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The 9 'P' Skills That Employers Love

29th Apr 2021

What do employers look for in a potential candidate? It’s the question that nearly every job seeker asks at some point. Whether you’re just starting on your CV or you’re dusting it off after a few years without use, it can be difficult to know where to start. While there are particular skills needed for each industry and job, there are also core competencies that span across all professions. To help you out, there are a few skills that employers look for in candidates no matter what the open position is, and having the skills listed below can make you more marketable to recruiters.  

1.  Persistence

This is about self-motivation and self-management. You’ll need to be able to give examples and evidence that you can do things without having to be told to do them. To demonstrate that you can keep going and don’t give up at the first hurdle. It’s also about having confidence in yourself and your own ideas and being able to take responsibility and then being able to evaluate and monitor your own performance

2.  Planning and Organisation

Your plans need to show that you have a clear vision and goals that you want to achieve. This involves managing your time well, using resources effectively and that your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-framed.

3.  Participation

You need to be seen getting ‘stuck in’.

Teamwork – You can participate in any number of ways, but employers want to see those great team-working skills you talk about - so remember to:

Work towards a common goal, contribute but don’t dominate and be aware that a variety of talents make up the best teams (and that does mean you are all going to have different views). Teamwork involves – listening, delegating, collaborating, co-operating and negotiating.

Communication – the way you express yourself in the workplace - orally and through writing. Your communication skills are being judged from the moment someone meets you. It will be about how you:

  • Listen
  • How you act and sound
  • How much effort you make to network with others, formally and informally, virtually and face to face
  • Be curious about people, ask them about their role in the company, and find out how it impacts your role
  • Don’t wait to be introduced – introduce yourself!

4.  Problem Solving

Your ability to use analytical and creative thinking to find solutions. No matter what industry you work in, problem-solving skills will always be valuable on some level because every job has issues that need to be tackled. People who can tackle problems and find intuitive solutions will always be in high demand.

You can use this as a framework –   5 W’s and one H. If you use this when problem-solving, writing reports, emails etc you should cover all the points needed.


  • What – do you want to achieve?
  • Why – do we need a solution?
  • Where – does it impact?
  • When – do we need to take action?
  • Who – needs to be involved?
  • How – can I find out more?

5.  Proactiveness

Employers like to see that you can take the initiative and start projects and push things ahead where needed. It’s good to have a plan:

  • Write down your ideas – vision and thoughts
  • Who you can talk to about this?
  • Go through it with a colleague and then take to your Manager

6.  Presentation Skills

  • Answer the phone, take messages, ask if you can help.
  • Look the part – when you introduce yourself, your handshake, facial expressions, eye contact.
  • Do necessary presentations - planning and practice is the key to perfection!

7.  Punctuality

This is about time keeping and time management - time is money! Time management skills describe your ability to work efficiently and productively by using your time wisely. The skills related to this are - goal setting, prioritising, planning, coping and organisation.

8.  Positivity

We can choose to be positive! Take the lead and be the ray of sunshine that every environment/company needs.

9.  Professionalism

Just imagine yourself as a brand and imagine how your face looks to the outside world. Build your reputation and protect it. This involves how you conduct yourself – online, in person, when interacting with customers and individuals, it’s about your behaviour, dress and manners.