Skills that will help you get ahead in the workplace

Getting ahead in the workplace requires more than just the right qualifications. Soft skills such as a positive attitude and willingness to learn often count for more than having the right experience or degree. So what exactly are employers looking for when hiring? "Even with the best marks, young graduates today are finding it difficult to impress employers because today you need a lot more intangible skills to get ahead," says Lillian Bususu, National Graduate Development Manager at Rosebank College. "Employers are looking for soft skills including intangible skills such as punctuality, flexibility, good communication and cooperativeness's. While soft skills are impossible to quantify, they are more valuable than exam results," adds Bususu. A positive attitude, good communication, and teamwork skills are the top three most valued soft skills by employers. Most employers agree that it is difficult to find candidates with the correct soft skills. These findings were published in a newly released report on the regional breakdowns of the ' National Business Survey ' from the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC). According to the report these are the soft skills that are most valued by employers.

According to the report these are the soft skills that are most valued by employers.

Positive Attitude – 36%

  • Good Communication Skills – 29%
  • Teamwork Skills – 25%
  • Strong Work Ethic – 23%
  • Interpersonal/Customer Service Skills – 18%
  • Flexibility/Adaptability – 11%
  • Honesty/Integrity – 11%
  • Time Management Abilities – 10%
  • Reliability/Dependability – 9%
  • Problem Solving Skills – 8%
  • Accountability – 7%
  • Dedication/Passion – 6%
  • Self-Confidence – 6%
  • Willingness/Ability to Learn – 5%
  • Goal-Oriented – 5%
  • Work Well Under Pressure – 5%
  • Competence/Diligence – 5%
  • Presentation – 4%

Each business is different and will require its own unique mix of skills and experience depending on the business. However it is no longer enough to be a functional expert.

Rosebank College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (Pty) Ltd which is registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training as a private higher education institution under the Higher Education Act, 1997 (reg. no. 2007/HE07/002). Company registration number: 1987/004754/07. Written by Karabo Keepile​​

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