Current trends in the job market mean that candidates need to stand out from the crowd at job interviews. How? Through professional skills. But what skills should you focus on? And which ones to highlight on your CV? Let’s clarify these points.
What are professional skills?
Professional skills are a set of technical know-how and interpersonal qualities that an individual acquires through education and experience, and which are essential for carrying out specific tasks in a professional context.
2 Types of professional skills
There are 2 types of professional skills. Here are their definitions:
- Technical skills: These are often linked to concrete knowledge, such as computer skills. In a CV, these professional skills are often the most cited.
- Interpersonal skills: These work skills are more subjective, and concern the way we communicate or collaborate with our colleagues. They are just as valuable as technical skills.
In fact, these two types of professional skills will be analyzed during your job interview.
In Montreal, employers are increasingly demanding. They want candidates to go beyond simply listing professional skills, and demonstrate their effectiveness through concrete examples. Let’s take a look at a list of professional skills that might inspire you.
List of 25 Professional Skills
The following is a numbered list of job skills commonly sought by employers, accompanied by a short description:
- Communication: Ability to convey information clearly and effectively, both orally and in writing.
- Teamwork: Ability to work harmoniously with other members of a group or organization.
- Problem-solving: The ability to identify challenges and find creative, effective solutions.
- Adaptability: Ability to adjust to new situations or changes in the work environment.
- Time management: Ability to organize and prioritize tasks to meet deadlines.
- Sense of responsibility: Demonstrate reliability and integrity in the performance of duties.
- Technical skills: Mastery of tools, software or techniques specific to a professional field.
- Decision-making: Ability to make judicious choices based on information and analysis.
- Leadership: The ability to guide, inspire and positively influence a team or individuals.
- Continuous learning: The willingness and ability to continually acquire new skills or knowledge.
- Active listening: Ability to fully understand the information conveyed by others by asking pertinent questions and avoiding interruptions.
- Critical thinking: Ability to analyze information from different angles to make informed decisions.
- Creativity: The ability to conceive new ideas, approaches or solutions to existing problems.
- Stress management: Ability to remain calm and effective in tense or pressurized situations.
- Negotiation: Ability to discuss and reach agreement while satisfying the interests of all parties concerned.
- Intercultural skills: Ability to understand, communicate and interact effectively with people from different cultures.
- Strategic planning: Ability to define long-term objectives and develop plans to achieve them.
- Customer service : The ability to understand and respond effectively to customer needs and concerns.
- Financial analysis: Ability to interpret financial data to make informed decisions.
- Sales skills : Ability to present products or services convincingly and close sales.
- Proactivity: Ability to anticipate and take initiative before a situation requires it.
- Professional ethics: Commitment to acting with honesty and integrity in all professional situations.
- Self-assessment skills: The ability to recognize one’s own strengths and weaknesses and to look for opportunities for improvement.
- Project management: Ability to organize, plan and execute projects on time and on budget.
- Training skills: Ability to teach and train others, whether to impart technical skills or theoretical knowledge.
There are many others, of course, but these are the most common.
Over the years, certain skills have become more sought-after than others. Whether you’re looking for CV skills or interview skills, here are the ones to focus on in 2023.
9 Professional skills to develop
According to various recent studies and research, a number of professional skills are emerging as crucial to develop. Taking into account the scientific results, here are the professional skills most relevant to job market candidates:
- Communication: According to a study by Mason et al. (2020), this skill stands out as essential for occupational therapy educators. It enables us to establish relationships, express ideas clearly and understand others.
- Example: A doctor explaining a diagnosis to a patient in a clear, empathetic way.
- Adaptability: The notion of career adaptability, according to Yadav (2021), is crucial in a rapidly changing professional environment.
- Example: A marketing specialist who quickly learns how to use a new digital tool.
- Problem-solving and critical thinking: These capabilities, highlighted by Mason et al. (2020 ) and Yatim et al. (2019), are fundamental to tackling complex challenges and finding innovative solutions.
- Example: An engineer finds a solution to improve the performance of a product.
- Technical skills: These skills, essential in IT, are crucial for technology professionals, as highlighted by Gallagher et al. (2010) and Khoo & Harris (2009).
