Skip to main content
Welsh Government

Skills and strengths employers want

You will have a better chance of succeeding in getting a job if you match your skills and strengths to what employers want.

Explore the skills and strengths listed below and think about which skills you are already good at. Take time to think about ways to improve skills and strengths that you are not as good at.

Skills and strengths

Take a look at 11 skills employers want.

Source: LightcastTM, skills taken from job adverts between June 2020 – May 2023

1. Communication skills

Communication skills are what you say, but also include your body language and tone of voice. To be good at communicating includes being a good listener, being able to explain things clearly, and being able to ask the right questions. Communication is how you interact with other people. You need to be able to communicate both by speaking and in writing.

2. Management

Management skills are a combination of skills including problem-solving, the ability to make decisions, being a good communicator, being able to delegate tasks to others, time-management, organisation, and being able to motivate others. Managers usually supervise a team of people. However, management skills can also mean managing a project, or managing your own workload.

3. Customer Service

Customer service involves how we treat other people that we meet in our workplace. Giving good customer service means being polite, treating others with respect, and doing our best to give a good service. This might mean serving customers in a shop, but could also mean answering emails, giving explanations, or handling goods carefully so they don’t break.

4. Sales

Sales skills are often specific to certain jobs. But sales skills are highly valued by employers. Sales skills involve the ability to influence others to buy a service or product, or to take an action.

5. Welsh Language

Some jobs in Wales ask for Welsh as an essential or desirable skill. Welsh language skills can be essential for some jobs in industries including social services and education. Find out more about the benefits of learning Welsh.

6. Teaching

Teaching involves the ability to explain and instruct other people so that they learn a task, a concept, or a skill. Teaching is much more than standing in front of a classroom. It might be explaining how to do your job to a new employee. Teaching skills also involve being able to communicate new information in a clear and simple way. It involves mentoring and helping others to learn.

7. Planning

Planning is the ability to think ahead and make decisions about the steps you are going to take in the future. When you plan, you are setting goals, and prioritising what task you will do first, then second, then next. Planning can be how you are going to do a task or activity. Planning could also be how you are going to use time and money in the future.

8. Paying attention to detail (detail orientated)

Paying attention to detail means that your work should be accurate, and not contain errors or mistakes. This is important for most jobs whether you are typing a document or measuring and cutting wood on a construction site.

9. Leadership

A good leader can influence, motivate, and guide others. When you have leadership skills you can motivate and guide others towards achieving a goal. Leadership skills are not just for managers. For example, a sports coach may be a leader.

10. Self-motivation

When you are self-motivated it means that you are motivated to do or achieve something without needing anyone to tell you to do it. Employers like people who are self-motivated because they can trust you to work hard without needing much supervision.

11. Enthusiasm

Being enthusiastic is showing a lot of interest and enjoyment in something. Employers like to see that you are enthusiastic and keen about a job, or tasks. If you are very interested in something, you are more likely to do a good job.

Digital skills

Most jobs involve some use of IT/digital skills. Digital skills you may need in work include:

  • Using a computer or mobile phone
  • Searching the internet
  • Writing and sending emails or messages using social media
  • Attending online meetings
  • Using software applications specific to the job

The demand for digital skills is growing. New technologies are creating new digital jobs, for example 3D printer and virtual reality engineer.

Other skills employers want

Other skills employers value include:

  • Problem-solving
  • Organisational skills
  • Teamwork
  • Research
  • Innovation (thinking of new ways of doing things)
  • Time management

Job specific skills

Many jobs have skills that are specific to that job. Visit Job Information and type in a job title to find out skills specific to jobs you are interested in.

More about skills and strengths

You might also like

Watch the video