Ten skills (you probably already have) that you need in your resume

New analyses of millions of job postings across industry sectors has revealed a shortlist of transferable skills that are sought after for most jobs. The catch is, while you probably already have some – or even most of them – already, these tend to be the skills that don’t get highlighted in resumes and profiles.

Here are some of the abilities you use in most of your work and personal activities that can make your job applications stand out in 2020.

Communications

There are very few jobs where you won’t need to be able to effectively communicate with customers, partners, and coworkers. Being able to express ideas, instructions, and information in clear and easy to understand terms in English is among the most frequently sought-after skills in Canadian job ads. Along with listing your on-the-job communications experience, make sure that your online profiles, resume and cover letter, and in-person interactions with potential employers all demonstrate that you are a skilled communicator.

Problem solving

Employers are looking for candidates who have a proven ability to understand a situation and come up with solutions and responses above and beyond those that are rote or rule-based. Life, work, and clients are all unpredictable. The situations that make you stand out as a valuable asset are those where you encountered an unforeseen challenge, planned and executed a strategy for overcoming it, and delivered successful results. Your resume accomplishments should include those times where you took initiative and fixed a potential problem.

Operations

Operations professionals have a range of responsibilities from hiring and supervising staff to training teams and quality assurance. Many of the other skills on this list are crucial parts of operations. Communications, leadership, and project management are all essential. Use your resume to demonstrate how you have used these in ways that are relevant to the specific industry you are trying to be hired in.

Analytical skills

Math skills are in high demand in many job postings in 2020. More and more customer behaviour is being tracked and recorded. Companies have vast amounts of data at their disposal. How can they successfully capitalize on this information?

Your ability to crunch the numbers, analyze trends in data, and use complex information to make strategic decisions or recommendations will make you a star candidate. A recent survey of job seekers indicated that data analytics was the most popular skill respondents believed would help with their careers. Along with math, these skills include abilities such as research, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Microsoft Office

The Microsoft Office suite of software includes a bunch of essential programs for workplace data management and communications. You’ve likely used some of them casually or professionally. These include Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, and Outlook, as well as more business focussed platforms such as Access, SharePoint, and PowerPoint. Across industries, employers are looking for candidates who know how to use technology to create, edit, and share documents and spreadsheets, send invitations and emails, update a calendar, schedule appointments and tasks, and all of the other functions that Office facilitates. Mention them among your essential skills on your resume.

Project management

Project management has consistently been among the most in-demand skillsets in Canadian job postings. In your resume, online profiles, and job applications, indicate that you know how to lead a team to ensure that a project’s goals are achieved, and the work is completed on schedule. Project management includes many of the other skills on this list including, communications, analytics, operations, and more.

Presentations

Bosses, executives, and general corporate types love their presentations and slides. It’s how meetings are organized, results are shared, and plans are outlined. Having your resume indicate that you have finely honed PowerPoint skills and have used them to create professional presentations can help you get noticed.

Almost every field can use people who have skills in public speaking and presentation.

Marketing

We’re all in marketing now. Employee’s off-work behaviour affects their company’s brand. Online interactions can make or break careers. Companies are looking for candidates with demonstrated knowledge of social media platforms and strategy, who understand brand identity – including managing their own personal brand.

Consider highlighting your communication savvy and brand awareness in your resume and online portfolio of your work – along with any harder skills or experience you may have in areas such as merchandising, market research and market strategy.

Customer service

One of the most important lessons that people learn on the job is that on some level we are all in customer service. Whether you are in a directly public-facing role or not, if you are paid to do a job, then someone is expecting results from you, and that person is your customer.

Being successful in delivering on client expectations can be the key to career success. The essential skills practiced in this role are crucial to managing working relationships, leading teams, and acing future job interviews. Demonstrate that you can communicate with clients, empathize with people facing challenges, and resolve issues effectively.

Leadership

Like many of the skills on this list, successful leadership includes a combination of the other sought-after abilities. Good leaders need communication and problem-solving skills. Project management, operations, and customer service can all be a part of it. When you are leading a team, everyone is your customer. You have to manage relationships with staff, stakeholders, clients, partners, and more.

Leadership isn’t one single skill, but the successfully applied usage of a long list of important traits. Use your resume to provide examples of times you stepped up, took ownership, and effectively led a project or team.

Source: LinkedIn’s 2020 grad’s guide to getting hired, June, 2020.

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