The Professional Skills Employers Look For

October 17, 2022 · 2 min read · By ASU CareerCatalyst

Professional skills are critical to standing out to employers. Learn which skills are most important and how you can develop these to boost your career.

The 9 Professional Skills You Need to Succeed in Your Career

Building your professional skills is essential to moving ahead in today’s workplace. They can help you land that big new job, stand out at work, get promoted, increase your salary, improve your working relationships, elevate your overall job performance and make you happier and more accomplished in your work.

What professional skills are we talking about? Those abilities, habits, or personal traits that make you more effective in any work environment. They are often called “soft skills” because you can transfer them easily from one job to the next, which comes in handy when you’re changing careers.

  1. Communication

    Communication is one of the most important professional development skills for getting along and getting ahead in the workplace. Professional communication skills include written, verbal, and even non-verbal body language on the job. People skilled at communication can exchange information, negotiate agreements, collaborate with coworkers, resolve conflicts and get things done.

  2. Teamwork

    “Works well with others” is one of the highest praises we can receive on the job, and employers are willing to reward people who can do it. Knowing how to cooperate, help others, work toward a common goal, and treat colleagues and coworkers with respect will take you far in any field.

  3. Problem solving

    From time to time, we face challenges on the job. Those who can analyze situations, devise options, propose alternative solutions, and resolve issues as they arise are highly prized in the workplace.

  4. Leadership

    You don’t have to be a supervisor to exercise leadership skills. Anytime you can help others accomplish something, collaborate on an assignment, or offer suggestions and guidance in a constructive way, you are benefitting your employer and your career.

  5. Decision making

    This ability incorporates several skills, including problem analysis (figuring out what’s wrong), listening, information gathering, and consensus-building to get people on board with your solution. Work is about taking action, which is much easier once you’ve decided what needs to be done.

  6. Time management

    Being able to prioritize your work, follow a schedule for completion, handle a variety of tasks, and meet your deadlines without feeling overwhelmed requires a great deal of professionalism and organizational ability. Punctuality in general is prized by employers, and you can improve your professional reputation by always showing up on time, or early for extra points.

  7. Public speaking

    Maybe you won’t be called on to give a presentation in your job, but that doesn’t mean you don’t use public speaking in some way almost every day. Whenever you interact with a group of people, in a meeting or working session, you are much more effective if you can articulate your ideas with poise and confidence, think on your feet and react to changes quickly, and speak up and express yourself clearly.

  8. Self-motivation

    People who take initiative don’t need a lot of supervision, which busy managers tend to appreciate and acknowledge. When you are proactive about accomplishing tasks and willing to take responsibility for seeing a job through to completion, you demonstrate the kind of work ethic employers promote within their organizations.

  9. Growth mindset

    Being open to new ideas, willing to take in new information, and staying receptive to new concepts or processes at work never fails to impress the boss. It shows intelligence, knowledge, enthusiasm and a positive attitude that can take you far in any work role.

    How can you improve your professional skills?
    Whether you are looking to learn new professional skills, or simply want to improve the skillset you already have, you have options!

    ASU Professional Skills for Everyone Series
    One of the most comprehensive, efficient, and accelerated ways to supercharge your capabilities is the Professional Skills for Everyone Series, offered through ASU CareerCatalyst. With this program, you learn the kinds of soft skills that help advance your career that aren’t necessarily taught in a traditional education setting. CareerCatalyst makes world-class training from a top-tier research university accessible to all learners at every stage of their careers.

    With courses that help you develop your resilience, decision making, communication, digital intelligence, collaboration, conflict management, strategic thinking, coaching, feedback and culture skills, the ASU Professional Skills for Everyone Series empowers you to develop the job-relevant career skills you need to reach your goals in a minimal amount of time.

    Learn how Arizona State University can help you develop your professional skills
    All the professional skills covered here and more can be learned by anyone who wants to take the time to develop them. CareerCatalyst at Arizona State University can show you how. Drawing on the core of knowledge of a top-tier university, CareerCatalyst offers skills education for every career level. Choose from over 250 programs to develop in-demand job skills and capabilities across industries and job roles. CareerCatalyst is here to inspire a lifetime of learning and skills attainment. Connect with ASU to learn how you can develop your professional skillset to boost your career.

Develop the skills to succeed at every career stage.

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