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Last Updated on February 20, 2019

Master These 15 Skills for Success to Get Ahead in Your Career

Master These 15 Skills for Success to Get Ahead in Your Career

You may have been working at a particular job and believe you are fit to lead a team or should be promoted because of the extensive experience and technical skills you have.

But you should understand that the workplace and career trends are constantly evolving. It is a world where creativity and possessing different skills apply.

To meet up to new organizational or workplace objectives, you have to bring something new to the table. While it may go beyond skillsets, other requirements for being selected for a position could be based on personal involvements, attributes or extracurricular activities. In this digital age, you’ll need these set of skills for success to stay ahead:

1. Accountability

There is a difference between passionately volunteering for a project and being committed to its execution. This is where accountability comes in. You really don’t want to bite off more than chew when you take that assignment.

In the modern workplace, you do not simply have to be fully aware of what you are getting into when it comes to accepting a task, you also have to be accountable for the success of such task.

Stepping up and acting responsibly could be what is stopping you from getting that promotion.

2. Adaptability

Nothing stays the same. Change is not something you should shy away from in the modern workplace, rather it is something you should embrace.

Getting stuck to old ways of doing things or old rules may not really help the advancement of your career. You really need to take some time to open your mind to new approaches and thoughts that would help you solve problems faster and better for your organization.

It is indeed all about responding to what the current situation requires. Yes you may have to bend your own rules and beliefs, however, this will eventually make you a good people person and next in line for that promotion.

3. Networking

A simple conversation is not that simple anymore. A simple conversation could pivot your career. You really never know who you are going to meet in life and what impact they could make to influence your career.

It becomes important to hold a conversation with about anyone at any time and make it drive your progress in the workplace.

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From speaking to attending events, and sending out your business card, you surely need to start considering what networking better could do for you.

4. Focus

This one comes down to how productive you want to become. It is hard to focus or concentrate when there are so many things begging for your time in the workplace.

We all reach that point or know that scenario where it is more fun to accomplish the easier things such as checking emails or going through our social media page.

When it comes to standing out and staying ahead, you may need to practice focusing more so that you have more satisfaction and meaning in getting work done.

5. Listening Attentively

Listening attentively is backed by taking the right actions after you understand a matter. You wouldn’t really understand a matter if you don’t listen or question every decision that is made.

Yes, you should be asking for specifics and getting to the root behaviors or observations. This way you would have clearer judgement and take smarter actions.

Take a look at this guide to learn how to listen attentively:

13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

6. Being Innovative

It all comes down to asking the right questions and figuring smarter and better ways of getting results in the workplace. It could be your approach, it could be positioning yourself stronger and meeting the right people in the right way.

You may not necessarily be the hardest worker in the room, but you would be more effective if you push yourself to look for creative solutions to a problem in the work place.

7. Confidence

There is a difference between misguided arrogance about your achievements and developing the ability to stand up for ideas.

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Sometimes, developing confidence helps you to ensure and promote the achievements of others. You need confidence in the workplace if you are to deliver, engage and reach certain goals.

Here’re 62 Proven Ways to Build Self-Confidence.

8. Leadership

Leadership skills could be a source of influence for your co-workers and would get them on board on how to reach future objectives. Anyone with leadership skills will always gain visibility within an organization and would certainly be considered for more opportunities or promotions.

These 10 Leadership Qualities Revealed by the World’s Most Successful Leaders will help strengthen your leadership.

9. Communication

Whether it is written or verbal communications, communication skills are vital in the workplace.

One of the major reasons is because it helps foster relationships with co-workers and superiors in the workplace.

With good communication skills, clear expectations can be extracted so that you meet deadlines and deliver excellent work.

Workers are more productive when they know how to communicate with their colleagues in an organization.

10. Teamwork

Certainly, there is not much a company can do if it all depends on the activity of a singular person. Success is achieved when different people are working together for a common objective. Team players tend to build a friendly office culture and aid collaboration.

Moreover, an organization will fare better when its employees can synthesize their varied talents or strengths.

The modern workplace is looking for persons who can collaborate well with co-workers. If you possess the skill of being a good team player, then you are certainly going to be considered for promotions and career advancement.

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11. Persuasive Skills

There is always that point in your career when you have to tell others about your ideas, services or products. You may just be selling any of these things to them.

Persuasive skills are necessary for career advancement because you have to be able to form a strong, convincing argument for why the other person should buy your products or services.

If you want to pick up the art of persuasion, learn these 20 Skills That Make Everyone Agree with What You Say.

12. Negotiating Skills

From negotiating your salary to swaying coworkers to a new way of thinking, you can never underestimate the power of negotiating.

In today’s workplace, good negotiating skills are beneficial during both internal and external discussions. Sellers of a new product or idea and customers always require negotiations to thrive in the marketplace.

If you can have this quality and maximize it, then you have a great chance of moving upwards in your career.

13. Knowing When and How to Show Empathy

Building relationships and sustaining them is important to long term career success. Having the ability to place yourself in someone else’s shoes helps foster relationships and is a key ingredient to getting ahead in your career.

