While every job is different and requires a different set of abilities and technical knowledge, there are certain skills that are universally valued by employers regardless of the industry they work in. By working on and honing these essential job skills and competencies, you can help to increase that chances that you will secure that job of your dreams. Here are six skills you should work on developing in order to get the job of your dreams.

1. Communication Skills

Strong communications skills are not just valuable in the workplace but in all aspects of life. In business, communication is a defining feature of a successful company. This means effective communication taking place internally, between employees and employers, and externally, between the business to their clients and customers.

According to the Employer Survey run by the Association of American Colleges and Universities, 75% of employers want more emphasis by applicants on written and oral communication.

Employers want to hire someone who can communicate their ideas, thoughts, and opinions in an articulate, confident manner whether this is verbal or written communication skills. Even if your job does not require writing or the production of written content, strong writing skills are an essential means of communication, especially as people communicate so often over email.

While effectively communicating your own ideas is important, communication is a two-way street and strong communication skills also encompass being able to actively listen to your co-workers and to your clients. To hone your communication skills, make a conscious effort to listen to what people are saying to you and to process that information before responding. Practice writing when you can and make a concerted effort to understand grammar, punctuation, and structure when it comes to writing.

2. Leadership Skills

Whether or not you’re applying for a management or leadership position, leadership skills have an important place in a working environment. Being able to manage teams, guide people and lead a group is a powerful skill and valuable in every type of workplace. By having strong leadership skills you can stand out to hiring managers by demonstrating that you could go far and make a difference in the company.

It shows that you have confidence and a clear vision. It is important to remember that being a leader isn’t just about getting people to do what you want them to do, it’s about being supportive, motivating others, taking on responsibility and ensuring tasks are completed.

3. Interpersonal Skills

No matter what job you have, or are trying to get, the chances are you will have to interact with other people at some point, regardless of whether you work alone or in a team. For this reason, one of the most important skills that you need in a workplace is interpersonal skills so that you can build relationships with those around you, work in a team and deal with customers or clients.

A business’s success rarely comes down to one person doing something by themselves so having strong interpersonal skills allows you to leverage your talents in a team and achieve collective objectives.

Interpersonal skills relate to your emotional intelligence, often called EQ. This refers to our ability to understand, interpret and respond to social situations and interactions. In a professional context, it refers to attributes that help us understand what motivates employees and interact with different types of personalities effectively.

Having strong interpersonal skills helps with teamwork, conflict resolution, negotiating and forming relationships in the workplace. To build your interpersonal skills it can help to focus on building your self-confidence. The more confident you are in yourself, the more comfortable you will be in your workplace.

A 2015 study by David Deming shows that the labor market increasingly rewards social skills and that those with better social skills tend to earn more.

4. Analytical And Research Capabilities

Research skills go a long way regardless of your profession. Analytical and research skills are important to employers because it shows that you have initiative and a drive to learn and do better. Research can be either theoretical or practice and in a workplace, it can be as simple as trialing new methods of doing work in order to work more efficiently and effectively.

It means a certain commitment to understanding and striving to improve how you work and what you can achieve for the business that you work for. Studies have shown that over 93% of employers believe that a demonstrated capacity to think critically is more valuable than a candidate’s undergraduate major.

5. Dependability

In the workplace, one of the most important skills to have is to be dependable. Even if you are technically brilliant at what you do, it does not amount to much if you are not reliable in when you’ll execute your tasks. Employers need to be able to depend on their employees and no matter how good you are at what you do, you are not an appealing employee if other people constantly have to step up and do the tasks you should have already done.

Being dependable requires organization and communication skills. Knowing your schedule and letting colleagues and employers know when you’ll finish tasks if you’ll meet deadlines and what they can expect from you are important. You can show dependability by being punctual, meeting deadlines, being detail-oriented and supporting your peers.