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5 Leadership Skills Employers Look For

It’s a common misconception that leadership belongs only to the executives and manager of a company. In fact, those people in management likely started developing their leadership skills at the same time they started their careers – the same place you are now.

Leadership skills can be considered synonymous with employability skills; employers want every person they hire to have well-honed leadership skills, no matter what job they’re hired for. Employees who master the skills of successful leaders can contribute to taking the company further, staying with the company longer, and growing their careers faster, so it’s a win-win for the employee and the employer.

Learn about the leadership skills you can start developing today, and get tips on how to begin.


Employers look for people who exhibit a desire to work with others. Even if your job requires you to work alone much of the time, you’ll likely need to work with a manager or small team for some critical tasks. Team orientation means you:

  • See the value in understanding perspectives other than your own
  • Are trainable and eager to learn from others in the field
  • Are willing to train others in skills you’ve already mastered

To start honing a team orientation, look for opportunities to work with others, such as group projects at school, family decisions, and groups within any organizations you’re a part of, like a gym, church, or volunteer group. Make an effort to listen to the other people in your group, and help facilitate healthy conversation when conflicts arise. Make decisions that meet the needs of everyone in the group, and delegate work equally between team members. Once you’ve started consciously honing these skills, you can add your team-building experiences to your resume, even if you haven’t had a chance to practice them on the job.

Open to Feedback

An effective and well-liked leader is someone who considers the opinions of everyone involved, including teammates, managers, and those in training.You can build this skill before you even begin your career by adopting an attitude of humility. Share your opinion, but be sure to also seek out the opinions of those around you. Seeking feedback can not only help you grow but also help you make decisions for the greater good. Employers want to know that they’re hiring people who are willing to listen and make sacrifices for the good of the company.


Good leaders are confident in their integrity; they know they are always doing their best work, and they want what’s right for their team and company. Therefore, they’re humble enough to admit their mistakes. They’re committed enough to start difficult conversations. Leadership does not mean covering up problems or always going with the flow. It means providing honest feedback and owning your actions so the team can learn and grow.


Having an entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t mean you need to invent something or start a business; it simply means you look for ways to improve things. Entrepreneurial ideas can include new ways to:

  • Make processes more efficient
  • Improve a product or academic assignment
  • Learn about a topic

Ultimately, having an entrepreneurial attitude means you want to make experiences better and more efficient for everyone involved. To develop these leadership skills, start thinking about your everyday routines. How can you make them more efficient and enjoyable – for you and your family, friends, peers, or coworkers?


Leaders must be passionate about their work. In order to keep honing all of the skills listed above throughout their careers, they must be excited to do their jobs every day. Be sure the career you choose offers a growth path that appeals to you. What can you do to get promoted? Are there learning opportunities for experienced employees? Learning often ignites passion, and your education doesn’t stop when your career begins. Always look for opportunities to learn new skills that can continue to motivate you toward leadership success.

*Apex Technical School and its instructors are licensed by the New York State Education Department.

Disclaimer: Apex Technical School provides training for entry-level jobs. Not everything you may read about the industry is covered in our training programs.