The key skills that employers look for are dictated by the wider environment as well as their own specific business needs.  The COVID pandemic has shifted the goalposts  considerably in terms of what employers need. We’ve pulled together the current most in-demand abilities that are trending in 2021.

Include them, as appropriate, under “education” or “additional skills” on your CV.  On your cover letter, emphasise your most relevant skills for the job you are applying for.

  1. Flexibility and adaptability: Being able to work alone or as part of a team as required. All jobs need good communicators, collaborators and negotiators.  These skills are also important for online collaboration, using common project management tools, real-time and cloud working.  With the blend of remote and office working which is emerging post-COVID, employees also need the ability to work independently, using time management, self-discipline and creativity.


  1. Problem-solving – needs to be pro-active and readily adapted to any situation which arises. Employees who can solve problems and make decisions on their own initiative are most valuable.


  1. Good knowledge of digital platforms: It’s not just IT and marketing professionals who need experience of multiple digital platforms any more, so highlight up-to-date qualifications and experience related to software use and development. Got a good working knowledge of Microsoft Teams or Zoom tools? Definitely share this – employers are crying out for these skills at all levels!


  1. Digital security: again, you don’t need to be a cyber security expert but with a move to a more digital world, combined with increasable advanced hacking capabilities and scams, being able to highlight weaknesses in a system is a real strength in an employee. If you’re going to use any software or hardware in your potential new role, it is worth calling out this skill.


  1. Health and Safety knowledge and experience All workplaces need to be up-to-date with the most recent rules on hygiene and social distancing and this is starting to cross over in to roles such as facilities management, logistics and transport. Any skills or qualifications in this area will be valuable.

This is not an exhaustive list.  There will be specific skills each business requires, and priorities will vary.  But these are skills employers are increasingly looking for in the right candidate and demonstrating them may move your CV from the ‘maybe’ to the ‘yes’ pile.