Attributes valued by Employers

Specific Skills - General Attributes - Attitudes

General Attributes

Numeracy skills are obviously one of the first things that employers look for, though advanced numeracy skills may not be needed in some jobs, all jobs will require some form of numeric skills. If you have good numeracy skills it could make all the difference over who the employer chooses to employ and there is quite a difference between knowing how to use a calculator and how to sums in your head just as quick.

All employers will look for what kind of planning skills you have, whether it be how you review work, how you manage your time during projects and what things you prioritise over others. They will also look into whether your planning is reasonable and will look at how feasible it would be for you to complete that work in the time you say. They may also look for your ability to plan out tasks for a team and how you spread the tasks out so everybody gets their work done on time.

You must remember that every employer will look at your communication skills, both verbal and written. They will look at your ability to communicate with your team of co-workers and clients alike, you must show that you are adept in both of these areas to show employers that you can easily communicate with people in and out of the work environment. You must show that you can always keep the flow of a conversation going, whether it's during a one-to-one meeting or emailing information to clients.

Job Specific Skills

Different jobs require different skills, but there are certain jobs which may require skills specific to that area of work.

A sales representative will need a clean drivers licence and be willing to drive long distances in order to meet specific clients. They will most likely need their own mode of transport as well in case the employer does not provide a company car. Some airline companies will also require their employees to speak multiple languages you they can respond to someone in their native language as it is seen as courteous.

You will also need to follow health and safety issues and good working procedures.

If you are unwell you should stay off work until you recover. If you can work from home, do as much work as you can. If you cannot then just wait, as giving the entire office the flu is extremely counterproductive.

You must also respect the private information of others that you may discover whilst working for a company. These details are confidential and you are expected to ignore these details unless specifically told otherwise as they may be imperative company material or specifications for a new product.


Self motivation is valued by employers for many reasons. Self motivation simply means that some people do not require others to motivate them, they may have ways to motivate themselves to do work quicker or something different that drives them to complete it on time. If people are not self motivated then employers may think against hiring them if they don't think they can rely on them to finish work on time.

You must also be creative as it required in every line of work. Employers take great interest in employing people who can think "outside the box" as they can make major contributions when it comes to the success of a company product or advertisement campaign. How you access this creativity doesn't matter, you may need loud music playing or require a drink beforehand, each person has their own way of doing things. Also, as long as your creative ideas make the company money, your employer probably won't care what you need to do in order to think up these plans.

Perhaps most importantly of all you must have confidence in your abilities, and be able to face challenges head on without the fear that your work won't be good enough to overcome these obstacles.

Principles of Effective Communication

General Communication

In order to correctly deliver a message to your audience you must manage the language you use and how you put your words together. There are also several other things you must manage to make your message as effective as possible.

You must take any cultural differences into account, because certain words or signs that are acceptable in one culture could be considered offensive in another. So be sure to think about this and use words and phrases you wouldn't normally use in order to reduce the risk of offending anyone.

You must also adapt to suit your audience. If your audience is of a younger background then bring up things that are current in speeches and if your audience is older, use more mature language and try to incorporate history into your speech. You must be sure that your facts are correct as well and be sure to differentiate them from personal opinions. To maintain interest you may use a microphone or raise your voice at certain points and be very selective in your terminology so everyone in the audience can understand you.

Interpersonal Skills

When communicating with someone you must take into account how you express emotion during verbal communication, you may need to change your tone of voice accordingly with the conversation.

A raised voice can express anger or impatience, a lowered voice can show fear or insecurity. Body language can be a big factor of showing emotion, banging your fist off as table or wall will convey a lot more force into speaking than if they were at your side. Folded arms can also be a show of indifference or even stubbornness. When talking over the phone though, you cannot show this extra dimension of communication and must use your voice and verbal cues to you advantage.

You must also be sure to always remain engaged with a conversation, especially with just one other person. Be sure to react to what people say, not always verbally but physically as well, like nodding or frowning. When they finish speaking they may end with a question like "don't you agree?" prompting you to respond. After this you may also paraphrase what you have agreed on or even by summarising everything that was said.

Communication in Writing

Written communication is fundamentally different to all other forms of communication, as it requires special skills in the construction of the message. You must have a good knowledge of vocabulary and grammar so not to confuse people with your message.

Whatever form of written communication the message takes, there will be a key message to be conveyed. A letter may have it as a heading whilst emails have a subject line to convey their message.

Whilst ensuring your spelling and grammar is correct, you must also make sure that the structure of your letter or email is also correct. A logical framework will have material presented in a sensible order, it may also include headings and bullet points alike. This should help the reader understand and take in the information without struggling to read or comprehend any part of it.

Barriers to Effective Communication

Background Noise

To communicate effectively, you need to prevent or reduce the effect of communication barriers as much as possible.

Background noise is something that you don't underestimated, as even the slightest amount of consistent background noise will distract an entire audience. In order to prevent this, you should ensure that AC units are silent, and that if you have any microphones and speakers, you make sure they don't produce any static.


Things like mobile phones going off to someone walking in late, almost anything can interrupt the flow of a meeting or speech, and thus the audience will momentarily stop listening to you. If this happens you may feel the need to repeat part of your speech, but aren't sure whether people were listening. To prevent this you must plan everything out, ensure all phones are switched off and that doors are closed locked after the presentation starts.

Lack of Concentration

If your audience isn't concentrating on you and your speech, it will greatly hinder your ability to communicate with them. It is imperative that you manage the length of the conversation as people can only take in so much information at once, and feeding them too much information will just make them confused and they may stop listening to you. This rule is the same for written communication, try to write on just one side of A4 or they may lose concentration on the next page.


If someone comes form a different part of the world, or has grown up around different cultures then their opinions may differ to yours, and may find certain things offensive. Be sure to check whether that applies to anyone attending your speech as you will have to control your language and make sure to rationalise your opinions so they understand why you differ to theirs. People may also feel you are biased to a different part of the country if you say the wrong thing, so you should always watch what you say when doing speeches like that.

Physical Barriers

Physical barriers refer to things like disabilities, if someone is deaf or does not speak your language. If this is the case then you must be sure to take these things into account and have solutions to these issues should they arise. If someone is deaf they have an interpreter tell them what you are saying in sign language. This goes the same for those who don't speak your language.

Overall Knowledge

If you don't know much about the person you are speaking with, or the subject you are currently talking about then it can make a conversation quite uncomfortable when this person discovers that everything they just said means nothing to you as you have no idea what they are talking about. In order to avoid situations like this, be sure to say that you don't know much about the subject just so they understand that you may not grasp all of this information immediately.