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What Does Employment vs. Employability Mean For Your Career?

What Does Employment vs. Employability Mean For Your Career_ The Panther Group

Question for all the job-seekers out there:

What is your endgame?

Are you looking for a job, or are you ready to begin a career?

(Note: If you are “just” looking for a job, there’s nothing wrong with that at all.)

The way you approach your job search depends greatly on the type of position you’re looking for.

If you’re looking for a job – perhaps an hourly or per-diem gig – your focus should be on employment skills.

If, on the other hand, you’re looking to begin a new career, you’ll need to balance your focus between employment skills and employability skills.

In the following article, we’ll discuss exactly what these terms entail – and why it’s important to shift your focus accordingly depending on what you’re looking for.

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Are You Developing These 3 Types of Skills Regularly?

1. Employment Skills (Hard Skills)

Employment skills are the skills required to complete a specific job.

These are the actionable abilities and bases of knowledge a job candidate comes to the table with that prove they’ll be able to do the job in question.

For example, a person applying for a receptionist job will likely be required to use Microsoft Office at an advanced level, be able to type a certain amount of words per minute, and have better-than-average writing skills.

Without these skills, there’s no way the candidate would be considered a top prospect for an advertised clerical position.

Whether you’re simply looking for a job or are looking for an entry-level position to jump start your career, you’ll absolutely need to show you have employment skills.

But, while employment skills are necessary to get your foot in the door, they aren’t enough to help you climb the ladder in your chosen career.

That’s where employability comes in.

Related:  What Skills Are You Developing for Your Career?

2. Employability Skills (Soft Skills)

While employment skills are, quite simply, the bare minimum necessary to get hired, employability skills can allow you to gain some upward mobility in your career.

Also known as soft skills, employability skills are the “intangible” abilities that often separate excellent employees from run-of-the-mill workers.

Some of the most sought-after employability skills are:

  • Communication/teamwork skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Responsibility

Exhibiting such skills (in addition to basic employment skills) proves that you’d be a valuable asset to an organization not just in position you’re being considered for, but in many other spots as well. In other words, because you have these soft skills, it’s probable that you’re able to fill more than one role within a company.

Perhaps the most important employability skill or characteristic is being a lifelong learner. While the run-of-the-mill worker may be stuck in the same job for years on end because they’re unwilling (or unable) to learn higher-level skills, lifelong learners are not just able to quickly learn new skills and information – they actively work to do so.

Even if you are just looking for a job at the current moment, keep in mind that honing your employability skills is what will truly make you marketable – and will help launch you to levels of success you might never have thought possible.

Looking for job search tips?  Here’s another reading on overcoming some of the challenges of looking for a job.

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3. Transferable Skills

These skills can also overlap with both hard and soft skills.  Are you developing sets of skills that will help you land jobs that you don’t completely fit the description for? Many employers are open to the idea of identifying skills that are close enough to the skills they need or skills that can be modified with on-the-job training. This is why it is so important to map out what you think your career may look like so you can identify possible skills that you need to develop in order to be ready for each career step.

4. Other Skills Employers Are Often Looking For:

Leadership Ability

Non-Verbal Communication

Written Communication

Listening Skills

Analytical Skills

Negotiation Skills

Presentation Skills

Confidence on Phone Calls




Management Skills

Divergent Thinking


Lateral Thinking


Questioning Skills


People Management

Remote Team Management


Conflict Resolution Skills

Delegation Skills

Decision Making Skills


Strategic Planning

…and many many more.

Are you looking for a job that is a great fit for your career goal?

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