Four Must-Have Job Skills for 2013

Employers will remain cautious about the workforce this year, forcing employees to step up their game.

January 19, 2013

Clear communications, personal branding, flexibility and productivity are key skills.

Employers will remain cautious about the workforce this year, forcing employees to step up their game if they want to land a job or win a promotion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

These four must-have job skills, experts say, will be a 2013 priority:

1. Clear communications. It is key no matter what the job. The ability to give presentations and write coherently are becoming lost arts. These skills can set employees apart from the crowd.

Clear communication conveys a lot in a short period about work style, says Holly Paul, a recruiter with accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. “I can walk away from a five-minute conversation with employees and feel their enthusiasm and have a good understanding of what’s important to them,” she says.

2. Personal branding. Workers should mind their personal brand—especially as they use blogs, Twitter, and professional networking sites—in a way that reflects well on employers.

“That’s your brand; that’s how you represent yourself,” says Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training, a provider of workplace training services. “If you post something that comes back to haunt you, people will see that.”

3. Flexibility. The pace of innovation and change is fast and employees must have the ability to adapt.

“A lot of companies want us to work with their employees about how to get out of their comfort zone, how to adapt,” says Handal. “Somebody’s job today might not be the same as next year.”

4. Productivity improvement. Employers are still looking for improvements in productivity, experts say, and subsequently, they’re looking for employees who can operate in growth mode.

Clients are looking for employees who can understand what the company wants and needs, rather than people who have to be told what to do, says Meredith Haberfeld, an executive and career coach.