In a job market that seems more competitive now than ever, what are the skills and attributes that employers are looking for, beyond education and experience?

According to research for ‘HR Grapevine’, employers have recently reported a real drive on ‘soft skills’ such as the ability to communicate effectively, successfully work with other people, as well as the ability to work flexibly in an ever-changing environment. Let’s take a look at some of these skills and consider how you might fine-tune them to fully display your talents as a leader.

Communication – is your favourite method holding you back?

As we say on our Effective Communication Skills course, communication is rarely a problem, but nearly always the problem. It’s the source of a huge array of common workplace issues, and is something that must be dealt with if an individual, team or organisation are to succeed.

Consider how you communicate most often. Are you someone who resorts to e-mails to deal with any issue? Or perhaps your default method of communication is a short text or instant message? Maybe you’re someone who finds comfort in long, in-depth phone conversations? Whilst each and every method of communication has its merits, if you’re spending an hour on the phone to re-order ink cartridges, or responding to a carefully written letter from a client with a short message over LinkedIn, you’re unlikely to be communicating as effectively as you might be.

Flexibility in your approach will help you to get the most out of your communication.

Adapt to prosper

It’s always been said that the key to thriving is your ability to adapt. Perhaps that’s truer now than it’s ever been, for both organisations and the people they employ. In the past six months many of us have had to adapt to working from home, often for the first time. Many will have seen their hours and job roles changed as their organisations assessed their resources and ensured they were making the best use of them. Some will have found themselves taking on responsibilities that were alien to them just weeks before.

Be sure that those who adapted best to the onslaught of changes, and who continue to do so, will be those that go on to thrive into the future.

The power of positivity

For many of us, retaining a positive mental attitude will have been one of the biggest challenges of recent months, particularly in the world of work. News of fresh job losses seem to appear almost every day, and figures from the employment market seem to corroborate the gloomy outlook; CV-Library have declared that there are 106% more applicants for each job now than there was just a year ago.

However, whether you’re someone seeking out a fresh role, an internal promotion, or are just hoping to flourish where you are now, staying positive, determined, and resilient is something that rarely goes unnoticed in the workplace. Be confident and enthusiastic about the value you can bring to an organisation and it will almost certainly show in your work.

There’s a huge range of traits and abilities such as these that employers value. Carefully honing them over time will benefit not just you, but also those you work with.