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Five Key Skills that Recruiters look for in Candidates

key skills

Trying to work out exactly what recruiters want from job applicants isn’t always easy. This is especially true when it comes to formulating your resume. You understand that you need to adapt your resume to be in line with the job that you are applying for, but you also have to prove to the recruiter who is skimming your resume that you actually have the skills they are looking for.

Lets take a closer look at the five most common skills that all potential new employers are looking for within each application and how best to effectively demonstrate them.

Company Awareness

No matter what business sector you choose to work in, all recruiters will appreciate your company awareness.  This basically means doing some homework about the company history, their major milestones, and any industry awards won or innovative steps taken in their field.

It can also help to have an understanding of the company’s direct competition in their marketplace, and a bit of background knowledge about the products and services on offer. Demonstrating commercial awareness will impress the recruiting officer and can help make them warm to you.

To help you with your research you can follow the company on their social media accounts and read their feeds and regular updates. You can also check out the company blog, if they have one, and also sign up for the company newsletter and read through their media and press-release pages on the company website.

Use your knowledge to impress at interview. You should also mention on your resume that you are an active follower of their company on social media and that you keep up with business trends and business news relating to their sector.

Teamwork Skills

Just about every role you apply for will involve some level of teamwork, whether that is actually working within a large dedicated team, or with just one other person in a small business set-up. Demonstrating that you have good teamwork skills within your resume is vital.

You can list on your resume how you gained your teamwork skills via a variety of previous jobs, hobbies, sports or study. So this could include group projects at college, working alongside others in an office or retail setting, or being a player in your local sports team.

Your teamwork skills can be listed on your resume in its own section should you be submitting a skills based resume, or you could list them within your ‘About Me’ section where you are trying to get over your personality. Recruiters like to see that you could be a friendly team-player that would fit in well with their existing structure.

Good Communication Skills

Again, much like your teamwork skills as mentioned above, having good communication skills will be another essential skill to get across in your resume. This will be especially important to emphasise should the role you are applying for involves interacting directly with customers, talking to business clients, B2B networking, or communicating and working closely with other departments within the company.

You could demonstrate this by referring to a role you held where you provided excellent customer service on a day to day basis, or presented a project that involved contributions from other team members or information gathered from other departments.

It is important that you state your skills include not only verbal face-to-face communication but also personal presentation skills, telephone skills, as well as written and electronic combinations including social media.

Good Organisational Skills

Saying that you have good organisational skills can sound a bit vague when written on a resume. You need to explain that you can work to pressing deadlines as well as prioritise your workload to ensure everything goes smoothly. Confirming that you have excellent time-management skills in this way will demonstrate that you are self-motivated and will make you more appealing to a prospective employer.

These types of skills will be of special interest to recruiters looking for people who will be happy working in creative and fast-paced industries, such as media, publishing, graphic design etc.

Related Skills

Obviously, the recruiting officer will be looking for key skills which match the job on offer, but they will also be looking for transferable skills that you are able to take from job to job.

The importance of your job related skills will depend on the type and level of role you are applying for. Lets say that you were applying for a job in IT and you have a solid background in coding. Your coding skills are going to be important but you may need to be proficient in more than one coding language as well as having transferable skills in operating various software packages.

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