Importance of Training and Skills for Job Candidates


At Goodwill of Central & Northern Arizona, we are dedicated to ending poverty through the power of work. We believe that job training and job skills are critically important for individuals who are seeking employment. Through our career services and job training programs, we’re empowering individuals, strengthening families, and building stronger communities. Here’s a closer look at why job training and skills matter along with a roundup of the skills that are most sought-after by today’s employers. 

The Benefits of Job Training: A Ripple Effect

Job training has many benefits. At the top of the list? Empowering individuals. While we work with both job seekers and local employers to place Arizonans in jobs each year, we’re also an invaluable resource for aspiring employees when it comes to helping them get the skills they need to be workforce-ready. In addition to reviewing applicant resumes to ensure that they’re clear and professional, our career advisors provide guidance to job seekers regarding how to improve their interview performance. We also offer digital training courses to ensure job seekers have the skills they need for the job they deserve.

The empowerment of individuals has an amazing and transformational ripple effect. It is our hope at Goodwill of Central & Northern Arizona that when individuals go to work, they feel confident and purpose-driven. As they continue to develop new skills on the job and to use these skills to achieve results, they grow even stronger. In doing so, they become inspiring examples to their own kids on the power of work. 

But the ripple effect doesn’t end there. Thriving families support strong communities. We love that our presence in the community is felt through our retail stores as well as our job services. There’s always a Goodwill store in a nearby neighborhood so anyone can shop or donate. These acts support our no-cost career services, which are available to anyone looking for a new job, education, or training.

Top Skills for the Modern Workforce

All of which begs the question: What skills are today’s employers looking for? While the required skill set for a particular position does largely depend on the roles and responsibilities of the job itself, certain core competencies are universally applicable across all careers — and very much in demand by hiring managers. Leading job site Indeed identified the 11 most sought-after employability skills, including the following:

  • Communication skills

Regardless of what industry you work in, communication skills are a must-have. In addition to being able to interpret what they’re being asked to do, employees must be able to communicate effectively with others, as well. Skills that fall under the “communication” heading include speaking, listening, writing, and negotiating.

  • Leadership skills 

Even if you’re not applying for a leadership role,  leadership skills can still help you stand out in the job market. The ability to motivate others and lead a team are abilities that come in handy at all career levels. According to Indeed, leadership skills to showcase include active listening, the ability to give and receive feedback, dependability, and patience. 

  • Teamwork skills 

No one works in a vacuum. The ability to “play well with others” usually tops the list of skills employers are looking for when reviewing candidates. Teamwork skills include communication, collaboration, responsibility, and honesty.

  • Interpersonal skills

Do you get along well with others? If you work directly with customers, interpersonal skills are obvious must-haves. However, even if you don’t, the ability to get along with your coworkers can help you build relationships and manage challenging situations — both of which can help you excel at your job. Flexibility, empathy and motivation are among the interpersonal skills hiring managers look for when vetting candidates.

  • Learning/adaptability skills

The ability to adapt to new situations is a handy life skill — both in and outside of the workplace. While some people see change as an obstacle, others see it as an opportunity to move forward and grow. The people who fall into the latter category have the potential to make significant contributions in the workforce and therefore often find themselves on top of the hiring pile. Communication, critical thinking and collaboration make the shortlist of learning and adaptability skills. 

  • Self-management skills

Can you be productive when tasked with prioritizing your own workload? Your ability to make a contribution to your organization’s goals depends on self-management skills including organization, time-management, and self-motivation.

  • Organizational skills

Organization and productivity go hand-in-hand toward goal attainment. Highly valued by employers, organizational skills include critical thinking, planning, attention to detail, and conflict management.

  • Computer skills

Computers are omnipresent.  Even if a job doesn’t require in-depth knowledge of computers, familiarity with computer basics is more of a necessity than a nice-to-have in the contemporary workplace. Showcasing skills like word processing, email communication, spreadsheets, social media, and software competencies on your resume can help you gain an essential inside edge. 

  • Problem-solving skills

Challenging situations emerge in workplaces every day. When they do, do you have the right skillset for handling them productively? Because skills like communication, research, and decision-making can help you make a positive contribution to any organization, most hiring managers look for evidence of these job skills on your resume and during interviews. 

  • Open-mindedness

Different organizations do things differently, as do different people. While insisting that only one way — your way — is the way to go is an impediment to collaboration, willingness to try new things yields exciting opportunities for growth. 

  • A strong work ethic

In order for employees to excel at their jobs, they have to actually do their jobs. Conversely, when managers have to micromanage employees to make sure jobs are getting done, productivity lags, and everyone’s time is wasted. The ability to perform your job responsibilities and meet deadlines when no one is checking up on you is a boon for any employer.

Former Ebates Inc. CEO Kevin H. Johnson reinforces the paramount importance of a commitment to lifelong learning in today’s fast-moving world. “As technologies continue to evolve and business conditions shift, employees must stay in learning mode so their skills don’t lose currency,” he writes for Forbes. Johnson also highlights the role of embracing lifelong learning places in driving adaptability, productivity and confident decision-making. The takeaway? Wherever you are on your career journey, taking advantage of learning resources can help you thrive. 

Get Started Today

From resume and interview skills development to digital training and on-site hiring events, the Career Services at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona are open to everyone, free of charge, and readily available to help you land a job. To start on your exciting new job journey, we invite you to find a career center near you or sign up for one of our online training courses today.

Training and Skills | Blog

Exciting Events this Week!

Amazing things are always happening at Goodwill of Central and Northern Arizona! Whether you are looking for a daily special or want to participate in one of our job training events, we have something for you.


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Discount valid on used merchandise only. Not valid on food or drink, new goods, seasonal or holiday items. Not valid at Goodwill Clearance Center. Our REDESIGN by Goodwill and Clearance Outlet are excluded. REDESIGN operates separate sales and discounts from other Goodwill stores.