The job market has improved, but is still very tight and highly competitive. Because of this, it is imperative that you do all you can to set yourself above and apart from the competition, by honing and highlighting your skills that are in high demand by employers. To help you on this path, we covered the six skills and qualities most desired by employers.

SEE: The 7 Most Universal Job Skills

In their Job Outlook 2012 report, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) included the results of a 2011 survey in which it asked employers which of the skills and qualities they value most in candidates. The following are six of the most important, listed in the order of importance based on the results of the survey.

Ability to Work in a Team Structure
More often than not, your job will require you to work with others in order to get tasks and projects completed. This means that potential employers will want to be sure that you take kindly to sharing ideas, that you are open to ideas and input from others and that you are willing to put the team and the company's interests ahead of your own.

Ability to Verbally Communicate with Persons Inside and Outside the Organization
In order to get work done, you may need to communicate with multiple departments in the organization. This can come in handy when you need to get something expedited for a customer, or if you need to understand how a function or process works. You will also need to effectively communicate with customers and vendors. An effective communicator is often a good motivator, which means you can get others to do their jobs.

Ability to Make Decisions and Solve Problems
Problems will eventually arise in every organization, but how you respond to these problems will determine how much damage they will cause. Making decisions that are in the best interest of the company, and solving problems with the most efficiency and limiting damages are traits of a good candidate. (For new skills you may want to learn, check out 6 High-Value Skills That Will Supplement Your Career.)

Ability to Obtain and Process Information
As a new employee, you will have a steep learning curve. How quickly you are able to understand the requirements of your job, will depend of your ability to understand or process the information that you receive. In some case, you will not be left on your own until the company is sure that you can do the job well. Someone who is unable to process information easily can easily become a liability to the company.

In addition, you will need to demonstrate that you can take initiative and obtain information that is necessary to perform your job, instead of waiting for someone else to provide you with that information.

Ability to Plan, Organize and Prioritize Work
Employees are often assigned multiple tasks and projects. An effective and efficient employee should be able to categorize these assignments by due dates and level of priority, which is usually based on guidelines established by the company. Completing a task perfectly may mean nothing if it is late, or if it adversely affected another assignment.

Ability to Analyze Quantitative Data
Every company measures its success based on numbers. The numbers that apply to you may depend on the department in which you work. For example, if you are in customer service, you may need to understand why more customers call during a certain period. Your ability to understand the statistics as they relate to the company can help you to implement plans that help improve efficiency and help the company to make more money.

The Bottom Line
You should never forget that your resume is what will get you the interview, therefore it is up to you to sell yourself well enough so that when a potential employer see it, they know right away that you are a good candidate for them. Make sure that your resume is up to date and showcases all of your skills and qualities.

When applying for a job, do your research so that you know the skills required by that employer. The importance of skills may vary among different employers and will also depend on the job for which you are applying. Be sure to highlight the skills for the job you want on your resume. (To learn more, read The Best Careers For Your Skills.)

Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    6 Top Skills You Need On Your Resume

    It’s imperative for job seekers to distinguish themselves, and a good way to do so is by showing you possess the skills that are in the highest demand.
  2. Budgeting

    Lost Your Job? 6 Things to Do Immediately

    If you’ve lost your job, shoring up your finances as best you can will make it easier to get back on your feet again when that next position rolls around.
  3. Professionals

    Broker Or Trader: Which Career Is Right For You?

    Both brokers and traders buy and sell securities, but there are some subtle differences between the two careers.
  4. Professionals

    Financial Career Options For Professionals

    A career in finance can take a business professional down many different paths.
  5. FA

    The Basics of The Series 79 Exam

    Passing the Series 79 exam is usually necessary for anyone who wants to work in investment banking.
  6. Professionals

    10 Steps To A Career In Hedge Funds

    The first step to getting your hedge fund career started is to be sure you really want to work for a hedge fund. If you do, it’ll show in your actions.
  7. Professionals

    Business Analyst: Job Description & Average Salary

    Learn the different types of business analyst careers available; understand the skills and education needed and the salary you can expect to make.
  8. Entrepreneurship

    How To Make Money With Domain Names

    Domain names are hot commodities in today’s tech-centric world, and for good reason.
  9. Professionals

    How To Get A Job On Wall Street

    Although Wall Street has its share of problems, finding people who want to become traders isn’t one of them.
  10. Professionals

    Financial Analyst: Job Description & Average Salary

    Understand the types of career paths you can take as a financial analyst, and learn the education and skills you need to launch a career in this field.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Does a financial advisor need an MBA?

    Obtaining a license as a financial adviser does not require an Master's of Business Administration (MBA) degree. The Certified ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can an investment banker switch to a career in corporate finance?

    It's pretty easy for an investment banker to switch to a career in corporate finance. The career skills are easily transferable, ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do I get started with a career in asset management?

    The asset management industry has a variety of different career paths. Depending on what asset management area you would ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. For which kind of jobs is having Magnum Cum Laude most important?

    Having a magna cum laude degree is most important for jobs in the fields of finance, management consulting and engineering. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Other than accounting, what does a corporate finance job involve?

    While a corporate finance job almost always involves accounting in some capacity, there are many additional job duties and ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What qualities are necessary to be an effective member of the c-suite in a publicly-traded ...

    Several qualities are needed to be a member of the c-suite of a publicly traded company. The c-suite is business jargon term ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  4. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
  5. Flight To Quality

    The action of investors moving their capital away from riskier investments to the safest possible investment vehicles. This ...
  6. Discouraged Worker

    A person who is eligible for employment and is able to work, but is currently unemployed and has not attempted to find employment ...
Trading Center