In the modern workplace, good grades, work experience and qualifications might get you an interview, but in order to land a top job, you need to be able to exhibit top skills. Top employers are learning that people who seem intelligent and competent on paper aren’t always the right person for the job. Here are the 5 skills top employers look for in job applicants:

1) Technical Literacy

More work is conducted with computers now than ever before. In the near future, your colleague might be a robot! Having good knowledge of different software products and how to use them in order to make your work more efficient will set you apart from the competition. Fortunately sites such as skillshare.com, udemy.com and others enable you to gain technical skills at a relatively low cost.

2) Communication Skills

Getting your ideas across in a confident manner can be the difference between getting an interview or getting your CV thrown in the trash. Moreover, people with good communication skills tend to be first in line for promotion. In order to improve your communication skills, you should network at meetings in your industry and/or take a public speaking course. As with most skills, practice makes perfect.

3) Leadership Skills

Any top employer wants to know that you can take charge of your colleagues if and when required. Ideally, they want to hire someone who could become the CEO one day. Employees with good leadership skills tend to be confident, versatile and hard working. Unfortunately, team management is something many people struggle with. Most are happy to just be in the background. Employers use group exercises at the interview stage in order to identify people with leadership skills.

In order to showcase your leadership skills, ask probing questions when in a group interview setting and offer suggestions for how things could be improved. Leaders are also assertive and offer constructive criticism in order to improve results and motivate people.

4) Ongoing Learning

In the modern world, employees are expected to learn new skills and strengthen their existing skill-set. In the past, an employee could learn one skill and use that to build a fulfilling career. Those days are now gone. Due to the fact that we have access to more software and tools than ever before, employers tend to opt for those who show that they like to learn and adapt according to the needs of a company.

Ongoing learning ensures that you are top of the queue for job offers and promotions. Sites such as Lynda.comcodecademy.org (free), Udemy, Skillshare and Youtube (free), provide great platforms to learn new skills. Eluceo also offers you the ability to search for free online courses available on the web to help you increase your skills-set.There is no excuse for having a limited skill-set!

Fortunately, having a range of useful skills can also offset relatively poor academic attainment, or attending a school/college/university that is further down the rankings.

5) Personal Integrity

This is fairly simple stuff, but surprisingly many people get it wrong! Being a good, hard working person goes a long way. Employers catch people out by asking them, “Tell me about your previous role”. An individual with bad personal integrity would go on to gossip about their previous employer and perhaps even reveal confidential information. No employer wants such an employee working for them. It shows a lack of responsibility and a back stabbing mentality. People with such traits don’t last long at a top job and are unlikely to receive an offer.

If you are asked about a previous employer, look for positives and ensure that you don’t reveal any confidential information, mention names or say anything negative about your colleagues. If asked why you are looking for another job, you could state something along the lines of: “The role at your company is in better alignment with my skill-set, and would push me to learn more about the industry and continually improve.”

I hope that you found this post useful for your job search or promotion goals, and I wish you the best of luck!