"Top 10" Skills Desired By Hiring Managers, Part 2

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Article Index
"Top 10" Skills Desired By Hiring Managers, Part 2
Leadership/Management Skills
Multicultural Sensitivity
Final Thoughts
All Pages

In the first part of this article, we identified and explored the first five of the top 10 skills desired by potential employers. They were:

1. Communications Skills (listening, verbal, written)

2. Analytical & Research Skills

3. Computer & Technical Literacy

4. Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities

5. Interpersonal Abilities

Hopefully you had a chance to work on these areas. If not, now would be a good time to do so because it is only with practice that will be get better at these vital skills that employers desire in potential candidates.

Now, let’s take a look at the rest of the list:

6. Leadership/Management Skills. Every employer desires someone who has the proven ability to be a leader. The primary skills in this area deal with your ability to take charge and manage your co-workers, meet goals and adhere to high standards.

Sample bullet point describing this skill:

• Goal-driven leader who maintains a productive climate and confidently motivates, mobilizes, and coaches employees to meet high performance standards.

The best way to enhance your skill in this area is obviously experience. Every new challenge, whether at work or in your personal life, provides you with the opportunity to enhance your leadership skills. But there are other ways in which you can enhance your skills in this area. I have found that by reading about great leaders, be it in politics, business or another area, you can identify their attributes and emulate them in your own life.

You also need to be able to communicate the experiences that you have had in the areas of leadership and management in a meaningful way. Make sure that you outline in great detail your “top 3 to 5” leadership/management success stories. Make sure that you are “connecting the dots” for the hiring manager so that they know you can hit the ground running as a leader in the organization.

7. Multicultural Sensitivity/Awareness. Our society and our workplace is more diverse than ever before. Those who understand and can demonstrate a sensitivity and awareness to other people and cultures will be the most successful in the long-run. Remember that diversity and multiculturalism is not simply about race or creed. It goes far beyond that and encompasses thoughts and perspectives as well. You will need to be able to communicate to the hiring manager a respect and appreciation for differing views as well as a sensitivity to those who may be “different” than you.

Sample bullet point describing this skill:

• Personable professional whose strengths include cultural sensitivity and an ability to build rapport with a diverse workforce in multicultural settings.

A good way to increase your skills in this area is to spend time with those who are different from you. We all get into our comfort zone in our lives. This is a good time to branch out and go places and do things that you might not normally do. For example, go to an art museum and visit an exhibit from a culture that is different from yours. You might also look in your local newspaper for cultural events happening in your area. Be creative in the ways that you seek to understand cultures and people that are different from yours.

8. Planning/Organizing. In today’s complex and detailed working environment, those who can effectively plan and organize themselves and others are valuable commodities for employers. This area focuses directly on your abilities to design, plan, organize, and implement projects and tasks within an allotted time frame. Another major part of this is goal-setting.

Sample bullet point describing this skill:

• Results-driven achiever with exemplary planning and organizational skills, along with a high degree of detail orientation.

Improving your skills in this area is not easy because it takes years to develop these skills effectively. The best way to start is with organizing small things in your life. However, communicating this skill to potential employers is easy. Simply weave the concept of planning and organizing into each situation that you describe in presenting yourself to an employer. For example, if you are asked about a particular success that you have had in your career, make sure that you highlight the planning, goal-setting, and particular attention to detail that you had to achieve in order to have the success that you are describing.

9. Problem-Solving/Reasoning/Creativity. Our work lives are full of problems. Everyday we are faced with both internal and external issues that affect business. Employers know this and want to hire people that can solve these problems. This area specifically focuses on your ability to find solutions to problems using your creativity, reasoning, and past experiences along with the available information and resources.

Sample bullet point describing this skill:

• Innovative problem-solver who can generate workable solutions and resolve complaints.

Again, this area is one that is difficult to “practice” because it deals with your years of experience. However, one of the best ways that you can improve your abilities in the area is to read about leaders who have solved problems in their own business. For example, the Harvard Business Review has literally thousands of articles of how individuals and companies have creatively solved problems. By studying their experiences, you have the opportunity to expand your knowledge in this area.

10. Teamwork. For many years employers hired people to do a specific job. Today, employers hire people to work with other people to do a specific job. The concept of teamwork dominates current business literature and has become a focal point in our work culture, from seminars to workshops to “team-building” retreats. As a potential employee, you must communicate and demonstrate that you have the ability to work with others in a professional manner while attempting to achieve a common goal.

Sample bullet point describing this skill:

• Resourceful team player who excels at building trusting relationships with customers and colleagues.

Again, I believe that reading about successful (and even unsuccessful teams – I suggest reading “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable” by Patrick M. Lencioni) will help you to have a better understanding of teamwork. I believe that it is also important to communicate (through both verbal and non-verbal) that you can assimilate to a new environment quickly and “connect” with your new co-corkers.

Final Thoughts

This list of skills desired by employers is not an exact science, nor is it the same for every employer. You need to do your due diligence in researching the company you are interviewing with to make sure you know exactly what skills that they are seeking in candidates. I can assure you of one thing. If you work at your ability to communicate knowledge, skills and abilities in these areas, your confidence as a candidate will certainly increase. Also, though your ability to effectively communicate your skills in these areas through your resume, cover letter and interviews, you will certainly increase your chances of landing the job of your dreams.



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