“Why we should hire you?” 

“What are your greatest strengths?”

“What sets you apart from the other candidates?”

These questions are quite often asked by prospective employers when recruiting new talent. What they really want to know is, do you have the making of a well-rounded professional? Do you possess a good mix of distinctive skills? Are you a worthy hire who will go the distance? They need to figure out if you will bring stability and substance. They want to know your abilities and capabilities.

If you have an ACCA qualification or a data science certification, that’s great! You also need a strong personality with it. It’s a competitive job market. There’s a revolving door of applicants waiting in line for your interview to get over. You want to stand out, not blend in with the rest of the pack. Times are changing. The work environment is becoming more dynamic. There’s a shift in the corporate landscape and recruiters are now looking for strong professionals who can quickly adapt. 

So what does this mean for you? Whether you join a start-up, a small business firm or one of the big 4, you need to power up your life skills. 

You have to show them that you are more than the sum of facts and figures listed on your resume. When you are on track for a promotion, what will give you an edge over your fellow teammates?

So let’s find out what special skills employers in major companies in India, and even around the world, are looking for in 2022. 

#1 Effective communication skills

This is the most powerful tool you can possess in your kit. How well can you converse with your team, convey ideas, express opinions and articulate your point of view? You should be a confident, coherent communicator. Whether you are making an important presentation to the company head or sending inter-departmental emails. You have to be eloquent and persuasive. Try to be a good listener too. It is a necessary skill when you work in a team. Take in feedback and understand other people’s perspectives. 

At your interview, present yourself as an intelligent conversationalist. You should speak in a clear, fluent manner, make eye contact and sit up straight. To avoid stammering or using too many fillers in a sentence, practise your speech before you meet the recruiter. 

If you display an incredible command over your communication skills, along with an academic credential like a CFA certification, the recruiter will sit up and take notice. 

#2 Adaptability skills 

The business world is evolving at lightning speed. Gone are the days when you knew what to expect, or were able to perform the same set of functions year after year. Today, the only constant is unpredictability. If you are adaptable, you can grow and develop professionally and personally. You can deal with any challenges and curveballs thrown your way. People who are stagnant or unwilling to change rarely see any form of long term success. Companies want individuals who are willing to shift gears. In times of economic crisis, would you fumble? Or come up with new, innovative ways to overcome hurdles? Learning how to keep an open mind with take you far in your career. Employers love hires who ask ‘why not?’ Instead of ‘why?’. This is true across most fields, whether you’re a business analyst professional or have just finished a cyber security course

#3 Problem-solving skills 

Some employees point out problems. Whereas some employees actively seek solutions. It’s no big surprise which ones are more likely to rise up the corporate ladder. Employers want sharp professionals who are constantly working on answers, instead of coming up with more questions. Your ability to solve problems will make you a contender for job openings or promotions.

Let’s say you are a data science engineer. You will be required to work on your problem-solving skills at almost every step in your career. Similarly, if you have finished with your CFA course and getting ready to apply for a job, remember to highlight this skill during your interviews. 

#4 Decision-making skills 

Employees who can make quick but sound decisions end up with leadership roles. This is probably one of the toughest skills to master. If you can make quick but sound professional choices, you prove that you have the intuition, reasoning and intelligence to be a leader. This skill is vital if your career goals include becoming a Chief Financial Officer, especially if you have an ACCA or CFA qualification.

Decision-making skills and problem-solving skills go hand in hand. Both are instrumental when managing people and running a successful company. 

#5 Time management skills 

There are a limited number of hours in a day. To ensure you optimise every second, you need to develop good time management skills. This proves you respect everyone’s time, are task-oriented and have a laser-sharp focus on your assignments. Work out your short term and long term goals, make daily lists for job completion and keep your eye on delivering results. Once you have a time-efficient system in place, you’ll find yourself achieving your targets effectively. Remember, time is money. When you do a business analytics course, a CFA certification or undergo cyber security training, it’s one of the most important lessons you’ll learn. 

#6 Collaboration skills

When you get the job, you won’t be working in isolation. You are part of a team, and how you gel with the rest of your co-workers is extremely important. If you are a team player and work well with the rest of the department, it will lead to healthier employee relationships. This in turn will ensure better performances and productivity across the board. As opposed to a hostile atmosphere where employees don’t work well together and waste valuable company time and recourses. Firms want people who leave their egos at the door and support one another. If you are willing to work in a team and be adaptable as per the needs of the group, you will go far in the organisation. 

#7 Technical skills 

Companies are more likely to hire people who have technical training than those who don’t. You may have great communication and collaborative skills, but you need to back them up with practical, specialised skills relevant to your industry. If you are planning to apply for a job in global accountancy services, get an ACCA qualification. As a future investment banker, a CFA course will keep you aware of the latest developments within the advisory services industry. Keen on becoming a data analyst? A data science course will make you proficient in software systems such as Python, Excel, R, SAS and Tableau. Whichever career path you choose, back up your ambition with a certified course that gives you all the training and know-how you need to succeed.

#8 Self-management skills 

As a fresher or a seasoned employee, you’ll be required to manage yourself to a certain degree. Your supervisor may assign tasks, but it is up to you to handle each assignment. Will you be able to work independently? Or take up too much time? Will the stress of impending deadlines get to you? You need patience, resilience and confidence to excel at this skill. You should be someone who doesn’t crumble under the intense pressure of the work environment. Companies need stable, balanced people who contribute towards a healthy work environment and boost productivity. If you are a pro at self-managing, your boss will love you. 

#9 Critical thinking skills 

The ability to process and analyse information is a crucial skill. Firms need employees who scrutinise the facts in great detail. Critical thinkers are people who don’t accept anything at face value and delve deeper below the surface. When faced with tough challenges, your analytical thinking skills help you find resolutions. Data science analysts and CFA professionals will require critical thought in their day-to-day work.

#10 Industry awareness

Don’t apply for a job in any industry as if you’ve been living under a rock for a year. You need to know the latest developments within your chosen profession. Read the papers, stay up to date on the latest business standards and maybe even speak to people within the same field. Certain courses such as cyber security training or a business analytics course will keep you abreast of the latest events. However, you can still keep your eyes and ears open and soak up as much information around you as possible. If you come across as knowledgeable, savvy and up to date, you’re more likely to get hired.

Conclusion

Employers want the complete package. They are looking for candidates who possess the expertise, finesse and savvy to excel in their line of work. Organisations don’t want to waste time and money training the wrong employee. 

You need the right balance of skills and the ability to successfully incorporate them into your career. This is the difference between an ordinary applicant and a prospective hire with the potential to take on bigger roles in the company one day.

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