Employability skills

In a changing world of work, 21st century employers are looking for workers that have a blend of personal skills and specific job-related skills.

Hard skills are specialist and technical knowledge such as computer programming, marketing strategy or speaking another language. Soft skills are personal habits and traits that shape how you work and how you relate to others.

The skills today’s employers are looking for have changed over time. Complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity are the most important in 2020. People management and how you get along with others are also in the top five skills.


Employability skills are the attitudes, qualities and abilities that employers say make them want to hire you. According to Careers New Zealand, the seven essential skills are:

  1. Positive attitude
  2. Communication
  3. Teamwork
  4. Self-management
  5. Willingness to learn
  6. Thinking skills (problem solving and decision making)
  7. Resilience