Top 7 Skills And Qualities Employers Look For In Candidates


With the continuous rise in unemployment in Nigeria, it is becoming even more difficult  for job seekers to nail their choice jobs. The criteria for getting hired have become so difficult, that it would take some exceptional skill to convince an employer to hire you – in most cases; you need to have the right connection.

In a situation where the job requirement doesn’t require candidates with exceptional skills, employers are looking for certain “expensive” attributes in the prospective employees they intend to hire. If they are to spend too much on training and salaries on any employee, they believe that such a person should be the best they can ever get anywhere. It no longer matters what you wrote on your CV and Cover Letter, it is now what they can feel and perceive while an interview is underway.

There are general attributes that employers require from their applicants regardless of the position up for grab. These seven attributes in the right proportion would definitely make any job seeker a gem to possess. What are they?

See the 7 Attributes Employers Seek for in any Job Seeker

1. Communication Ability

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This is one skill that every organization would wish all their staffs possess. The ability to communicate with superiors, colleagues and other staffs is something that is essential regardless of any industry you find yourself. In getting a job out there, employers want a candidate who can communicate his intent to others in a way they can understand. Effective communication takes two forms

  • Verbal
  • Written

Areas of communication employers are looking for are;

  • Ability to listen to others
  • Ability to give feedback in a professional manner
  • Ability to sell ideas
  • Friendliness and good Body Language

2. Ability to work as a Team

When looking for a job, I suggest you take out time and explain your team work abilities clearly – in your resume and cover letter. You can explain how you’ve been able to successfully work with several teams in the past. Firms always look out for such attribute because the attitude of a single team member can mar or make a team’s effort. 

3. Ability to act independently and Take initiatives

When Steve Jobs said “You don’t hire smart people and tell them what to do; you hire smart people to tell you what to do.” So many employers are living by this quote, and the demand for really smart people is on the increase. Employers are looking to hire people who can take initiatives on their own, work without direct supervision, and make decisions like they own the organization.


4. Problem-Solving Skill

Since the aim of any employer when trying to hire an employee is to solve a particular problem, they are really looking out for people with this kind of ability. It would sound really funny to know that naturally, some people hate encountering problems while they discharge their duties. The problem they encounter becomes a problem for them, which in turn becomes a problem for the company and lags efforts of others.

Problem solving skills isn’t about writing it all over your CV, it is very visible when you see those who truly possess this skill. Research has shown that those who are truly problem solvers go very far in any chosen career.

5. Good Interpersonal Skills

Most sensitive positions require you to have near perfect interpersonal skills. The way you relate, interact, and communicate with others in the workplace has a silent overall effect on productivity. Research has shown that once there is an overall feeling of togetherness in any organization, productivity is always on the increase.

Nobody wants to hire anyone who will put a deadlock in a team. The assessment of a candidate’s interpersonal skill is always judged during the interview stage.

6. Technical Skill

This is the most important of all the attributes being sought after in job candidates. Every other skill listed above is considered soft – only your technical skill is considered a hard skill. This is because it is highly important, and that is why you are going to be hired.

Consider a situation where you intend to hire a Software Developer who can communicate, lead a team, is vocal, can spot and solve problems, but has little or no idea about simple computer programming languages – pretty bad I guess. No matter the skill you have; without the appropriate technical skill to back it up, you are pretty seen as useless.

7. Honesty and Integrity

If you have all the above skills without honesty and integrity, no employer will give you the job. The reason is not farfetched, nothing kills a business faster than a dishonest employee. Besides killing a business, someone who lacks honesty and integrity can put his employer into serious trouble, involving the law or police.

Conclusion: The beauty about possessing any of the skill above is the confidence it puts inside of you. One is to possess any of the above skill; another is to be able to show the employer you possess the skill. Without proper representation of these skills on your CV, no employer would call you up for an interview. How detailed and convincing is your CV?

Till next time we meet, goodbye and happy job hunting.

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About Professional CV Writer

Patrick Okunima is a professional CV writer with over a decade's experience. He's the Founder of CV Wizards (The first Nigerian company to be registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC as a CV, resume and cover letter writing firm). Patrick, through his CV writing services has helped more than 3,000 job seekers secure interviews with high-paying companies, including Banks, Consulting Firms, Multinationals, Telecommunications, and Oil and Gas Companies. Need professional help with your CV? Kindly reach Patrick on 08104502652 or via email at