The unemployment rate in Nigeria has not changed considerably over the last few years. What this means is that, for the very few jobs available, there’s still very stiff competition.

If you’re going to get that dream job of yours, you need to deliberately set your skillset and resume apart from the thousands more out there. This requires thinking not only about degrees and certificates, but also about soft skills that could make you the perfect candidate for the job.

You could drastically improve your chances of finding your dream job in 2017 by simply improving on these 8 most sought after real-life job skills that employers are looking out for right now.

1. Communication

Good communication skills are necessary regardless of your profession, and are keenly desired by employers in employees. Stellar ideas aren’t of much value if they can’t be adequately expressed to other members of a team. Effective communication skills are therefore a must in order to efficiently exchange information with co-workers, bosses and clients.

It is important to note as well that non-verbal communication is just as important as oral and written communication, and that there are a myriad of online courses one can take to improve one’s communication skills.


2. Leadership

Regardless of the type of job openings that exist within a firm, employers eagerly look out for signs of leadership qualities in potential employees.

The ability to take responsibility and manage not only oneself, but ones co-workers as well (if required) increases one’s worth in the eyes of employers. This is especially true for companies where employees are more likely to quickly climb up the corporate ladder and get promoted into managerial positions.


3. Teamwork

In every job fathomable, you most likely will need to work with other people frequently by way of exchanging ideas, collaborating on projects, and coming together to solve problems.

People who find it difficult to cooperate with others and accept their input can be problematic, and this could very easily lead to an air of acrimony in the work environment which would inevitably result in a decline in productivity – something every employer dreads.


4. Organization

Organization remains a skill employers actively look out for because it easily translates not only to transparency, but also to efficiency. It is much easier for a person who respects and follows some method of organization to understand the work process in any firm. It enables the individual and the company alike spot opportunities to improve that process.

Organizational skills can range from how a person writes a simple daily report, to how their workspaces are arranged, to how frequently team meetings hold. Even though an unsystematic technique might sometimes produce desired results, an organized approach is far more desirable and efficient.


5. Decisions Making

Problems will arise in every organization, but it is the manner in which these problems are responded to that determines how much damage will occur. It is for this reason that employers are particular about people who are able to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and capable of solving problems with the greatest efficiency, thereby limiting damages.


6. Critical Thinking

A critical thinker never assumes that the information provided is sufficient. They look beyond the basic details available and are easily able to see things from different perspectives in order to figure out the best course of action.

So why are employers interested in critical thinkers? This is because these people are more likely to deal with analysis of facts than with emotion. Instead of simply going by their gut feelings, they carry out proper research in order to arrive at solutions that are backed by proof.


7. Adaptability

Considering that the work environment is continually changing, employers tend to look out for people who can easily adapt to this change. This entails openness to new concepts and ideas, as well as the ability to work efficiently either independently or as part of a team. It also deals with being able to carry out multiple duties seamlessly.


8. Punctuality

The discipline required to do whatever needs to be done on time is a skill employers attach a great deal of value to. This means arriving at the office on time regardless of traffic constraints, being ready and seated before a meeting commences, and generally beating work deadlines.

It is often said that time is money. Bearing this in mind, a person who takes punctuality with levity is ultimately a liability to the company, and no employer intends to incur losses.


As you make necessary adjustments to your resume and send out applications to companies in search of employment, it would do you a world of good to quickly take inventory of how well you fare in these highly sought-after soft skills and consequently make resolutions to strengthen your weak spots.

You just might land that dream job after all.