment relies on a continued commitment to training and development.

For more information on what employers want, or if you need help choosing a career, register with Apprenticeship Central today.

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