The Top 10 most important employability skills
The Top 10 most important employability skills are verbal communication, teamwork, commercial awareness... Click To Tweet

Based on a number of surveys on the skills required by graduates undertaken by Microsoft, Target Jobs, the BBC, Prospects, NACE and AGR and other organisations, here is a summary of the skills which were most often deemed important.

  • Verbal communication – Able to express your ideas clearly and confidently in speech
  • Teamwork – Work confidently within a group
  • Commercial awareness – Understand the commercial realities affecting the organisation
  • Analysing and investigating – Gather information systematically to establish facts and principles. Problem-solving
  • Initiative /self-motivation – Able to act on initiative; identify opportunities and proactive in putting forward ideas and solutions
  • Drive – Determination to get things done. Make things happen & constantly looking for better ways of doing things
  • Written communication – Able to express yourself clearly in writing
  • Planning and organising – Able to plan activities and carry them through effectively
  • Flexibility – Adapt successfully to changing situations and environments
  • Time management – Manage time effectively, prioritising tasks and able to work to deadlines

Other important skills

  • Global skills – Able to speak and understand other languages. Appreciation of different cultures
  • Negotiating and persuading – Able to influence and convince others, to discuss and reach an agreement
  • Leadership – Able to motivate and direct others
  • Numeracy – Multiply and divide accurately, calculate percentages, use statistics and a calculator, interpret graphs and tables
  • Computing skills – Word-processing, using databases, spreadsheets, the Internet, email, designing web pages, etc.
  • Self-awareness – Awareness of achievements, abilities, values and weaknesses; and what you want out of life
  • Personal impact/confidence – Presents a strong, professional, positive image to others which inspires confidence and commands respect
  • Lifelong learning – Continues to learn throughout life. Develops the competencies needed for current and future roles
  • Stress tolerance – Maintains effective performance under pressure
  • Integrity – Adheres to standards and procedures, maintains confidentiality and questions inappropriate behaviour
  • Independence – Accepts responsibility for views and actions and able to work under their own direction and initiative
  • Developing professionalism – Pays care and attention to quality in all their work. Supports and empowers others
  • Action planning – Able to decide what steps are needed to achieve particular goals and then implement these
  • Decision-making – Determines the best course of action. Evaluates options based on logic and fact, and presents solutions
  • Interpersonal sensitivity – Recognises and respects different perspectives. Open to the ideas and views of others
  • Creativity – Generates and applying new ideas and solutions

The most important skills to develop in employees to drive company growth over the next five years: (according to the Flux Report by Right Management):

  1. Leadership 62%
  2. Management 62%
  3. Interpersonal 53%
  4. Innovation and creativity 45%
  5. Resilience 43%
  6. Technical/specialist 40%
  7. IT 40%
  8. Sales/marketing 32%
  9. Client management 24%
  10. Other 4%

Source: Top ten employability skills

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