If you feel like your job hunt is floundering or you find yourself in a position where you need to find a new job ASAP, one of the best things you can do is focus on your skills. Even more than experience, skills are often what gets you into an interview—and, ideally, into a new gig. LinkedIn recently did a survey of hundreds of thousands of job postings on their site and identified the skills most in demand by today’s employers. If you’re looking to get more impact on your resume and job applications, these skills are a great place to start.
Hard skills, or the specific, teachable skills that you’ve acquired through school, training, or experience, are the hardest to “fake it ‘til you make it.” Typically, these skills can be boosted through specific training or education, but this also makes them an easier skill type to build because they’re so specific. All of these skills can be learned through online courses. According to LinkedIn, these are the top five hard skills sought by employers.
All the data lives in the cloud now, which means people with engineering skills who can wrangle, understand, and leverage the massive amounts of cloud data in an efficient way will be highly valued.
From digital assistants in our home to hiring p
Now that every corporate decision seems to be data-based, that means people with the skills to take all of that raw information and turn it into meaningful, impactful decisions will be in high demand with employers.
Something that will never change is the need to manage people at all levels of an organization. And although “leadership” is a soft skill (more on that in a bit), you can build very specific skills that will make you a better manager and leader.
User experience design, or UX design, is crucial for the way people receive information, shop, organize their lives, browse online, or use devices. As companies put more resources into finding the right app layout or the best customer experiences, having design skills will make you a strong candidate in our digital-first society.
These are the less concrete skills—the people skills. Soft skills are the personal attributes you need to work with others and be successful in the workplace. Although they’re not as easy to learn as, say, a specific software platform or mastery of a tool, you can still build these as well through courses and practice. According to LinkedIn, these are the top five soft skills sought by employers.
Creativity, or the ability to solve problems with basic human ingenuity, is one of the things that all the AI and data in the world won’t be able to replace completely. It’s also a challenge if you’re not already a creative problem solver. However, courses about the creative process, and how to generate ideas, can help train your brain to think more creatively.
Always be selling, right? Whether you’re selling your team on an idea or a product to a customer, you’ve got to be able to identify why they need it, how it benefits them, and why it saves time/money/effort/etc. And oh yeah, you also have to present it in an engaging way. Persuasive skills will also help you when it comes time to negotiate for a raise or a promotion, by the way. Courses in human behavior or consumer behavior can help you refine your pitches and build your persuasiveness.
Every employer out there wants people who can play well with others. You can hire all the hot shots you want, but if everyone’s butting heads all the time or doing their own thing without regard for others, no real work is going to get done. Collaboration and teamwork are one of the fastest-growing skills identified as high-priority by hiring managers. If you’re a lone wolf type or just want to learn how to interact with people more effectively, courses in effective communication, professional collaboration, or team dynamics can help.
Like teamwork, adaptability is highly prized by employers, who want to be increasing efficiency and results all the time. Adaptability is also a key element of innovation, another big-ticket priority for most employers. Flexible thinking may not be your default mode, though, so if you find yourself clinging to “the old way” of doing things, seminars on strategic agility and developing adaptability in yourself and others can make you a more flexible thinker and worker.
This is one of those skills that just about everyone could stand to improve. Balancing projects, balancing work and life, and managing deadlines so that things get done well and on time are all crucial skills in every industry. Building this skill is not quite a simple as writing up a calendar or schedule, but there are courses on finding time management strategies that work for your personality that can help you manage your time and count it as a marketable skill.
Whether you don’t yet have these skills or just want to shine them up so that you can feature them proudly on your resume, online courses are an effective way to do that—especially if you’re feeling a time crunch. The more time you spend developing these skills now, the sooner you’ll have the most in-demand skills and opportunities rolling in.
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