With empathy, you can provide insights and offer them the support that will help them grow in their job. You don’t have to be in a robotic work environment that limits growth, but with compassion you can steer your coworkers to performing at their peak.

So learn to offer support, sympathy and feedback everyday you do business. This way you will have a more human work environment and would be blessed with positive emotional returns.

14. Problem Solving Skills

You should be proactive at solving problems. Your work environment presents a series of problem solving situations.

To be proactive at solving problems in an organization means you are willing to go the extra mile to take the pressure off your boss and colleagues. With this skill, you are sure to get ahead in your career.

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Here’re 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills.

15. Patience with Others

Your patience with others could be vital in a tense situation. While the modern workplace could present stressful situations, how patient you are with coworkers and your superiors could determine your career advancement.

Patience is a difficult skill, however this skill will be noticed by management and perceived as a very strong asset in pushing the company forward.

There will be times when troublemakers are brought to book for their actions, but you wouldn’t be one of them if you have patience as an asset or skill.

Not sure how to practice patience? Some advice for you here:

Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life and How to Practice Patience and 

The Bottom Line

It is not simply about having the aforementioned skills, it is about maximizing them and using them for your career advancement.

You should understand that these skills make you more human, more prepared for new challenges. The more you demonstrate these abilities, the faster your career will advance.

You have to understand that such skills will help forge relationships, build diplomacy and respect while you become at the center of both individual success and corporate productivity. These skills will also help when mitigating conflict and reducing bad behavior in the office.

The modern workplace needs strong and effective corporate leaders brimming with positivity and confidence that will inspire growth and make a better workplace.

More Resources About Career Advancement

Featured photo credit: Manny Pantoja via unsplash.com

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Casey Imafidon

Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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Last Updated on August 19, 2019

20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

20 Critical Skills to Include on Your Resume (For All Types of Jobs)

A resume describes your critical skills in a way that compels a hiring manager to want to meet you. That is a resume’s sole purpose.

And make no mistake: Writing a resume is an art.

Today each corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes on average, and somehow yours will need to rise above the competition. It’s actually harder to snag an interview from an online posting than to get into Harvard. But don’t let that intimidate you. Instead, open your laptop, roll up your proverbial sleeves, and let’s get to work!


Employers generally prefer candidates with skills that show leadership ability, problem-solving ability, and perseverance through challenges. So in the resume, you should demonstrate that you’re a dynamic candidate.

Refine the skills on your resume so that you incorporate these resume “musts:”

1. Leadership Ability

Even an entry-level employee can show leadership. Point out how your skills helped your department ascend to a new level. Capture leadership attributes with compelling statements.

Example:

“Led change that drove efficiency and an ability to cut 800 error-free payroll checks.”

2. Problem-Solving Ability

Most employees are hired to solve problems. Showcase that ability on your resume.

Example:

“Led staff in campaign to outrival top competitor’s market share during a down cycle.”

3. Perseverance

Have you been promoted several times? Or have you maintained margins in a down cycle? Both achievements demonstrate persistence. You look like someone who can navigate roadblocks.

4. Technical Skills

Consider including a Key Skills or Technology Skills section in which you list computer and software skills.

Example:

“Expert-level knowledge in Java.”

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5. Quantified Results

Nothing is quite as attractive as objective results. Did you increase sales by 25 percent? Win three new clients? Surpass the internal goal by 15 percent?

Use hard-hitting numbers to express your point. State the result first, and then provide a sentence or phrase describing the critical skills you applied to achieve the milestone.

Example:

“Boosted sales by 200 percent by developing new online platform that made it easier for customers to compare and contrast sizes, textures, and fit.”

6. People Skills

Employers prefer congenial staff members to prima donnas or mavericks. Relate your strongest soft skills.

Example:

“Organized, hard-working staffer who listens well and communicates effectively.”

7. Passion in the Field

Recruiters and hiring managers can intuit whether candidates care about their career performance by the dynamism behind the descriptions of their skills on their resumes. Are your efforts “transformational” or merely “useful?” Were your results “game-changing” or boringly “appropriate?”

The tenor of your words reveals whether you’re passionate or passive. (But don’t overdo it. See the “Hyperbole” section below.)

8. Being the Entrepreneur within the Corporation

Whether you took the initiative to create a new synergy or worked independently to land an opportunity, share how you furthered organizational goals through your self-directed efforts.

9. Your Adaptability

Have you switched career paths? Weathered a corporate takeover?

Make it clear that your resilience helped get you and your organization through the turbulence.

10. Confirming Your Expertise

Every job posting states experience requirements. Ideally, you want to meet these requirements or best them. But don’t exaggerate.


While proving that you possess the credentials described in the job posting, you can still stand out if you are able to offer additional special skills to showcase your personality.

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Consider adding any of these special accomplishments, if true:

11. Referencing Award-Winning Talents

If you played center on your college basketball team that made it into the Top 10 finals, then working collaboratively and cooperatively are among your natural callings. Be sure to say so.

