Ten top skills that employers are seeking

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Botswana has enjoyed sustained growth over the 50 years since its independence, with the country in recent times registering a GDP growth above the 6-7% target, having recovered from the global economic downturn.

But the unemployment rate remains high, hovering around 19%, and this means that you should  equip yourself with a diverse set of skills that will help to increase your earning potential, market yourself to the greatest effect and secure your future career.

To become a leader in business develop these ten top skills that employers are looking for.


The ability to express your ideas clearly and confidently when talking to other employees and stakeholders, such as those you are selling your brand or product to is essential. In addition, it is important to be able to write an effective email that gets your point across in a succinct and professional manner.

Team work

Employers will want to see that you are able to work confidently within a group. Being able to demonstrate your ability to collaborate will not only improve your own chances of enjoying your job, but can also allow you to become more adept at problem solving and adaptability. Volunteering for a local charity could help you work within a team outside of the workplace or getting work experience while studying could provide an opportunity to develop these skills.

Presentation skills

There are likely to be many times during your career when you will be required to demonstrate that you are able to present to those inside your company as well as clients or stakeholders externally. You can improve these skills not only by taking training courses but also through joining a local Toastmasters club, or by volunteering to give a presentation at a local conference, educational institution or other group. A short presentation explaining your professional areas of interest or expertise could be a good place to start.

Time management

Many potential employees are going to be looking for someone who can manage their tasks efficiently, making sure that they prioritise the areas that need to be completed and demonstrate that they can work to deadlines. This said, you will also need to show that you do not rush tasks to get them done but pay attention and take care with all aspects of your work. Be a good planner, and then complete tasks effectively.

Problem solving

Develop skills in researching and identifying problems in your business. You will then need to show you can act on your initiative, identify opportunities and be proactive in suggesting solutions. Employers will also want someone who is always looking for ways of improving themselves and their company.

Be informed

You can become more astute in your field of work by staying up to date with current news and developments. This will allow you to confidently comment on the general business environment in which your company operates in, and will help you to network. Using social media can also have numerous benefits, such as making valuable connections which can help you to find a job, identify future clients, research information about your day job or create your own personal brand.


Aside from social media, businesses expect the new generation to outskill them when it comes to information technology.  You may wish to develop your knowledge of Microsoft Excel, for example, or gain skills in word processing, the Internet, or designing web sheets. A number of university bodies and other educational organisations offer access to free videos and lectures on YouTube which can help you with this, along with tailored training in these areas.

 Be an ‘intrepreneur’

An ‘intrepreneur’ is someone who has an entrepreneurial skillset while working within a larger organisation. This means you will need to show you are opportunistic and can re-evaluate process-driven tasks. Have a questioning mind in order to suggest how elements in the workplace can be improved for everyone’s benefit. This will enhance your own knowledge, and identify ways of doing things which could increase efficiencies and cost savings for your company.

Commercial awareness

When starting at a workplace, one of the most important things to understand as quickly as possible are the commercial realities affecting your new organisation. Your company’s ability to find new business and maintain it’s current clients is crucial to it’s success. The more you know about these opportunities, the better. Again, there are training courses available that will help you understand what some of these realities may be across a myriad of industries, although some are only specific to certain sectors.


Those that succeed as business leaders are generally not short of confidence. We all have skills, personally and professionally, that are inspirational to those around us and command respect. Don’t worry if you’re an introvert or a little bit shy. It’s important to focus on your strengths and to share your ideas and opinions in a way that feels natural to you such as speaking to someone one to one rather than in a big meeting.

The Botswana Student Network is hosting a Graduate Employer Forum providing an opportunity to connect with local employers and professionals on Tuesday 11th October. Register now by sending an email with your name and contact telephone number to [email protected]

Eneritz Corral is AAT's International Operations Manager.

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