Personal Attributes

Employers value personal attributes in their employees.

Specific skills

Specific skills are skills that are needed for a specific job. Employers will look for employees that match that required skill set for the job. Having the specific skill set required to do a job will mean that you will be able to do it much better and efficiently than somebody who doesn't. Specific skills can range from qualifications, such as university degrees. Others can be experience in the required or similar line of work, such as lesson planning skills for a teacher.

Health & Safety

Employees are expected to take care of themselves and everyone that could be affected by their actions, as stated in the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act. The act also extends to notifying your employers of any injuries at work, dangerous occurrences or if you have a disease that is work related and reportable. Employers would also prefer their employees to stay off and rest when they get an illness, rather than possibly giving the entire workplace the illness.

General attributes

Everyone job will expect you have to a skill set known as soft skills. Soft skills allow you to carry out your tasks easier, despite what the job may be. Soft skills include planning skills, organisational skills, time management, team working, communication skills, numeracy and creativity skills.

Planning skills

Planning skills is very important as it allows you to plan ahead when doing a task. You can organise the order of what part of the task needs to be done first so that you can get the task done easier. It helps with time management and organisational skills as you plan ahead to make sure you are always organised and that you have the right amount of time to do things.

Organisational Skills

Organisational skills are important to prevent yourself from getting into a mess. It can be as simple as keeping your workplace clean and tidy so everything is easy to find to planning out the upcoming week to make sure you are available for everything and don't miss anything out.

Time Management

Time management skills show your employer that you can meet deadlines. This is important as in a workplace environment there will be a lot of occasions were you don't have much time to do a certain task. Good time management skills will help you get this task done as you know how much and what time you can allocate to the task.

Team Working

Team working is one of the most important skills when working in a business. It allows you to work together with everyone in the workplace and to get tasks done easier. A good team worker will be able to help out the others when needed and to share there work which will benefit the rest of the team massively.

Communication Skills

Communication skills is important as it allows you to talk to people in both inside and outside the business. Outside the business you may need to talk to customers and poor communication skills may lead to awkward situations or leave them unsatisfied with the business. Inside the business it is important as you need to be able to talk to everyone inside the workplace, asking for help or giving help when needed. Good communication skills involves body language and tone of voice to show that you are interested in what is going on. It also involves understanding how communication can differ over different cultures so that you don't accidentally offend somebody or create an awkward situation with the person you are talking to.


Numeracy skills can help you quickly solve problems on the spot without having to waste time looking for solutions to simple problems.

Creativity Skills

Creativity skills are very valuable in a business. With good creativity skills you can think outside of the box more and find unique solutions to problems. If the business is trying to create a new product, creativity skills will be great as you can help think of different ideas that nobody else may have thought of.


Your attitude can say a lot about you. A good work ethic will show your employer that you want to work for them.


Being determined is a strong attitude to have as it shows you are willing to get the task done and put your best effort into it which is what the business will want.


Shows that you can work on your own and take initiative without have somebody to guide you through your work or follow when starting a task.


Showing the business is a great attitude to have as it shows them that they can rely on you to do the task at hand.


Shows that you can take things into your own hands to get a task done.


Having confidence in your own abilities will also make the business confident in you. It will allow you to work more efficiently as you aren't worrying what you are doing and it also shows the business that you know what you are doing.

General Communication Skills

General communication skills involves how you adapt to meet the needs of your audience. This can involve:

Cultural Differences

Different culturers may percieve things you do differently. Certain words, phrases or even gestures may be interpreted incorrectly or may even be seen as offensive. It is a good idea to find out these cultural differences before talking to the given audience so you can avoid these differences by using different gestures and phrases.

Adapting voice and terminology

Different audiences will have different needs. For a larger audience you may need to use a microphone or raise you voice to make sure everyone in the room can hear what you are saying. You should also vary your tone of voice to avoid sounding monotone as this will make the audience disinterested. The terminology you use could also be wrong for the audience, younger audiences or those without much experience in what you are talking about may not understand complicated jargon, however those with lots of experience in the field may feel like you are patronising them by not using their terminology.

