Skills that matter today. Jack of all trades or master of one

10 Everyday Skills All Employers Seek

Can you work in a team? According to research this is the most important question many employers consider as they work through résumés and interview job candidates. But it’s not the only general skill that employers often seek. What’s more, in a new-age environment, there are some fresh skills added to the list.

Here are 10 top everyday skills modern employers seek.


Most jobs are group situations where you’re interacting with others to get the job done…think hospitality, customer service, and construction just to name a few. So are you a team player? Will you jump in, help out, generally play nicely with others, and take responsibility for your role within that group?


Depending on the job, most employers aren’t asking you to be a Nobel laureate, but can you effectively communicate ideas, understand directions, and speak with confidence? This includes showing respect, looking people in the eye, and generally being a warm and friendly face for the job front.


It’s all very well to be able to take direction because that’s important too, but if push comes to shove can you show initiative? This means working in the interests of the business, using your skills, finding opportunities, and providing solutions, rather than waiting to be told exactly what to do next.


The first few years on the job front, and even well beyond, are all about learning. This includes learning the corporate ethos, specific computer skills, an organisation’s policies and procedures, and so much more.

Employers are looking for this willingness to take training on board whenever required, with an ability to learn specific skills standing job candidates in good stead.

Time management

Regardless of what industry you work in, deadlines are likely to be a key component of the job. Whether it’s the annual stocktake, completing a project or handling the morning coffee rush, you will need to be organised, and able to manage your time.


As much as you may love your employment, not every day will be fabulous, and not every interaction with workmates smooth. This means resilience is a key skill for any worker. It’s the ability to take direction, take criticism, occasionally take negative comments, and still get on with the job, smile firmly on your face.


If there’s one constant in the workplace, it’s that things are likely to change. In some cases that will be due to evolving technology, in others it will be altering corporate structures. In further instances still, it will involve being flexible enough to simply handle new tasks. You need to be good at identifying change and being flexible enough to adapt when it comes calling.


According to Forbes attention is one of the new key skills that modern employers seek. They note in an age where technology diminishes our ability to concentrate, focus is an increasingly rare attribute, and the lack of it extends right through to careless typos in CVs.


Described as “the ability to overcome”, agility combines learning with resilience, but it’s also a critical skill highlighted by the modern age. Beth Perkins, Talent Acquisition Manger at Delphic Digital, told Forbes that millennials often “expect things to go their way” and, if they don’t, they “move on rather than sticking it out and finding a solution”.

Instead they should be finding strategies to overcome solutions, riding even the challenging wave, and using resourcefulness to navigate the path to success.


In your initial years in the workforce there are going to be times when you need to pipe up, ask for help and admit you don’t understand. And this ability to not take yourself too seriously is important for learning, working as a team and achieving an outcome. Humility doesn’t mean a lack of confidence but shows you understand that you need some runs on the board to be an effective addition to any workplace.

What we do

The Father James Grant Foundation arms job seekers with workplace and life skills to allow them to be a valuable addition to any workforce. Each year we partner with business to provide workplace training, experience and job seeker skills. You can learn more about our programs here, or contact us for further advice.

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