What are the Communication Skills Most in Demand?

Good communication skills: a must in today’s job market

Communication Skills Key to Employment
Communication Skills Key to Employment

In my previous blog post, How can Soft skills help your personal branding?,  I listed the top 10 soft skills employers favored.  Interestingly, the top 3 soft skills are: 1) a strong work ethic, 2) dependability, and 3) a positive attitude.  Effective communication skills appears 8th on the list, although it is not less important than the other skills.

Let’s have a closer look at communication skills – whether speaking, listening or writing. What do you think are the communication skills that are most in demand by employers?

A research study done last year looked at the communication skills of business graduate students.  The majority of the students in the study had undergraduate majors in science and engineering, business administration and liberal arts.

Top communication skills

In the study, researchers reviewed the literature on the communication skills most in demand:

  • interpersonal relations
  • listening
  • speaking
  • asking and answering questions
  • team communication
  • interviewing
  • meeting management
  • writing routine documents, reports and proposals

In their review of the literature, researchers looked at the communication skills of millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000).  In one study, researchers found that many business leaders were unhappy with recent college graduates.  They lacked the fundamental communication skills, especially writing, so important for success in the business world.

For employers, here are the two most important writing communication skills:

  • “The ability to produce neat and well organized documents that use correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling.”
  • “The ability to proofread documents and understand the principle of effective communication.”

Researchers also reported that college students often did not have enough time at university to review basic writing rules. Also they didn’t cover adequately topics such as presentations, research, writing emails, letters, and reports.

Another problem is that professors didn’t have enough time to teach students how to write effectively and efficiently in a semester. College teachers need to do a better job of preparing college graduates for the actual workplace.

Learn to write better

At Business English HQ, we help you develop effective communication. Check out my book, Write Now:  Business writing that gets results, for writing help.

Find out more about effective business writing in my other blog posts.


Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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