Activity: What Do Employers Want?

Florida State Standards

LAFS.1112.RL.1.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matter uncertain.

LAFS.1112.RI.1.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.

LAFS.1112.RI.3.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to address a question or solve a problem

LAFS.1112.W.3.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation

LAFS.1112.SL.2.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.


Introduction:  Employers today are looking for specific skills in their employees.  Many occupations require not only a specific college degree, but certifications and licenses as well.  Skills classified as “hard” skills and “soft” skills are addressed in the NEXT magazine article.  These skills must be explored and defined for any occupation you desire, become knowledgeable and will find success in obtaining the occupation you most want.


Teacher Needs


Printer (black/white or color)

Ink or toner cartridge

Internet access

NEXT magazine – What Do Employers Want?

Printer paper (white or color)


Student Needs


Internet access

Access to a printer

Printer paper

NEXT magazine – What Do Employers Want?


Teacher Transcript and Student Instructions:

  1. Teacher: Read the article “What Do Employers Want?” in NEXT magazine.
  2. Teacher: The article is short and to the point, there are specific skills, college degrees, certifications and licenses required for specific jobs.  In the article, these skills are labeled as “hard” skills and “soft” skills.  And although these lists in the magazine are comprehensive in nature, how do we define these skills as an employer looking to hire someone. 
  3. Teacher:

Student Instructions:  Ask yourself what career or job you are interested in obtaining after high school?  What are the “hard” and “soft” skills required in general that will enable you to successfully get such a job? 

  1. Teacher:

Student Instructions:  Research your job choice and gather not only the skills but the specific college degree, certifications and/or licenses needed and will likely be looked for by an employer when you apply for a position.

  1. Teacher:

Student Instructions:  Find a company in your local community that is in the business in which you are interested. (For example: if you are interested in graphic design, you may look for a marketing company.) Call and ask to speak to the HR director or the owner and explain that you are participating in a school assignment and would like to ask a few questions about “hard” and “soft” skills looked for when they are hiring.

  1. Teacher:

Student Instructions:  Make notes of your conversation, who you spoke to and the name of the company.

  1. Teacher:

Student Instructions:  Now that you have gathered all the pertinent information, create a pamphlet using a desktop publishing app.  Include the following information:  

  1. Job title, your name
  2. College degree, certifications/licenses
  3. Include at least 3-4 hard skills necessary for this job (explain each of the skills)
  4. Include at least 3-4 soft skills necessary for this job (explain each of the skills)
  5. The company name and the person interviewed and the exact title of the position you inquired about
  6. Include 2-3 graphics only where appropriate
  1. Teacher: Have students print the pamphlet and do a student exchange to share information.


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