7 skills today's employers value most

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A college degree can increase your chances of getting a job, but sometimes it takes more than education to impress employers. Personally, when I'm hiring for my own business, I look beyond the degree and even the resume to find a candidate whose actual talent make them worth the money I'm going to spend on them. Likewise, you also need to possess sought-after skills — the kind that keep the direct-deposit flowing straight to your bank account — which you may or may not have learned in college. Enhance your chances of climbing the corporate ladder with these seven skills employers value most.

1. Written Communication Skills

Effective verbal communication skills are practically a necessity with any type of job. You'll speak with customers, clients, coworkers, and your employer. The ability to express yourself in a clear, concise manner is key to getting your thoughts across and lessening the likelihood of miscommunication.

But you need more than verbal communication skills to get the job done. Some positions also require excellent writing skills for drafting emails, memos, and reports. You'll need strong written skills to get your points across on paper and communicate your message with clarity. In addition, technology plays a big role in business with many companies taking their brand online. If you can demonstrate good written skills and produce error-free copy, there could be opportunities to assist the marketing team with blog posting, article writing, and social media marketing.

2. Time-Management Skills

To make it in a fast-paced environment, you need superior time management skills, and depending on the nature of your job, you might constantly deal with a pile of work and tight deadlines. If you can't prioritize, you'll fall behind and slow down productivity for the entire office. Employers value someone who has the ability to multitask and work quickly, but efficiently. Your employer can't afford for you to spend too much time on a single task.

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3. Tolerance for High Stress Situations

It doesn't matter where you work or what you do, just about every job has its stressful periods. When the going gets tough, the last thing employers need is someone who crumbles under pressure. Rather, they're looking for someone who can perform under harsh conditions without jeopardizing the quality of their work. This doesn't mean you should stick with a job that tests your patience or affects your health in a negative way — your job isn't supposed to drive you insane — but there's value in demonstrating mental strength to tackle and deal with occasional stressful elements of your job without missing a beat.

4. Creative Thinking

A company has to evolve from time to time to keep up with their competition and to give customers what they need and want. Company heads generally take the lead in generating new ideas, but they often welcome suggestions from their staff. If you're a creative thinker who isn't afraid to take the initiative and share your ideas and solutions, you'll become an integral part of the team and contribute to the company's growth. Some of your suggestions could be ideas your superiors never considered. A creative mind paves the way for a position with greater responsibility.

5. Flexibility

As a company evolves, it's also important for its employees to adapt to change as the climate or situation at work may not stay the same forever. Management can make new decisions and implement new strategies for the betterment of the organization. For the company to move in the right direction, employers rely on their team's support, and they need flexible employees who can successfully adjust to changes in the situation.

6. Ability to Work in Teams

Some people prefer working alone. But when you join an organization, you become part of a team. Employers value those who have the ability to work in a group and collaborate with minimum disagreements or tension. Teamwork is essential because this is how a company establishes new ideas and solves problems. Two heads are better than one, after all. Therefore, some employers seek candidates who understand the importance of a team-oriented metric, and who are willing to work together to achieve the company's main goals.

7. Staying Motivated

It's your employer's responsibility to provide feedback and monitor your performance. But since you're not the only employee at the company, your boss can't hold your hand through every task. Being able to work on your own initiative without direct supervision is an asset employers value.

Although you shouldn't overstep boundaries or come off as presumptuous, your employer may appreciate your resourcefulness with an ability to identify problems, come up with practical solutions, and decide the best course of action within your limits. Employers have a lot on their plates and they need workers who can consistently perform independently with minimum supervision.

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