10 Professionals Skills All Employers Look for in Candidates

You will need professional skills to excel at any job. Here's a list of the top ten professional skills that nearly all employers look for in candidates.



Table of Contents

  1. Professional Skills
  2. What Are Professional Skills?
  3. Why Are Professional Skills So Important?
  4. What Are the Top Ten Professional Skills for the Workplace?
  5. FAQ: Professional Skills

Professional Skills

To land the job of your dreams and excel in their career path, you’ll need to display professional skills. Professional skills are needed to excel at most jobs, regardless of industry. They are crucial for professional development and achieving success. They are also important for maintaining productivity, and fostering positivity in the workplace. 

Professional skills aren’t as easily inherited or acquired on the job as most technical skills are. Nonetheless, most professions favor candidates who display them. Therefore, regardless of the job you’re applying to, it’s crucial to showcase them. You need to show a refined set of specific professional skills in your CV and during your job interview. 

These skills advance your job search process in a competitive market and impress hiring managers. At the same time, they are also essential for you to grow as a professional in your desired field. You should have a comprehensive understanding of which professional skills yield the best results. This will provide you with opportunities for growth and success, because you are better equipped to excel in your industry.

But, what constitutes strong professional skills? Is it something only acquired through years of professional experience, or can the right attitude and mindset put you on the path? Can you get on a path to develop the necessary professional skills you need to succeed?

This article will explain what professional skills are and their importance in the workplace. We’ll also cover which professional skill sets are the top ten for the workplace that potential employers seek in candidates.

What Are Professional Skills?

Professional skills are predominantly soft skills. They are intangible abilities that speak to how you handle yourself in work situations. They are traits that contribute to your relationships with colleagues and clients.

When you have an endless number of candidates who have similar experiences and industry-specific skills applying to the same open job position, soft skills can differentiate job candidates for hiring managers and recruiters.

To break it down further, professional skills consist of particular traits that contribute positively to your performance and success in the workplace. Possessing a practical set of professional skills can benefit professionals across virtually all job positions. This is true regardless of their particular industry, or work environment.

Professional skills are also transferable skills. This means that they can be carried from one position to the next, regardless of the industry in question. Soft skills revolve around how professionals interact with the people and environments around them. Professional skills are often incorporated into job descriptions in the form of:

  • Management skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical and analytical thinking skills
  • Leadership skills

Why Are Professional Skills So Important?

Aside from the experience and industry-specific hard skills, professionals also need another set of soft skills. Professionals across all fields need specific abilities, skills, and behavior traits to be productive at their job.

These necessary skills are the professional skills employees need to be valuable and productive team members and dependable team players. They are important skills to achieve professional success, regardless of their profession or industry. So, whether you’re just starting out on your professional journey with an entry-level job or are looking to advance your career, professional skills are necessary to impress potential employers.

What Are the Top Ten Professional Skills for the Workplace?

If you’re looking to land your dream job or advance your career path, then you need to possess a refined set of the top professional skills for the workplace. The following are some of the most essential and sought-after professional skills employers seek in candidates:

  • Effective communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision-making
  • Organizational skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Leadership
  • Active listening
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Teamwork

FAQ: Professional Skills

Q: What are some ways to include professional skills in a CV?

You can incorporate your professional skills in your CV’s skills section and use industry-specific keywords to showcase them. An example of this would be:

Customer Service:

Handled 50+ client calls a day and used positive communication and problem-solving skills to resolve customer issues and complaints.

Also, in your experience section, weave in your professional skills and the positive outcomes they contributed to when describing previous job duties and achievements. An example of this would be:

Collaborated with the sales team to share sales techniques and consistently exceed monthly sales goals by an average of 25%, utilizing practical people skills to develop valuable customer relationships.

Q: How can I improve my professional skills?

You can refine your professional skills by:

  • Learning to take the initiative
  • Take advantage of any in-house company training offered at your job. Many companies offer their employees the opportunity to take part in training courses with experts in various fields that teach unique skill sets
  • Observing someone in your workplace who excels at these skills and taking note of their behavior

Q: How can I demonstrate professional skills during an interview?

You can showcase your professional skills during your job interview by:

  • Practicing mock interviews with friends or family members
  • Being enthusiastic from the beginning to the end of the interview
  • Practicing excellent and effective verbal and non-verbal communication, such as maintaining eye contact with the interview and maintaining a relaxed but alert posture
  • Persuade potential employers that you’re a problem-solver by citing specific examples from previous job duties

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