Gone are the days of walking into a trade or a career with a few GCSE’s and a cheeky smile. The job market is far more competitive, especially now we’re within the eye of a global recession.

Employers are looking for specific qualities that will ensure that they are making a good investment…in you. With hundreds of CV’s piling their desks and dozens of candidates selected for interview, you need to know what they want and show that you can deliver.

Get ahead of the game and learn what every employer wants.

1. Communication
Your employer wants to know that you can covey ideas clearly. It is vital especially in companies that have many departments which feed information back-and-fourth. Clear and concise speaking indicates clarity of thought and deed. To develop this skill get yourself out there, do some public speaking, even a short-term telesales role can dramatically improve your ability to communicate under pressure.

2. Interpersonal skills
Your ability to get on well with others is important to the overall operation of the business, your post and the project. Difficult or rude people are hard to work with and create problems in the long term. Also your ability to get on with people from all walks of life and in all positions shows you to be a diverse and likeable person and will soon have you climbing the ladder.

3. Organisation
We all have a lot on our plates at one point or another. What employers seek here is a person who can organise their time, and prioritise projects and keep to deadlines. One way to improve this skill is to set yourself tasks and deadlines in your personal life and meet them. Also organise your personal space. No one likes mess, and no one likes having to wait. Ensure your employer doesn’t have to do either of these two things and you will certainly impress them.

4. Flexibility
They want you to be adaptable, to be able to meet challenges and face sudden changes in circumstance without falling apart and putting the entire project in jeopardy. Even if it means putting in an extra hour or two or doing something outside of your job role, this ultimately shows you are willing to pitch in.

5. Time keeping
The pet-peeve of most employers. If you walk into work ten minutes late every day, by the end of the week you have clocked up 50 minutes at their expense. Always be on time. It happens; buses are late, traffic is bad, car tyre gets a puncture. Just don’t make a habit of it. Let them know and offer to make up the hours. If a project deadline is running over, offer to work from home or stay late.

All-in-all show your employer the qualities outlined above and you will get a good reference and learn new skills that will help you for when you apply for another (and better) role. Keep a positive attitude and you will go far.