Employability Skills: The Secret Ingredient to Getting Your Dream Job
Gone are the days when skill development was a choice. In the age of automation, artificial intelligence and robots, when there’s an overpowering need for skilled workers, skill development is the need of the hour. Unfortunately, while the job market has moved to the 21st century, the same cannot be said about the education system of the country. Indian education system remains woefully inadequate despite the abundance of private and international schools and colleges in the country. If India has to transform itself into a diversified and internationally competitive market, it needs resources to upskill its youth and enhance their employability.
The LinkedIn report, Future of Skills, demonstrates the need for employability soft skills in the APAC region. According to the report APAC is expected to face a labour shortfall of 12.3 million due to the absence of core skills.
The Importance of Employability Skills
Most new graduates believe that all they need is the professional qualification and domain expertise to get hired and succeed in the workplace. In the dynamic, intensely competitive labour market today, apart from tech skills, employers are looking for employability skills that go beyond qualifications and experience.
Also known as foundational skills or job-ready skills, employability skills refer to a broader set of skills, personal attributes, and traits that are needed for every job. From the development of expertise level and mindset, these skills are essential habits that help in increasing success in the workplace. Employers are looking for workers who are more flexible, dynamic, and stand out in the crowd with their problem solving and decision-making skills.
Here are some of the top employability skills to boost your resume:
Whether it’s arriving on time, being dependable or showing attention to detail, professionalism is high up on the recruiter’s list when hiring for any role. These are the foundational skills that you cannot ferret out in a personality test. Instead, employees need to display this skill day in and day out.
Employers expect their team members to work independently on a day-to-day basis. Most employers don’t want to micro-manage. By taking initiative, employees can show that they are motivated, adaptable, proactive and can be trusted to show their own initiative. Young graduates need to display a strong personal drive instead of waiting to be told to do things.
Business Communication Skills
The ability to express yourself in a clear concise way verbally and non-verbally is an important soft skill. Having a highly communicative team allows information to pass seamlessly and enables the entire team to work with greater speed and conviction. This also involves listening skills which encompass how we take in information sent by others and interpret them.
Young graduates can improve their communication skills by joining debating clubs, preparing and delivering presentations and blogging.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Synergy has become a modern-day buzzword. Unless you’re in a job where you don’t have to speak to a single soul, the ability to work and function well in groups and teams is one of the most sought-after employability skills. This encompasses the ability to work with people from different backgrounds, ages, and religions, recognizing individual strengths and weaknesses in the team, and accepting accountability of results.
No matter what role you’re hiring for, organizational and time management skills can help employees monitor their time and plan tasks accordingly. Being organized and methodical is an essential skill in roles where you need to maintain deadlines and targets.
Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking
One of the most valuable employability skills is problem solving and critical, which refers to the ability to use facts, knowledge, and data to solve business and other problems. Employees need to develop the skill of analyzing problems effectively and thinking on their feet to find the solutions for it.
Innovation and Creativity
Creativity or rather the ability to think out of the box opens a world of opportunities for new graduates. This does not entail being creative in artistic ventures. If you’re able to use creative methods and different perspectives in the workplace to look at and resolve problems, you can stand out in a sea of job seekers.
The Indelible Impact of Technology
Technology has changed radically. During the last 50 years, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning related applications were available only to an exclusive group of scientists and researchers. This has changed today with AI being used for a wide range of functions from automating claim handling by insurance companies to predicting potential heart failure.
The digital transformation in the country is also shaping a new workforce. With routine, standardized jobs being taken over by robots, the demand has shifted to a workforce that is technically skilled and is in sync with the latest technology in the market. Even for specialists such as software engineers, reskilling is necessary to avoid irrelevance. Certification courses, available online as well as offline, can help students and professionals bridge that gap and learn the skills needed to take on the next big challenge.
Despite the demand for technical skills, employability soft skills remain an important factor in recruitment. Graduates entering the saturated job market must find ways of enhancing these skills to stand out.