The Top Skills Employers Are Looking For In 2021

By Melissa Coutts June 21, 2021 | Posted in Our Blog

By Melissa Coutts June 21, 2021

Crikey, what a year, eh? Time to get back to some normal, right?

Part of that return to normal might be to go after that new vacancy you’ve seen or pursue a career you’ve always wanted.


But we’re not going to lie to you: it’s hella competitive out there.

So, the best way to make yourself as attractive a candidate as possible is to brush up on your existing skill set and upskill with capabilities that will make you stand out from the crowd.

Job Skills

So, What Are Soft Skills?

Soft skills are basically those vital intangibles often referred to as ‘people skills’ or – less commonly – ‘interpersonal skills’.

  • Are you a good communicator (verbally, written, or both)?
  • Do you find it easy to get along with people at all levels?
  • How’s your timekeeping?
  • Do you have the makings of a leader?
  • Do ideas come to you naturally? And, if so, are you good at bringing people along with you on the journey and making that idea a reality?

Skills Employers Look For

What If You Don’t Have Many Hard Skills?

So, if you’d have asked this question a few years back, the answer would be along the lines of ‘you need to go to college or night school’.

Not so now.

The internet and growth of social media platforms like LinkedIn and YouTube means that people from all walks of life everywhere can access information, guidance and even qualifications from the comfort of their own sofa or kitchen table. And often for free!

  • Scour YouTube for ‘How to’ videos
  • Search LinkedIn Learning for great new courses and to unlock badges you can put on your profile or CV which show prospective employers you have a good working knowledge of a skill and are ready to put it into practice
  • Find free or affordable webinars hosted by industry leaders on Google

And, if you do want or need a qualification from a college, there are lots of part-time, ‘learn at your own pace’ and increasingly affordable courses out there.

How About Acquiring Soft Skills?

OK, this one’s a little more difficult, because soft skills are essentially unteachable – or, at least, are behaviours that you learn over time.

Saying that you’re ‘not a people person’ isn’t the right attitude to take during your job search or in your job application, so we’d recommend that you work on that a bit. But, hey, we’re not saying don’t be you. Always be you – but just maybe a version of you that can work well as part of a team.

Another soft skill might be knowing when to make your voice heard – and when to keep a lid on it a bit. Sure, it’s great to be passionate and outspoken but there can come a point when people that talk excessively or over other people on Zoom calls or in physical meetings can become a bit too much.

Soft Skills

Top Skills You Should Look To Learn In 2021 And Beyond

Be a great team player

You know those 80s films about blokes in sharp suits and women with massive shoulder pads brazenly trying to outdo each other to get to the top of the corporate ladder?

Yeah, that dog-eat-dog world is – unless you want to work in certain harsh environments – largely a thing of the past.

This is the age of teamwork, where team success counts for far more than individual glory. So, learn to be a great team player!

Become digitally savvy

Love it or hate it, social media is a massive part of modern life and business.

Companies are going to think you’re a luddite if you flatly refuse to acknowledge the importance of social media when it comes to sharing information, ideas, knowledge and engaging with the hottest industry topics.

The same goes for things like learning how to use tablets in retail or hospitality settings.

Embrace the idea of upskilling

A rolling stone gathers no moss. We live in a time where people are – quite rightly – expected to be constantly learning new things.

Companies in particular expect their employees and teams to ‘continuously improve’ and use data to improve their service and products.

We’re not saying that you have to learn everything under the sun. But be open to developing new capabilities that will make you extremely employable and a prime candidate for regular promotion.


Get Expert Help To Help Secure The Job You Want

At Recruitrite, we’re deeply passionate about helping people get jobs that they really enjoy and matching the right candidates with the right employers.

That means that we help candidates understand the skills and capabilities that companies look for when recruiting.

So, if you’re on the hunt for a new job in Darlington, the North East, Yorkshire or further afield, please get in touch at 01325 734860 or – and we’ll match your skills against employers looking for candidates like you right now!

In the meantime, why not check out our current vacancies to find the right role for you today?