Communication and Employability Skills for IT

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In this task I am going to research what attributes different employers may require to get a job after I complete my studies. My main focus is to explain in this task the skills and attributes different employer’s value, I will therefore then describe the development needs of a person and how these needs can then be met. As the job market is a lot more competitive nowadays this makes getting a job increasingly difficult, and so showing an employer that you are fit for the job is a vital factor. Employers mainly search for the appropriate technical skills but also as well as general personal attributes.

There are 17 different attributes an employer will be looking for, these are as follow; 1. Technical Knowledge For many jobs the skills that are associated to performing a job are most important. For example if an employer owned a catering business and required a chef, the employer would check that the employee has all the required qualifications and skills to perform the job. If the employee did not have the essential skills and qualifications, then the employer is least likely to employ the person. As a sales representative they may be required to own their own mode of transport.

Some employers may provide them with their own company car but it is in greater demand that the employee would have their own means of transport. This would be important to an employer as it means the business will not have to pay great sums of money to buy transport for their employee’s. This would encourage the employer to therefore employ a person who has both the qualifications and properties best suited to match the job. Another example for employers looking for technical knowledge may be airline employers.

It is important for cabin crew to be able to communicate effectively with other members of staff and most importantly passengers on the airline. So this means there would be a large demand for people with excess language skills. By showing these skills to an employer this will increase the chances of obtaining a job with the airline. This skill would be valued by an employer because they could find exactly what they are looking for and would not have to provide any training classes to teach the new prospective employee.

By advertising a technical skill requirement this will then show prospective employees what the employer is exactly looking for, this will prevent excess prospective employees applying for the job who do not have the appropriate skills for the job. It will also reduce the amount of time wasted on interviewing candidates who are not qualified for the specific post.

2. Working procedures and system Different jobs require particular skills to work different procedures and systems; this will therefore suit some people but may not suit others. In different areas some jobs involve working antisocial hours e. g. an office worker may work from 9am to 5pm whereas a chef may work from whatever time the business opens until it closes.

Others may have to work evenings, weekends etc. Antisocial hours can lead to higher pay rates and so it has its benefits of attracting different candidates who may suit the job at different times. Some jobs can include risks of health and safety meaning, the employee should be aware of the dangers and health and safety aspects of working in a complex environment. An example can include a fire fighter; a fire fighter would need to have a great level of courage and sense of duty to perform his/her job properly.

But they will also need to consider the dangers of attending a fire. Different companies may also have policies that may need to be familiar to a prospective employee in order to enable them to take responsibility for reading manuals or other documents that may have an effect on different working conditions. This may be valued to an employer as it cuts down on people that may not be suitable for this position and that do not have the skills to perform the job. This will then allow the employer to search for more specific prospective employees for the job. 3. Planning and organisational skills

To an employer planning and organisational skills will be valued as these skills may be used in the environment the prospective employee is to work in. This is especially important if this environment is very target-driven, and various amounts of tasks are to be completed by specified deadlines. Planning – by planning ahead this will help those to achieve their goals within the time limits given. This does not necessarily have to be a written plan, however but by thinking about the tasks being performed will help to increase a measure of success in the tasks set out to do.

This will be valued by an employer if the employee can show good skills of planning and will allow them to complete their job on time. This shows the employer that the employee is hard working and gives a good impression in order to perform the specified job. An example of this may be an architect designing a house, they may be set a specific amount of time allocated to designing the drawing and they will then have to plan the steps of building the house. Planning in a business may be set over a number of years, therefore allowing the business to see where they are at the present time and where they desire to be in about 3 years time.

This would be a form of planning and showing these skills will help to develop a better and efficient environment. Organisational skills – This will involve having a system or routine that helps an employee to complete their everyday tasks as efficiently as possible. An example would be organising one self’s workstation. By making sure all apparatus is in place,this therefore helps the user interact quicker to have access to what is needed. Like storing files in a cabinet, this can be done in alphabetical order.

This will yet again show a better impression and valued to the employer as the employee will be better capable for performing the tasks required quicker. Another example may be a librarian writing an agenda for a day. They may write ‘I need to organise my books so that I can find a particular book quickly. This will be appreciated by those who visit the library’. An employer may value this as it shows the employee properly providing a service to others. 4. Time management Within different organisations it is important to manage time whether this is;

Drawing up a schedule of tasks or events and allocate different times to each Being able to prioritise e. g. if there is a specific deadline to be met very soon, does this mean it is a bigger priority than other tasks? Should it be first?  Be able to run a number of tasks or events and acknowledge that certain tasks may be dependant to previous tasks and so this will need to be taken into consideration and addressed. An example such as; a doctor who is working in a clinic will need to review certain test results that may need to be performed on a patient, before they can advance with their duties.

