Having a degree from an appropriately accredited college or university, whether earned online or face-to-face, matters when pursuing a career. But did you know there are other qualities that employers look for in job applicants? Here's our list of 10 skills Triad area employers told us they look for in new-hires:
Today's workplace doesn't allow for one project or task at a time, or delaying due dates. Employees have to know how to manage time to prioritize projects and meet business objectives.
We are a communicating society. Emails, texts, letters, phone calls, in-person, websites - you name it. We have to communicate in a variety of ways through a multitude of channels, and we have to get it right every single time.
- Relationship building
Whether working in an office or telecommuting, employers aren't hiring people to do a job in complete isolation. Employees have to build relationships with supervisors, peers, clients, and prospective clients to do the job and do it well.
- Emotional intelligence
Employees need to understand emotions, what causes them, and know how to manage them to ensure an appropriate work environment and to build relationships with workplace constituents.
Employers tell us they're looking for leadership skills. It could be a supervisory position at a job, or volunteering with a non-profit - but they want to see evidence that an applicant has an aptitude to lead.
- Problem solving
Employers want employees that can identify obstacles, assess them, and find a pathway to overcome them.
- Work experience - even while attending college
Work experience matters. Employers want to see that an applicant is familiar with how a workplace functions. Internships and volunteering with community organizations count - as long as it builds workplace skills.
- Variety of experiences
Don't focus on only one specialized area of experience - unless that is critical to an industry. Most employers want employees who are well rounded and have a variety of experiences to contribute to the workplace.
Having a degree doesn't make one "in charge." The degree is a first step. Applicants need to understand that others have a variety of experiences to contribute and learn from them.
- Interest in continued education
Finishing a formal education doesn't mean one should stop learning. Employers want applicants that continue to learn - in the workplace, through service organizations, through continuing education programs, and through additional formal education. Each industry is different so be certain to know which is best for where you want to go.