“For employees who want to get ahead, basic competency won’t be enough. To win a promotion or land a job next year, experts say there are four must-have job skills:
1. Clear communications
Whatever their level, communication is the key for workers to advance. This is really the ability to clearly articulate your point of view and the ability to create a connection through communication,” says Holly Paul, U.S. recruiting leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers, the accounting and consulting firm based in New York.
As office conversations increasingly move online, some workers are losing or never developing the ability to give a presentation, for example. Others may be unable to write coherently for longer than, say, 140 characters.
“Technology in some ways has taken away our ability to write well. People are in such a hurry multi-tasking that they skip basics such as spelling and proofing, says Paul McDonald, senior executive director of Robert Half International,, a Menlo Park, Calif., staffing firm.
2. Personal branding
Human-resources executives scour blogs, Twitter and professional networking sites such as LinkedIn when researching candidates, and it’s important that they like what they find.
Workers also should make sure their personal brand is attractive and reflects well on employers. “More and more employers are looking for employees to tweet on their behalf, to blog on their behalf, to build an audience and write compelling, snappy posts,” says Meredith Haberfeld, an executive and career coach in New York.
The ability to quickly respond to an employer’s changing needs will be important as organizations try to respond nimbly to customers. “A lot of companies want us to work with their employees about how to get out of their comfort zone, how to adapt,” says Peter Handal, CEO of Dale Carnegie Training.
4. Productivity improvement
This year, workers should find new ways to increase productivity, experts say.“My clients are looking for employees that have a great ability to understand what is wanted and needed, rather than needing to be told,” Ms. Haberfeld says.
“As the economy turns around, companies will have to work harder to retain talented employees. Companies have trimmed the fat, and now they have to build the muscle, says Ben Dattner, an organizational psychologist in New York.”
Ruth Mantell at email@example.com