This will include using time management skills to decide when the appropriate time is to perform actions and may one patient’s illness be considered more serious than someone else’s. These characteristics may be valued by an employer carefully so they can select the correct person for the job who will keep to deadlines and will be able to navigate around times. 5. Team Working Some people work in isolation, however many work as part of a team, and so this is an essential skill in nearly every working environment. By working in a team this leads to certain responsibilities that have to be kept.

As well as this you will have to keep others up to date with what you are doing and also what they are doing. This type of communication helps prevent what is known as ‘left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing’ syndrome. It is important as part of a team that there is a team leader and everyone understands what roles are being undertaken. By working in a team this will create a motivating force that will help everyone perform better to complete tasks. The success of a team depends on each and every individuals input. The joint responsibility within a team will lead to a joint celebration and success within performing tasks.

This is a huge factor that affects the way a business performs every working day. An employer would mainly value this attribute as it follows a path of success and respect for other people. By expanding each other’s ideas this could lead to future improvements in later years. This kind of skill is looked for by many employers, so they know employee’s will be able to work together and the job will be completed. An example of teamwork could be working as a coach for a football team. The coach would be the team leader however everyone else has responsibilities to work together to score.

6. Verbal and written communication skills Good communication within a business is important for the flow of essential information. It is highly valued by employers. A one to one discussion or meeting would be classified as a verbal communication. Other forms of written communication are, e-mails, memos etc. Being able to express different opinions orally or by written communication helps show an understanding and confidence in a specific subject matter. As many documents used in a business are paperback e. g. letters, invoices, memorandums, reports etc.

This makes written communication very important and most employers will expect good forms of written communication. An example includes; an employee may be expected to insert a column of text into the businesses newsletter or website. An employer will be looking for these skills to see if the prospective employee will suit the post to manage different types of documents and be able to communicate with customers and other members of staff. If not then the employer will have to help try and develop the employee’s skills and not many employers will bother with training, and so they will look for employees who will match their required criteria.

7. Numeric Skills Many employers will expect a prospective employee to demonstrate some level of numeric knowledge and creative skills. Evidence of these kinds of skills can be proved by GCSE (General certificate of Secondary Education) certificates such as maths. Skills required such as being able to use all the controls on a calculator, and how to calculate accurate sums without using a calculator. Many accountants will have some experience of a maths qualification. An employer will value this attribute from any prospective employee as it shows skill specialised to that particular job.

As an accountant they will have the responsibility of handling money whether in the form of cash, cheque etc. they will may need to calculate a specified amount of interest on a loan or an account. Without the skills for this type of job, the prospective employee will stand little chance of obtaining the job. 8. Creativity For some jobs an employer may be looking especially for creative skills. These kinds of skills can be demonstrated through the use of a portfolio of work. This could be the manipulation of different images or the design of a new website.

Creativity is a thinking skill that can be shown by contributing different artistic ideas to a specific project. With good creativity skills this may give good reward. If working in a car sales franchise then by thinking how to develop a clean environmentally friendly engine will help reduce carbon emissions and will save money for customers. This key skill will be valued by employers because if they design a product that will work and sell, then the employer will be profiting from the employee’s idea. 9. Determination Having a suitable attitude to suit a certain job will be a necessary requirement.

If a prospective employee considers themselves to be residing from this requirement then it may be important for them to develop skills to suit the job position. Examples of attitudes may be workers who are laid back and who are happy to continue to work with other people’s ideas. Others may be more determined to go with their ideas and not listen to others opinions as they believe what they predict is more important. Employers value individuals who show that they have enough stamina to complete a set task in a certain time period.

This will help individuals to communicate, work effectively and efficiently. By employing someone who has and is able to use these skills will therefore be ideal for the position in the employers eyes, this means the employer will not waste time and will help information within the business to flow. An example may be a building construction site; each group of workers will work on different aspects of a building. By communicating they could see whose plan works more effectively, after deciding they will have a greater chance of success in their task. 10. Independence

Many employers will require employees who are independent enough to think and work for them. It is hardly likely that an employer will employ someone who relies on what others tell them to do. However an employer will not want someone who will immediately act without consulting or first checking with other colleagues. Normal common sense and a degree of flexibility will help to be independent. An employer values independent workers, as if the employee keeps coming back to them asking what task is to be done next or relying on others to tell them this then this employee will be seen as very unreliable.

An employer will look for an employee capable of managing their own job and not always require guidance as it would waste the employers and also other member’s of staff time. One example such as working for an insurance company will need employees fit to perform their job effectively. If an employee relies on other members of the team to help them supply customers with quotes then they are not an effective source. The job may be done slowly and may not be complete at all. This concludes why an employer need independent staff members who can work for themselves and also work together with other employee’s but not rely completely on each other.

