What Do Employers Look For

In today’s competitive job market it can be hard to even get to the interview stage, so it is important to have a good understanding of what employers are looking for in an interview candidate and eventually an employee.

Many applicants actually have the skills needed for an employer to interview them, but fail to match them to the organisation to which they are applying.

If a company is looking for someone with good communication skills, it is important to not just say you have them, but to outline how your communication skills would specifically benefit them.

Not only will it show you have thought about how you would fit in the company, it also demonstrates you have spent time on the application and you are not just sending out a generic round robin.

You should always be sure to research the company thoroughly and prepare related questions for your interview. Employers will expect you to have read their websites thoroughly, understand their market(s) and competition. If you haven’t done the above, don’t expect to be called back.

Work experience

One of the most desirable qualities a potential employee can have is the ability to do well at the job advertised with the least amount of financial and temporal expenditure.

Having related work experience can be a great way to demonstrate that, should you get the job, you could hit the ground running.

According to one study, most graduate employers say it is highly unlikely they would employ a graduate without any work experience.

Depending on the sector you wish to enter this doesn’t even need to be work experience in the traditional sense.

For example if you wished to enter a business role you could give an example of something you learned from setting up your own enterprise, or for a digital marketing role you could discuss a key trend you had to take notice of in relation to your own social media accounts.

However, if you did intern with a company try and get a written recommendation of how you performed and the tasks you performed to show to those interviewing you.


Most job roles today will require a qualification of some sort whether this is a professional or vocational qualification and / or an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.

Qualifications demonstrate to employers that you have the drive and dedication to apply yourself to something and thrive at it.

They also tell employers you have the desired skill sets and knowledge.

If you are looking for a role an entry level role in an area like marketing, accounting and finance then professional qualifications are looked favourably on.

If you want to enter at a more senior level you may need a postgraduate qualification like an MBA or master’s degree.

No matter what level, it is important to be able to outline how you will be able to apply the theory of your qualification to the practicalities of working life.

Of course qualifications do more than help you get an interview, they also help you command a greater salary once you get to negotiating a pay packet.


The skills an employer looks for will obviously depend on the sector you wish to work in and the seniority of the job you are applying for.

But, as a rule there are a selection of generic skills that all employees will look for including communication, teamwork, time management, problem solving, delegation and flexibility.

It is also important to recognise that different skills have different meanings and importance to different industries.

For example if you are looking for a marketing role, communication skills have a technical implication and you will need to be able to demonstrate a working knowledge of marketing communication avenues. If you are looking for a job in HR, then these communication skills could be needed for a role that involves anything from hiring to firing and will need to be much more personable.

Therefore, as mentioned above, it is important to demonstrate to employers how your particular skill set will benefit their particular organisation and the job role.

Personal qualities

For many employers meeting a candidate who appears a ‘good fit’ can be the difference between hiring and not.

A candidate could have all the right skills and experience but if they are going to disrupt the workplace they are not worth employing.

Alternatively, a candidate might not have quite the right skill set but be engaging, enthusiastic and show tonnes of promise making them a likely hire.

This is why it is important to do your research before you apply to a company as it is important your ethos aligns with the company you work for.

If a website boasts lots of social activities you will need to think about whether this is something you want. If it is, then a workplace with a limited social scene will not be a good fit for you.

A candidate who can convey integrity and honesty will also be looked upon favourably. This can be achieved by not exaggerating any past achievements on your CV and outlining your strengths and weaknesses in a genuine manner.

You can also help this by not saying complicated words and key phrases related to the sector you wish to work in that you can’t define or back up.

You will end up looking a bit silly and disingenuous, as Einstein said: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” It is also important to appear positive, and confident and dependable.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find a course?

ON/COURSE offers you information on a variety of topics that you may want to study. Take your time to look through all the courses available and when you are ready to take the next step simply complete the application form.

This is non committal step, at this stage we will search for a course that fits all of the information you have provided us with, from start date to level of study. If you are happy with your options then we will connect you with the relevant course.

Where shall I study?

There are two paths that you can take, online or campus study. Our advice is to take a thorough look at the options available to you before making any decision. Selecting the education provider is one of the biggest decisions that you can make in this step. You should take a variety of factors into consideration.

For many cost is most important, whilst for others attending an institution with prestige is the decisive factor. Whatever your decision is based on, ON/COURSE have tried to gather knowledge from institutions, students and professionals to ensure you are able to assess all the options before making your decision.

When can I start?

This depends largely on the course you chose. Online courses often have enrollment all year round, but some campus courses will have strict application date you will need to adhere to.

ON/COURSE aims to go beyond simply providing information, we want to help you get enrolled, so you every applicant will speak to a member of the team to make sure you stand the best chance to get on the course that works for you best.

Are there courses for professional development?

ON/COURSE offers a wide variety of courses, and this includes courses specifically aimed at professionals seeking to get ahead in their career. This includes courses on accountancy, finance, business, tax, marketing and IT. What's more these courses are offered on a variety of levels so from aspiring business graduates to experienced professionals there will be a professional course to help speed up your career,