Use of Technology

Using technology is a great way to keep the audience interested. You could create a presentation to display key information when talking to your audience, allowing them to take notes or help them visualize what you are saying. It can also be used to keep younger audiences interested by using videos, animation or pictures.

Questions and Answering (Q&A)

Q&A sessions at the end of a presentation can be very beneficial to both you and the audience. It allows the audience to ask about anything they have may have missed or not understood properly when you were talking about it and allows you to go into more depth on a certain area. It also will give you feedback as if lot of people ask about a particular subject or part of the presentation you may need to make that part more clear next time.

Interpersonal Skills

When talking to other people you can use various techniques to help get a point across, such as using positive language to show that you are interested. You might also have to change your method of communicating due to a barrier, such as the other person being deaf.

Signing and lip syncing.

If you're talking to somebody is deaf then you may have to use sign language to talk to them. It is a recognised language that will massively aid the deaf. The deaf may also rely on lip syncing what you are saying to help them understand so try to speak clearly so to reduce the chances of them misinterpreting what you are saying.

Techniques for expressing emotion

If you're talking in a monotone voice it won't be conveying much expression. Raising your voice can show that you're angry and impatient or that you are passionate about your point whereas being quiet can often shows that you don't have much confidence.

Body Language

Body language can also be used to show emotion. Being more articulate with your body language can be a great way to get a point across as just having your hands in your pockets or arms folded will often show people that you might not care what you're talking about or are too laid back. However using lots of hand gestures can show how that you are interested and also will attract more attention to you if you are being more active.

Positive & Negative Language

Being positive in a conversation is key. Smiling and using positive language shows that your willingness to listen to what is being said. Negative language however can cause a lot of different signals. Cutting in when somebody else is speaking could show enthusiasm or it can show that you are inpatient.

Communication In Writing

Written communication is how you communicate through a written (or typed) message. This can range from emails to presentations. What you write may be effected by constraints as may have to write using a template which could include the companies footer. Different business will require you to communicate differently, however most will use emails to send important information. The company will also provide essentials, such as a fax machine. Who you are talking to will determine how professional and formal you should be. If you are writing for a young audience you may use things like emoticons and informal language to keep them interested and to make sure they understand what you are saying. However you'd want to avoid using emoticons when writing formally as it is very unprofessional.

Grammar and spelling are important. Not using this properly could show that you did not take care when writing and could potentially lead to confusing messages if it is that bad. Proofreading and spellchecking are a good way to make sure that everything makes sense and isn't spell incorrectly, you might also notice you missed something or or want to rewrite a point you wrote while proofreading.

Knowing how to structure your writing is a very important skill. By using subheadings and bullet points you can easily organise information and make it easier to find. You can also use structure to bring attention to parts that you want people to read by giving them larger headings or writing them at the beginning.

Barriers to effective communication

Effective communication sometimes cannot be achieved due to certain barriers such as loud noises in the background can cause quite a problem when trying to communicate. It can make it hard to hear the other person who is speaking if there are lots of other people speaking or it could distract one person if it is loud music that is playing. It might also cause problems when writing as it can distract you and not make you concentrate. Background noise can range from something small like the sound of a keyboard or a full room of people talking or a busy road. To reduce the chance of background noises there are a lot of things that you could do. When talking to one or two people, you could move away from the location is there is too much noise. If in a large room with large audience you can ask for silence when talking and try not to organise it on a day or location that will have loud noises, such as construction work or a busy road. To prevent background noises in an office, such as keyboards or phones ringing you can use dividers or small offices to give people more personal space and help reduce the background noise.

There are plenty of distractions that could also act as barriers to effective communication. TVs, phones and computers can prevent effective communication if you are too invested in them.

Language can provide a significant barrier. If two people can't speak the same language then it will be very hard to communicate. Learning sign language is a good way to communicate with people who are deaf as they will be able to understand sign language.