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Skills Employers Want

Here are some of the skills most commonly sought by employers, although be aware that each recruiter may have a slightly different definition of such skills.

Here are some of the skills most commonly sought by employers, although be aware that each recruiter may have a slightly different definition of such skills.

Admissions tutors may mostly be interested in your academic achievements and academic interests, however, they will also need reassurance that you have the right mix of skills and personal qualities.

Skills Employers Want


  • Ability to communicate clearly and succinctly, both orally and in writing.
  • Willingness to question and to listen to others to aid your own understanding and that of others.
  • Ability to convey complex information at the right level so it is understood by others.


  • Ability to form relationships at all levels, and motivate and support other team members.
  • Willingness to ask others for advice or help when solving a problem.
  • Ability to work fairly and productively alongside others.

Organisation and time management

  • Setting objectives, and planning activities and resources, to achieve a goal.
  • Ability to manage time effectively to prioritise activities and meet deadlines.
  • Achieving a productive and satisfying work-life balance.

Problem solving

  • Ability to understand information quickly and accurately.
  • Appreciation of all the variables affecting an issue.
  • Ability to evaluate and choose workable solutions to problems.


  • Energetic and enthusiastic approach to work/tasks.
  • Desire to continuously learn and develop, and evaluate own performance.
  • Perseverance in the face of obstacles.


  • Having a clear vision with the ability to enthuse and influence others by gaining their trust and support.
  • Ability to listen, share and delegate when appropriate.
  • Willingness to take responsibility for a task or project to ensure it gets done.

Creativity, flexibility and openness to change

  • To be original and express different views, ideas or solutions.
  • Willingness to challenge the status quo, when appropriate, and consider change.
  • An openness to others’ ideas with a willingness to adapt.

Confidence / assertiveness

  • Willingness to express needs, views and feelings clearly, confidently and courteously.
  • Appreciation of the value of one’s own abilities and role.
  • Willingness to put forward and stand firm to a minority or unpopular view, when appropriate.

Interpersonal, intercultural and global awareness

  • Awareness and tolerance of the diverse needs, feelings and views of others.
  • Willingness to support, help and share information with others.
  • Ability to communicate and work with people from different social and cultural backgrounds, and from different countries.


  • Ability to interpret statistics and numerical data.
  • Ability to solve numerical problems.
  • Familiarity with the ways in which numerical information is gathered and presented.

Information and IT literacy

  • Confidence when using information technology, with an ability to learn new packages.
  • Ability to identify how IT can be applied to improve efficiency and solve problems.
  • Knowing where and how to find relevant information.

Business / commercial awareness and professionalism

  • Understanding of the need for high quality customer service and innovative approaches.
  • Awareness of how economic and political issues can affect organisations and their products or services.
  • Recognition of the importance of a professional and responsible approach to your own role within an organisation.

You can download this list of key skills below to add to your portfolio.

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