FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Employability skills are the traits and talents that make you an attractive candidate for a job. Improving your employability skills through education, training and practical applications can give you an edge in the job market. In addition to giving you an advantage in your job search, these employability skills may also position you for higher-earning roles with greater growth potential.

So, what are these critical employability skills that employers demand of job seekers? Two essential skills to land you a job are communication and computer skills. The ability to communicate both verbally and in writing with a wide variety of people, maintain good eye contact, write clearly and succinctly, demonstrate a varied vocabulary and tailor your language to your audience are all essential skills that employers seek. Good verbal and written communication means you can get your messages across with little chance of misunderstanding.

The 21st century business world demands that you have at least basic computer skills for jobs to advance in your career. Acquiring basic IT skills may open up a wide range of employment opportunities and increase your marketability in the workplace.

Other sought-after skills by employers are analytical/research skills, leadership/management skills, planning and organizing, flexibility/project management and teamwork. The more versatile you are in your skill repertoire, the more valuable you become to an employer.

The Army Community Services Employment Readiness Program Job Readiness Center offers a wide range of training to help people improve their employability skills. Job seekers can strengthen their computer skills by taking an individual 10-15 hour self-paced computer class in either Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel. Each participant will receive a training completion certificate. ACS also offers ways to improve your typing skills. You can assess your typing skills by taking a typing skills test or improve your typing speed and accuracy by completing various programs on the Mavis Beacon Typing Tutorial.

Those who prefer an instructor-led computer class can sign up for a three-hour course in either Word, Excel or PowerPoint. The next instructor-led classes are scheduled for March. Contact the ACS Employment Readiness Office for specific dates and times.

During February, the Employment Readiness Program will offer two workshops -- Project Management Fundamentals (Feb. 20) and Effective Business Writing (Feb. 27).

The Project Management Fundamentals workshop will help you build a solid foundation of project management knowledge, techniques and tools. This hands-on workshop covers the entire project life cycle from describing and initiating a project, planning and managing the project to the project closeout phase.

The Effective Business Writing workshop is designed to enable success with the specific writing challenges that are common in the day-to-day work of any organization. Topics include writing email and other electronic communication; writing a professional email; writing effective business communication; responding to customer complaints; writing a business letter; writing a thank-you letter; and writing business proposals.

Both classes are free and offer an excellent opportunity to add more skills to your resume as well as to increase your employment opportunities. Classes are targeted to military spouses and are open to all military and DoD civilian employee ID card holders.

For more information on these classes and other Employment Readiness Program services, call 751-4862 or visit

Page last updated Thu February 6th, 2014 at 12:21