12. Unveiling Your Work Persona

If you were repeatedly singled out for your stellar performance in work settings, becoming employee-of-the-month, top revenue generator, and so on — it’s worth mentioning.

13. Capitalizing on Commonalities

From Googling the hiring manager, you discover that she was formerly a Peace Corps volunteer in Belize. Listing your Spanish immersion course in Central America may draw her attention to the other outstanding skills on your resume.

14. Highlighting Creative Tactics

If, for example, in your HR role, you piloted an employee incentive program that became an industry model, include it. Such innovative thinking will command an employer’s attention.

15. Specifying All Accolades

Listing any honors received instills confidence that you will bring that level of perfectionism forward in a corporate environment.

16. Transferable Skills

You spend your spare time conducting your community orchestra. Highlight this after-hours pursuit to show that you have the critical skills needed to keep a team on task.


Take note: Hyperbole can hurt you. So, show your credibility.

Although it may be tempting to use embellishments to boost your experience, improve your job title, or enhance your education, resist. These days, a five-minute search will reveal the truth. And taking self-inflation too far could easily come back to destroy your career.

Hiring managers have their antenna up for resume hyperbole. A survey shows that 53 percent are suspicious that candidates are often dishonest.

Follow these guiding principles when writing your own resume:

17. Accurately Describing Your Degree

Make sure to differentiate between certificates attained and degrees earned, along with the name of the institution awarding them.

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18. Stating Job Duration with Honest Dates

Honesty is the only policy when reporting the length of a particular job. If you’ve been out of work for an extended period of time, state the reason you have gaps.

Whether you traveled, had to cope with a family emergency, or went back to school to change your professional track, communicate the positive outcome that came from the hiatus.

19. Claiming Only the Skills You Truly Possess

Unless you’re proficient in a software program or are fluent in a second language, leave any mention of them off.

Conversely, if you feel like you must include them, then accurately qualify your level of competence.

20. Being Honest About Your Role in a Project

You may think you were the lead person because you did most of the work, but chances are your supervisor thinks otherwise.

Besides the 20 critical skills to include on your resume, here’re some important notes for you.

Bonus Tips for Writing a Resume

You Only Have 6 to 7 Seconds to Impress the Employer

Hiring managers and artificial intelligence “bots” may spend only 6 to 7 seconds perusing your resume, which means you need it to teem with essential skills, quantifiable achievements, and action words.

If, in fact, you believe that a “bot” will be analyzing your resume before it even lands on a hiring manager’s desk, be sure to include some of the actual key words from the posting in your document. There’s no reason why you can’t customize your resume to each job posting.

Another tip: Be sure to show your resume to a few individuals who work in your field, so that you can fine-tune the information as needed.

Starting at the Top

The Objective at the top of your resume is optional if you’re seeking the same job you already have, just at different company. However, if you’re switching fields, it’s critical to include an Objective, which is a one-sentence summary of the job you want.

For example:

Objective: To become web editor at a thriving news website.

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If you’ve been in your field for ten years or more, you will probably want to include an Executive Summary. This is a one-sentence takeaway about who you are, including the critical skills you amassed throughout your career.

For example:

Executive Summary: Award-winning creative director with over ten years experience managing teams on three continents.

Depending on your field, you may also want to add some skills as bullet points in the Executive Summary section.

And what about your Education? If you graduated from college within the past ten years, include your Education just below the Objective section (and forgo the Executive Summary). If it’s been over ten years since you graduated, then include your Education at the very end of your resume. Only cite your grade point average (G.P.A.) if it was exceptional—3.7 G.P.A. or higher, or if you won scholastic awards.

Ideally, the critical skills you amassed during college, at your previous job, and throughout your career will add up to a riveting portrait of a professional who’s ideally suited for your dream position: You.

Tailor, Tweak, and Fine-Tune

If you’re targeting different kinds of organizations, you’ll need customized resumes for each outreach.

Don’t be afraid to parrot some of the words on the list of requirements back to the company. Many times, organizations will actually use the key words mentioned in the job posting when screening resumes.

Approach Your Resume as a Skills-Based Story

Like any good storyteller, lay out the framework at the beginning. Include the skills you’ve mastered and state how you can add value—wording your sentences in a way that reflects the specific job you’re seeking.

Are you vying for a sales position? Quantify your results: “Responsible for 50 percent of all sales that resulted in $750,000 in annual revenue.” Use your critical skills, peppered throughout your resume, to tell the exciting story of your distinguished professional career!

Researching the organization that you’re targeting will help you make your examples specific. Does the company cater to a particular audience or clientele? Be sure to note any experiences you’ve had with similar audiences.

Putting It All Together

A resume is not a laundry list. It tells a cohesive story. Your story should highlight your qualifications and critical skills in a way that makes a logical, well-constructed case for your compatibility with the organization and its advertised position.

Packaging your story into the concisely prescribed format of a resume means that it will read as a synopsis — one that will hopefully land you the job.

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Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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