- Example: A web developer creating a secure e-commerce site.
- Collaboration and teamwork: The ability to work in synergy with others is vital, as shown by Rezaei et al. (2020 ) and Gallagher et al. (2010).
- Example: A team of designers collaborating on an architectural project.
- Leadership: Identified by Yatim et al (2019), this competency involves the ability to guide, motivate and direct a team towards a common goal.
- Example: A team leader directs his group to achieve monthly sales targets.
- Research: Crucial in many fields, research skills, as highlighted by Yadav (2021), enable us to acquire new knowledge and innovate.
- Example: A biology researcher exploring new treatments for a rare disease.
- Organization: The ability to plan and structure one’s own work and that of one’s team, identified by Mason et al. (2020), is essential for productivity.
- Example: An administrative assistant managing her superior’s diary and appointments.
- Presentation: According to Berg & Hicks (2017), this skill involves the ability to present information in a clear and engaging way.
- Example: A consultant presenting the results of a market study to a client.
It’s essential to note that the specific skills considered best to develop can vary according to profession and context. Different professions can prioritize different skills according to their specific requirements and demands.
Thus, individuals are advised to consider the skills most relevant to their chosen field and seek opportunities to develop them.
The fact remains that lifelong learning ensures that you are never out of date, and that you can regularly add new skills to your list of professional competencies.
how to list your professional skills?
Listing your professional skills is crucial when writing a CV. This method is similar when you prepare your list of strengths and weaknesses. To do this :
- Evaluate yourself: Reflect on your past tasks and responsibilities.
- Categorize: Classify your skills (technical, soft skills, etc.).
- Prioritize: Highlight the skills that are most relevant to the job in question.
- Give examples: Think of concrete achievements for each skill.
- Update your list: Review your list regularly.
- Seek advice: Ask your colleagues or mentors for feedback.
- Align with the job offer: Highlight the skills required by the job offer.
- Be specific: Avoid generalities and detail your skills.
- Be honest: Present your skills authentically.
- Careful presentation: Use clear, concise formatting.
In short, identify, categorize and present your skills in an aligned, honest and polished way to better meet employers’ expectations.
At a time when the job market is more competitive than ever, strengthening your professional skills is key.
At Agence First Round, we understand the importance of these skills for both companies and candidates, and we facilitate the ideal “match” between your skills and those sought by an employer. Working with an employment agency that highlights your professional skills increases your chances of being hired!
Are you a Candidate?
Let us showcase your professional skills by matching you with the employer who’s looking for them!
Are you an employer?
Let us highlight the skills you’re looking for by matching you with the ideal candidate!
- Berg, J. and Hicks, R. (2017). Successful design and delivery of a professional poster. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 29(8), 461-469. Link Here.
- Gallagher, K., Kaiser, K., Simon, J., Beath, C., & Goles, T. (2010). The requisite variety of skills for it professionals. Communications of the Acm, 53(6), 144-148. Link Here.
- Khoo, B. and Harris, P. (2009). Enhancing the graduate information systems curriculum: a career skills oriented approach. American Journal of Business Education (Ajbe), 2(2), 65-80. Link Here.
- Mason, J., Hayden, C., & Causey-Upton, R. (2020). Fieldwork educators’ expectations of level ii occupational therapy students’ professional and technical skills. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 8(3), 1-16. Link Here.
- Plessis, M. (2021). Communication in multilingual healthcare contexts: training towards patient-centredness, 141-165. Link Here.
- Rezaei, S., Abdi, A., Akbari, F., & Moradi, K. (2020). Nurses’ professional competences in providing care to the injured in earthquake: a qualitative study. Journal of Education and Health Promotion, 9(1), 188. Link Here.
- Yadav, A. (2021). The essential skills and competencies of lis professionals in the digital age: alumni perspectives survey. Global Knowledge Memory and Communication, 71(8/9), 837-856. Link Here.
- Yatim, N., Nasharudin, N., Samsudin, N., Said, S., & Tarsik, N. (2019). Recognizing the personal competencies of future information professionals. Acta Informatica Malaysia, 3(1), 21-23. Link Here.