There is a lot of unemployment in this world but the employers often complain about the dearth of ‘qualified’ workers. Doesn’t that make you think why? Well, when you dig deeper you will find that the employers are not saying that there is a lack of people with formal education — be it graduate/postgraduate degrees or even vocational diplomas. What they are actually referring to is the serious Skills Gap that makes educated people unemployable. In particular, these are the gaps in Soft Skills that are deemed absolutely essential by the employers, regardless of the career sector or industry.
We have identified fifteen such skills that can make every young person career ready. Sooner they learn, faster they can adopt these skills hence becoming employable. Consequently, it will solve the complicated problem the world is facing today, of the millions of ‘educated but unemployed’ people.
1. Career Awareness The first step towards career preparation is to become aware of career opportunities available in their respective community. They also need to be aware of the formal training and education requirements necessary to get or maintain the desired job.
2. Digital Citizenship Most of the young people use social media mindlessly, which can have serious impact on their image. Social media leaves permanent footprint and the impact of the digital footprint are immense. It is like a person’s autobiography because people control their own trajectory on social media. Social media is a powerful medium so if people grasp controlling it as a communication tool, they can create a personal and professional image for their benefit.
3. Written Communication Written communication is one of the most essential workplace skills to possess because written communication skills are growing in importance for all industries. People at work are required to compose effective emails, and work on various official documents, so if an individual has good written communication skills then he or she has an advantage over the others.
4. Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Virtual meetings have become more common than ever before because of its sheer convenience. As more and more people work online, they communicate through online tools to reach out to their customers, colleagues, clients, associates and partners. So whether they are over the phone or a video call, they need to be able to manage and observe their verbal and nonverbal communication techniques so that it can work in their favor.
5. Entrepreneurship The entrepreneurship mindset is critical even for those who do not start a new business. Entrepreneurial mindset is a set of skills that enables people to identify opportunities, overcome setbacks and survive in the changing environment. Those who have the ability to adapt to the constantly changing conditions that we live in these days, thrive.
6. Active Listening When a person pays undivided attention to the conversation and takes the time to understand the speaker, it enables the person to retain what is being said and respond appropriately. Active listening is another skill that is very useful for effective in-person or virtual communication.
7. Resume Writing A well-written resume and a cover letter ensures that the person stands out among those hundreds of other applicant who apply for the same job. There are huge benefits of learning to write an impressive resume because the competition for decent jobs is usually quite keen. Moreover, electronic resume and job systems make it very easy for individuals to apply for jobs now, so the number of applicants has increased considerably, making it tough for the employers to select candidates.
8. Interview Skills The rise of qualified individuals who apply for the same job has raised the competition for job vacancies. Once a person has successfully managed to get the employer’s attention through their resume, he/she has to be able to prove that they are capable and most suitable candidate for the position.
9. Personal Appearance Most people may believe that career success depends on their talent, qualifications, drive, performance etc. Those people however, do not realize that factors totally unrelated to work, such as personal appearance are equally important to influence their chance for employment or advancement. It is necessary to observe, learn and adapt quickly to the company culture during and after the hiring process.
10. Punctuality It is one of the key elements the future employer notices because it demonstrates professionalism. So if an individual wants to successfully get the job they’ve had their eye on, then they must show their enthusiasm for that job by showing up on time.
11. Teamwork A lot of employers value team works because their organizational success often depends on collaboratively achieving common goals. Teamwork promotes creativity and collective learning that enables individuals to work well with their clients and colleagues. It also helps create a happy work environment.
12. Work Ethics Exhibiting good work ethics will ensure more work opportunities because work ethics are the most sought after traits employers scan in any career sector. Work ethics are a set of values based on the principles of discipline and hard work. They cover employee’s behavior and attitudes towards their job and their workplace.
13. Leadership Employers look for individuals who can grow with the organization. They especially like to retain people who exhibit leadership qualities because such people can take on management roles in the future. Leadership qualities include skills such as critical thinking, active listening, handling conflicts, and motivating others, to name a few.
14. Technology Skills The ability and knowledge required to perform specific tasks often related to mechanical, IT or scientific fields, are known as technical skills. Technology is penetrating our lives like never before. We use apps and online tools for everything these days. So whether or not an individual wants to work for a tech company, he or she must learn basic technology skills. Remember technological skills are required even in jobs like marketing, sales, product development, logistics, finance, law, medicine etc.
15. Global Awareness Employers often seek employees with overseas and international experience. The reason is simple — more and more companies are becoming multi-national as the world is becoming smaller. Global awareness means becoming aware of the cultural differences including learning intercultural/cross-cultural communication skills as well as understanding world issues.