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top skills employers look for

As a career coach, I am often asked the question, what skills are employers looking for? This is a broad question, that can have a broad answer. But, if you have been asking yourself that question, you are in the right place. Employers are looking for potential employees to possess both hard and soft skills. But, which ones? Based on research and experience, the top skills employers seek are as follows (and not limited to the below).

1. Leadership and Team Work

An employer wants a dependable employee who can lead and work well with others. Additionally, an employer wants an employee who is able to advise and manage a team and their work. This is a top skill most work moms possess as they lead their households. Additionally, working moms are the common denominator ensuring that their children, community members, friends, and family work together to solve problems.

Here are some key things an employer is looking for in your resume and during the interview: you are able to strategize, listen to feedback, and incorporate your team's ideas and contributions. Do you possess any of these?

2. Communication

Employers desire employees who can successfully communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. Employees are required to communicate with their team, clients, senior managers, and others. And, since the COVID-19 Pandemic, there has been an increase in the use of online communication tools, making it a necessity for employers to discuss proposals, solutions, ideas, and more, with Zoom, Microsoft Teams chat, Google Workspace, and more.

How is your communication style? How well are you understood? Do you regularly have to repeat yourself due to misunderstandings? If so, it may be time to identify your communication style and improve how you are communicating.

Take a pause to remember: Soft skills are traits and abilities that are developed throughout your life.

3. Technical

The Pandemic has proven to employers that technical skills are an imperative qualifier. Not only do you need experience in your industry's software, but you need to have experience in various applications for reporting, sharing data, and project management. When my children were home during the Pandemic, I had to teach them how to utilize Zoom and their email accounts. And, once they were comfortable they were able to communicate with their teachers and log into their classrooms, on time. If I didn't have those technical skills it would have taken longer to help my children be independent with online learning. Likewise, an employer desires an employee who already has the skillset and they don't have to spend the initial time and training to ensure you can be proficient on the job. Regardless of your industry, ensure you have researched, attained, and keep up with your technical skills.

Take a pause to remember: Technical skills are learned through education and/or hands-on experience.

4. Assertive

When searching for a job, do you ever find an employer seeking an employee who is confident, determined, decisive, and/or self-assured? An employer desires an employee who is assertive in their decision-making and actions. They desire an employee who can respectfully share their point of view while being kind in their approach. Often times it means being observant and actively listening to others in discussions. How many times do you have to be assertive when asking your children to clean up after themselves? How many times do you have to be assertive when asking for a flexible schedule? Show your assertiveness on your job and have this skill qualify you for your next project, promotion, and/or position.

Latika is an experienced strategist and coach leading high-performing working moms who want to grow their careers and balance life. Her areas of coaching expertise include personal branding, career change strategy, and career management and planning. To learn more about her and to customize coaching sessions, contact her at

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