top of page


Decoded: The Five Words Most Often Appearing in Job Postings

Dive In
  • Writer's picturePeter Harris

What are employers looking for in candidates? Analysis of online job postings can reveal the most often repeated skills and attributes sought-after for most jobs.

Just what are employers really seeking with those frequently repeated words in their job descriptions – and how can you demonstrate that you have them? Here is a look at the top five and what you can do to prove that you bring the desired qualifications to the table and do not get placed in the do not respond pile.

Five most-common job requirements across sectors


Having the ability to effectively communicate both orally and in writing is one of the most sought-after skill sets in job postings across industries. Therefore, in all of your interactions with employers, whether it’s by online chat, phone, or email, demonstrate that you can write and speak effectively, articulate your ideas clearly, and consistently communicate in a professional, engaging manner.

Use power words in your resume and avoid cliches. Be sure that you speak with confidence and passion during the interview. Take a moment to formulate your thoughts before you start to talk, so that you don’t have to use ‘uh’ and ‘um’ filler words to buy time.


While teamwork is required for most roles, and employers actively seek out candidates who will be positive additions to their teams, somewhat ironically calling yourself a ‘team player’ has been shown to actually hurt your chances of being hired.

So, rather than coming out and stating your team spirit, demonstrate how you have worked effectively within a group environment, led a team, and mentored and supported your coworkers.

Analysis and problem-solving

If a job can be done in a perfectly predictable manner, it can likely be automated. Fortunately for human job seekers, life is unpredictable, and sticky situations require you to think on your feet.

That is why employers value candidates with problem-solving skills. To show that you are one of these, demonstrate how you have anticipated issues in the past, developed potential solutions and solved problems. Have examples ready of times when you have resolved a challenging situation, improved performance, and come up with solutions that were above and beyond your basic job description.

Strategic thinking

Similarly, strategic thinking is best demonstrated through examples from your work. Think of situations that show how you can understand the challenge of a situation, formulate practical solutions, and execute the strategy to a successful outcome. Employers want to see your ability to get things done, and achieve results, without direct supervision.


Even for non-management roles, demonstrated leadership abilities can make a candidate stand out to potential employers. Companies value workers who can build partnerships, adapt strategies to changing situations, and improve results.

Use examples of times you took ownership of a project. Focus on the progressive growth in your responsibilities throughout your career, your ability to train and mentor others, and your experience leading projects to successful conclusions.

Demonstrating the most in-demand skills can greatly increase your value on the job market – and shorten the time it takes you to be hired. It turns out that the majority of Canadian employers are looking to for candidates who can work well with others, have effective communication skills, and independently form strategies for overcoming challenges and delivering successful results.

bottom of page