With ever-increasing competition from other job seekers, you need to stand out from the crowd to potential employers. So, what will give you the edge over other candidates? There are several skills and certifications that employers want more than others.

Now that online learning has taken off, there are hundreds of different certifications you can get. They offer classes in any number of different skills and trades, and the consensus among HR professionals is that certifications can, indeed, make a difference, but not all of them.

Take a look at these top skills and certifications that should place you ahead of your competitors.

Human Resources certifications

Although professional certification might not always be a requirement, recruiters are definitely on the look-out for suitably qualified individuals who want to work in the field of human resources. Some of the best ones are SHRM, PHR, and SPHR for Human Resources.

Communication skills

Recruiters and employers, no matter the position on offer, are always looking for people with strong verbal and written communication skills. Virtually all aspects of all jobs require effective communication, so an ability to communicate with people at all levels is an essential skill.

A positive attitude

Regardless of the job, employers would rather employ someone with a positive attitude. If you are able to remain positive during difficult and stressful situations and retain a constant ‘can do’ attitude, you will be an asset to any organization.

The ability to work in a team

Once again, regardless of what job you want, your ability to work as part of a team will give you the edge over someone who doesn’t have that ability. Although it’s also important to be able to work alone, being able to get along with others while getting the job done is an essential skill.

Project Management certifications

While many people claim Project Management skills, having a certification in the field will add enormous value to your resume if that is the field you want to enter.

Getting a PMP certification will show employers that your approach will be based on sound theory and that you can take a project from the very beginning through to the end. Project management certification is also useful for anyone involved in management and leadership in general.

Technological skills

Just about all job listings these days include some sort of technological skills. If you are working in communication, social media skills are essential. You need to know about all the various social media platforms and how they work, as well as knowing how to use them to best effect.

If you can get the message across effectively on social media, you will stand out from the crowd. Computer literacy is also crucial, so make sure you know Word, Excel and plenty of other software.

Problem-solving skills

Problems occur, no matter how careful we are. Employers value people who are able to think around a problem quickly and come up with an effective, speedy response and solution. The faster you are at solving problems, the more valuable you will be to an organization.

The organizations hold various training programs in problem-solving and you should make it a point to attend all of them.

Sales certifications

Many salespeople learn on the job, but a candidate who has formal training for certification is bound to stand out among other applicants. Some of the certification you can obtain include Spin Selling, Sandler Training, Challenger Sales, and MEDDIC. With sound theory and education behind you, your chances of clinching that dream position are much increased.

Google certifications

Google offers a wide range of certifications, including Publisher, AdWords, and Analytics. So, if you’re involved in data science, digital marketing, or software engineering, you’re bound to find a Google certification to suit you.


  • Sarah Surette

    Freelance Writer

    Sarah Surette is a serial entrepreneur, adventurist, frequent global wanderer, friend, daughter and most importantly, a mother to two amazing little girls.