These are the top 5 skills employers are looking for...

In today's job market, employers are looking beyond your hard skills before they give you a job at their company. Employers want employees to have the essential skills that contribute to their team environment. According to Burning Glass Technologies, which analyzes labour market data, the top five essential skills include communication, teamwork, organization, attention to detail and problem solving.

Luisa Cruz-Milette, Program Manager at UCalgary Continuing Education says that essential skills are important because they are used in all facets of the workplace.

"Our courses are designed to teach essential skills and strategies, and how to apply them. You will also build a personal assessment of who you are as an individual. This will highlight your strengths and show you the areas where you need to grow."

Candidates who come to the table with essential skills are valuable because they can be challenging to learn.

According to Cruz-Milette, it is easier for employers to hire someone who has developed these essential skills. "Employers are not as concerned about potential hires having the hard skills, because these can be easier to teach. Candidates who come to the table with essential skills are valuable because they can be challenging to learn."

Cruz-Milette suggests that hard skills vary depending on the job and industry, but essential skills are integral in all roles. "It's important to make sure that your qualifications match the job description, while understanding that you can always enhance your knowledge and essential skill-set."

Continuing Education has a certificate dedicated to learning essential skills and becoming a leader in the workplace. The Professional Certificate for Emerging Leaders allows individuals to take seminar courses that focus on the specific skills they want to learn. These seminars teach the top five essential skills Canadian employers are seeking.

Cruz-Milette says this certificate is perfect for graduate students who have learned the hard skills, but now need the essential skills to accompany them. It is also ideal for individuals who are challenged in their current role because they lack these skills.

According to Burning Glass Technologies, the skills that round out the top 15 essential skills Canadian employers are looking for are planning, writing, time management, multi-tasking, research, creativity, building effective relationships, written communication, meeting deadlines, and troubleshooting.

Some skills overlap, such as organizational skills, which can encompass both planning and time management. Communication is a recurring theme in many job postings, with writing in the top 15.

Hard skills are necessary and look great on a resume, but essential skills can improve your chances of landing that dream job once you get to the interview stage.

See our Business Seminars for programs and courses geared towards enhancing essential skills.


The ability to convey information effectively and efficiently.


The ability to foster relationships and cooperate to achieve shared objectives.


The ability to use your time, energy and resources effectively to achieve your objectives.

Attention to Detail

The ability to pay close attention to details by being thorough and accurate.

Problem Solving

The ability to use various techniques to find solutions to problems.

Required fields are indicated by .