Attention, job seekers. If you want to snag that dream job, it would be wise to work on your employability skills.

Your qualifications and credentials are crucial for your prospective employer to determine whether you have the right technical skill set for the job at hand.

Increasingly, however, employers are paying more attention to candidates’ soft skills when considering them for the position.

Also known as employability skills, these refer to the non-technical skills and knowledge necessary to participate effectively in the workforce.

It is essentially what you need in order to get the job, perform well in it and keep it.

Employability skills can include effective communication, self-management, problem-solving and teamwork.

Often, they can also be the deciding factor in whether an employee gets a promotion.

Here are several tips to enhance your employability, which will prove highly useful, even if you are happily employed:

1 Increase your personal effectiveness

Start by identifying your own strengths and weaknesses vis-à-vis the job you are applying for.

Then, determine how you can build on your strengths while improving on your areas of weakness.

You should also try to identify the type of behaviour and attitudes that is required of the role you desire, or will add value to it.

For instance, if it is a customer service or sales role, having a friendly disposition will serve you well, so work on that.

Learning time- and stress-management techniques will certainly help to increase your personal effectiveness at work.

Read relevant articles and books that help you manage your time and stress levels better, and put them into practice.

Using the knowledge above, you can then develop a personal action plan that incorporates useful SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) goals for your job hunt, or once you are on the job

Develop your communication skills

The importance of strong verbal and written communication skills cannot be understated.

During your job hunt, you will need to write outstanding cover letters and resumés to clinch an interview.

You will also need to hone your verbal and non-verbal communication skills so that you can then ace the interview.

If necessary, take up a resumé writing workshop or business communication course.

Once you land the job, you will probably need to prepare clearly written documents such as memos, meeting minutes, reports and formal letters. And good presentation skills are always useful.

3 Be a team player

Building positive working relationships and learning to work cohesively with other people as a team is extremely vital in any organisation.

Through teamwork, you will improve your problem-solving skills and learn how to resolve conflicts, which will also help to enhance your employability.

Grab every opportunity to work in a team so that when you are interviewing for a job, you can share great stories and examples to illustrate how much of a team player you are. 

These employability skills will help you stand out from the competition, so start practising them today and watch your career soar.

Article by Ronald Lee, managing director of PrimeStaff Management Services, a leading human resource consultancy based in Singapore. It provides a comprehensive suite of recruitment services in the Asia-Pacific region. For details, call 6222-3310, e-mail or visit This article was originally published in Singapore Business Review.