11. Integrity Another attribute that employees need to acquire is integrity. Honesty is important within a business especially when handling money and dealing with customers. It is likely within some businesses that you may be more successful if you can sometimes successfully blank the truth. Rather than telling a customer about the downsides of a product, manipulate the product and tell all the good things about the product. In other words make the product sound greater than it is by over exaggerating its properties. Management is an example of this.

As an employer will need to show some kindness and sensitivity in case a problem were to arise like the closure of the business. An employer will value this skill as it will show that the prospective employee is able to manage their job properly and be able to show a great deal of trust. 12. Tolerance Showing a certain level of tolerance of students, clients, customers and end users is essential skill to have when searching for a role in employment. Many employers will rely on their employees to provide them with their income. By being tolerant of others who may be more or less successful than others is important.

In life this is an essential skill required in most business industries to accept the way others perform their own job. Toleration is especially important in team work. In some aspects of a job employees may need to show no actions of tolerance to members who are of greater authority. An example of this may be an employee jeopardising other works of employee’s as they do not meet deadlines. Other factors such as an employee creating a hazard for others will have to be stopped. This is why employers may require tolerance as an essential skill. 13. Reliability

This is a measure to an employer of how dependable a particular employee is. An employer will look for a reliable person who will perform their job properly, be on time to start their job etc. In different circumstances an employer will look for an employee who will act as a catalyst to maybe speed others up or create a change in the business etc. By being reliable this will show the employer that the prospective employee is dependable. This is what the employer is looking for and this will help work within the business to flow easily and efficiently.

By showing up to be prepared to start work five minutes before shows reliability and commitment to the job. 14. Problem solving Every job role will come with responsibilities and its own problems. Having the ability to show good skills such as how to deal with problems and demonstrating these skills will set a good example, and show the employer that the prospective employee is suitable for the position. Some people may become weighed down by these problems, others may too quickly find a solution and not appreciate the full extent of the problem, and this may lead into further difficulties.

Having an open mind and having an optimistic attitude can be helpful when solving problems. Nine times out of ten if a problem looks impossible then it most likely is. However if you take a different attitude that is impossible then most likely you will find a solution that works. Many employers will value these skills as they are relevant to most every day job. By identifying these problems accurately and viewing them with a positive attitude will help the prospective employee increase their chances of being employed.

An example of problem solving may be calculating how much interest is owed a building society. 15. Leadership At some point in time everyone is a potential leader and opportunities for leadership will occur daily. Many have different experiences and may lack the confidence to be a leader. Some doubt their skills and so do not even try to experience leadership. By learning how to lead will also bring skills of how to follow. By recognising these roles and responsibilities of leading and following is a must for those who are working as part of a team.

To lead a group well an employee must be able to identify their strengths and weaknesses. For others to respect you as a leader, you must respect yourself. You must understand others and what motivates them. This may include what rewards and values matter to them and how. It is a leader’s duty to inspire their followers of a vision and what can be achieved. An employer will search for attributes such as team leader to see whether or not the prospective employee is best suited for the position required. An example of leadership such as a teacher showing all pupils how to perform an experiment shows leadership.

Employers will look for an employee with the attributes to perform well as a leader in order to keep his/her business running efficiently. 16. Confidence If there is a lack of confidence then this will result in an approach to problem solving being too cautious. This may lead to not having the courage to try the best strategy. By having confidence this can help to meet challenges and goals set. By having other employee’s that have confidence in each other will help how individual’s ideas are accepted. Confidence can be hard to show and is mostly read through body language, stance and tone of voice.

Any employer will value confidence as a good quality in an employee; however over-confident is not a quality to be shown as some may easily mistake this for arrogance. This might reflect in not thinking whilst producing a strategy plan. Missing out a vital clue or skim over an important aspect may result in a large problem at some stage. This is why confidence is an important skill factor in employment. If an employer did not require an employee with a good level of confidence this could upset work within the workplace and so to avoid this, the employer will interview each candidate to dictate whether they are suitable for the pole.

17. Self – Motivation Some people are described as self-starters, in other words they do not require anyone else to motivate them. People who are not self motivated either do very little or use other team mate’s energy to keep them going. This type of person is not best suited in a team and so an employer will not look for people who reside from these skills. This will help reduce the amount of interviews and candidates there will be for the job therefore making it easier for the employer to decide.

Staying motivated is a very hard task however it is greatly valued by employers whenever they see a fellow employee continuously making progress even though there may be an endless supply of tasks to be completed. An example of self motivation could be setting a period of time a piece of work will have to be completed for and sticking within this limit. All of these attributes combine to help the chances of being employed increasingly better. Different skills serve different purposes. Some are harder than others to develop and to maintain. However these will all help in applying for a job in future years.

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