Skills & Training
June 8, 2024

How to Develop Job Skills That Employers Value

Discover how to identify and develop job skills that your employers will value, no matter which industry you’re in or where you are in your career.

Everyone has their own unique set of skills they can bring to a job, whether they’re looking for something new or trying to grow in their current role. Take a look at how you can identify and develop some of the job skills employers value most, and where you can continue fostering them over time.

Identifying In-Demand Job Skills

How to Research In-Demand Skills in Your Industry

Your industry or position might have some opportunities to develop new job skills that you might not even know about yet. Fortunately, taking the steps to acquire these skills starts with just a bit of research.

Job listings and job boards will often mention the types of skills they’re looking for outright. If you’re in the market for a new job or just starting to look, it can be valuable to view job listings and search for patterns and trends with what they’re looking for in qualified candidates.

Otherwise, it also pays to keep up with industry reports and network with other professionals in your industry. This can help you stay aware of the skills you can develop to get ahead in your career and continue growing with time.

Types of Job Skills Employers Value

Top Soft Skills Employers Look For

You can develop soft skills with time, but they’re not usually things you can develop with the structure of a classroom or a single training session by themselves. Some of the soft skills that employers are always looking for in potential job candidates include:

  • Problem-solving: This skill set can show your employers a lot about your ability to manage difficult situations productively. Creative problem-solving skills are also ideal to have on the job because they show your ability to find less conventional answers to common issues.
  • Open-mindedness: The same position at two different companies in the same industry can operate very differently, with different sets of tools and skills. Having an open mind is essential for learning the ropes of a new job quickly and can show your coworkers that you’re willing to learn and try new things in your role.
  • Work ethic: Your employer doesn’t have the time or capacity to micromanage every single person in their department. Having a strong work ethic helps you establish trust with your manager and shows them you can manage your work without needing someone over your metaphorical shoulder.
  • Communication: This is one of the best skills to have for a job because it’s always needed in every role, in one form or another. Employers need team members who aren’t afraid to ask questions upfront and can effectively communicate with their coworkers.

Technical Skills Employers Look For

In an increasingly digital world, there are certain technical skills that are more valuable than ever—particularly if you’re going into a field that involves heavy use of technology:

  • Computer skills: Many jobs require digital literacy skills to be able to succeed at them. Being able to understand software and network applications with minimal setup and training is invaluable to employers, especially if you’re involved in a more technical field that relies on them.
  • Coding: Regardless of the programming languages you know, having the ability to code is essential for jobs involved in software development, software testing, and website design.
  • Data analysis: Knowing how to analyze data from different resources is essential in many different positions, from digital marketing to statistical programming. Being able to analyze, understand, and present data is essential for helping organizations make the decisions they need to grow.
  • Industry-specific technical skills: This runs the gamut of everything from being able to use accounting and finance software as an accountant to using Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator for graphic designers. Every industry will have its own set of professional skills to develop, so it’s important to research the specifics of your industry to make sure you’re honing the correct skills for the job.

In-Demand Skills for Remote Jobs

As convenient as remote work is, it comes with a unique set of challenges that require skills you might not need as much in an in-person setting. These are some of the most essential skills to possess and show to potential employers if you’re trying to get into the world of remote work:

  • Self-motivation: Remote work requires discipline so you can limit distractions and create your own schedule and routine. Since you won’t have a manager to physically check in on you, their greatest indicator of your productivity will be the amount of work you turn in. This means having a dedicated home office space—or renting a co-working space—so you have as few distractions as possible.
  • Time management: There usually isn’t the same level of micromanagement with remote work as there is with working in the office. Being able to manage your time so you don’t spend too much on a given task can make a difference in keeping yourself productive in a remote role.
  • Digital communication: Some people are better than others at interpreting and creating messages through email or IM services like Microsoft Teams or Slack. Having strong written and digital communication skills is essential for working remotely.
  • Independence: While you’ll still typically be able to communicate with your coworkers and ask questions on the job during training and throughout your working day, the right balance of independence and team collaboration will ensure that you’re able to stay productive—even if you’re in California and members of your department are in Ireland or the UK.

Strategies for Developing Job Skills

How to Develop Job Skills

No matter which types of professional skills you need to develop, there are plenty of opportunities to learn new skills and hone the ones you already have—without breaking the bank in the process. Some of our favorite ways to develop job skills include:

  • Online courses: There are plenty of online courses you can take to learn valuable hard, soft, and technical skills online, all while obtaining official certifications that employers are looking for on your resume. Even more, some of these courses are completely free and take a minimal amount of time to finish.

  • In-person education: Colleges and community centers frequently offer free or affordable one-time or short-term courses to help you foster skills in your industry. Whether it’s a seminar on digital marketing or a four-week intensive on insurance licensing, these in-person classes can help you keep your skills up to date.

  • Workshops: In-person workshops can help you get some hands-on experience learning how to use different skills you’ll need in your field so you can take them into your job once they’re complete.

  • On-the-job training: You can learn some types of skills and programs on the job. For example, if your job requires you to work in Salesforce, you can leverage on-the-job training to learn more about the program and use it to help your company succeed, all while bolstering your resume.

Practical Tips for Continuous Skill Development

Once you become familiar with a new skill set, it’s important to not let the information you just received stagnate. Utilize them to set goals in your career and keep them updated. That way, you’ll foster yourself as an asset and become an expert in your field with every skill you acquire.

Leveraging SkillUp Coalition Resources
SkillUp Coalition can connect you with training programs across multiple industries and help you strengthen or learn new skills. Explore our training programs and start working toward your dream career!
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