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Top 4 Skills Employers Look For Today

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From “coworking” to “bootstrapping” to project “pivots,” workplace language is constantly evolving to remain relevant — and so are the fundamental structures of businesses and agencies around the world. 

In the ever-changing business world, it’s vital to know what skills one should learn, and what is most valued by employers today. From an agile mindset to cultural awareness, here are the top leadership skills you should learn to become highly employable.

OUR TOP 4 SKILLS YOU SHOULD LEARN IN 2021
An agile mindset
Emotional intelligence
Cultural awareness
Problem-solving

 

A revolutionised workforce

The emergence of Silicon Valley, the internet, and the creation of the startup business model have all revolutionised modern enterprise. Small companies can explode with success in the span of a year, only to burn out just as fast, if they’re not careful. 

The most successful businesses in the 21st century are able to keep up with swiftly changing technologies, trends, and models. In order to accomplish this, they need employees who are able to do the same. Forward-thinking businesses are seeking a completely different set of skills now than they were 20 years ago, and potential employees need to be able to adjust accordingly. 

Early career professionals now need to show not only their ability to perform within a certain position but their propensity to play an active role in a company’s working environment. 

What skills should I learn?

“Soft skills,” or non-quantifiable abilities which cannot easily be tested in a written exam, have become some of the key aspects employers look for in a job candidate.  Here are 4 of the most common elements sought after in applicants in many modern businesses:

  • An agile mindset: While this is particularly true within the tech industry, an agile mindset is becoming increasingly relevant. New work methodologies such as the Agile Transformation are becoming increasingly popular, and employers are seeking those who are willing to change with them. If you can adapt, experiment, and learn fast, you have an advantage. Failing fast is also a concept gaining popularity, as companies realize that the only true way to be at the forefront of a sector is to experiment with many possibilities, and some will certainly fail. 
  • Emotional intelligence: In a substantial departure from the staunch, detached leadership styles of the past, modern organisations seek managers with a human connection to their team. Now more than ever, companies are prioritising employee well-being over immediate revenue, and are taking a human-focused approach to management and performance. As a modern manager or leader, emotional intelligence is imperative to handling difficult situations in an effective and resolution-based manner.
  • Cultural awareness: The world continues to globalise, interconnecting and bringing fresh new perspectives to working environments. Businesses are placing ever-increasing importance on these new viewpoints, and multicultural awareness has become an essential skill for both employees and managers alike. Cultural awareness and diversity within businesses are directly linked to increased performance, and it’s just as important for reaching a wider market as it is for internal performance.
  • Problem-solving: This traditional resume nomenclature has taken on new importance in modern business. Companies are opening up to more creative ways of solving problems within rapidly changing socio-economic environments, and need team players who are able to adapt to overcome new obstacles. Thinking out of the box is a significant asset to staying relevant and competitive in emerging and changing markets.

Where do employers look for these skills?

Employers look for applicants’ skills in several different places, the 3 most important ones being resumes, cover letters & obviously interviews. When highlighting your skills, here are key factors to keep in mind:

  • For resumes:  You should always create a section called “Skills” on your resume where you can list your skills related to the job you are seeking. You can also incorporate mentions of these skills throughout the experience section of your resume in the descriptions of your job duties.
  • For cover letters: Your cover letter should include mention of 3 of your most marketable skills.
  • During interviews: During the interview, provide examples of how you have used your skills in the past. Try to especially mention the skills that were specifically mentioned in the job posting.

How to develop these modern leadership skills?

These soft skills can be learned with time and experience in the workforce. The right education programmes, however, integrate the honing of these skills into their curriculum. For instance, at EDHEC, there are three main approaches we use to build these leadership skills into the profiles of our students:

  • A human-focused approach to learning: EDHEC is committed to providing a high quality of online instruction, and integrates human interaction throughout our programme offerings. Each EDHEC student receives dedicated support from our professors through two individual and group coaching sessions per month. They also have access to privileged interactions with EDHEC professors and academic mentors during weekly virtual meetings.
  • A focus on diversity: EDHEC prides itself in its international approach to higher education and recognises the value that different perspectives bring to a working environment. We are committed to bringing together students from diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and mindsets to maximise creativity and open-mindedness within our graduates. 
  • A worldwide network: Our online campus allows students to connect and work together around the globe, training the leaders of tomorrow to understand the complexity of the business world and preparing them to leave a positive impact on the business world and society as a whole.

    If you’re looking to hone your leadership skills as a working professional through further education, take a look at EDHEC’s online programmes.