When you are looking for a change of career it can be hard to know how exactly to advertise yourself to prospective employers and what qualities you should highlight to up your chances of securing an interview. Do you go down the standard ‘I’m a driven/motivated/focused individual’ route, focus on your qualifications or try to win them over with an unusual fact like you are one of the top yodellers in the country? If you struggle with what skills to promote we’re here to help with 6 top skills that employers are looking for in 2018.
Go soft or go home
It may surprise you to learn that according to LinkedIn, 57% of leaders say that ‘soft’ skills are the ones that they value the most. So what is a soft skill? Soft skills are ones that are difficult to quantify or provide a track record of; think of great teamwork or communication skills instead of being able to solve a Rubix cube in 3 seconds. If you can’t talk with colleagues or managers to suggest ideas, solve problems or establish work expectations then you can really get stuck, so no matter how much Charlie Chaplin is your icon, don’t keep quiet.
‘Data! Data! Data!’ Sherlock cried impatiently. ‘I can’t make bricks without clay.’
We live in a data driven world and companies don’t want to take your word for it that you have boosted their sales, expanded their social media outreach or made them an Instagram influencer, they want the cold hard facts and for you to be able to interpret them. If you have a good knowledge of Microsoft Excel, web/Google analytics or customer analytics then employers will absolutely want to hear about them, and if you can take their data and make informed recommendations on how to build on these numbers to boost business then even better.
We don’t need no education
You may wonder how it could possibly ever be wrong to be incredibly qualified for a position, but no matter how many BA’s, MA’s or PhD’s you have in a field, no one likes a know-it-all that refuses to listen to others because they think they know best. Being willing to learn, for example through taking an online course, attending a conference or just taking on board other people’s suggestions and showing you love to develop your knowledge is absolutely one of the top skills that employers are looking for in 2018 and will always be an attractive quality.
The Social Network
It’s not surprising that a big part of business now involves social media, whether that’s offering customers a place to express their experiences on Facebook, a chance to draw in new followers with a Twitter competition or just showing off your office antics on Instagram.
The difference between having a strong or shoddy social presence can make or break a business and being involved shows customers and clients that they are modern, engaged with their audience and open to change. By advertising your knowledge of social media marketing or expertise in producing digital content, businesses are more likely to want to welcome you on board so you can help them join the 21st century.
‘Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love—these are what we stay alive for.’
That may be a long title but the basis of it – being creative, is one of the top skills that employers are looking for in 2018. So important in fact, that a global survey from the World Economic Forum showed that by 2020 creativity will be the third most sought-after skill after problem solving and critical thinking.
If you’re wondering how to show your creativity in an accounting job where being ‘creative’ with numbers will only get you in serious trouble, try demonstrating how you’ve creatively solved previous problems or have come up with creative ideas about a task to show that you can think outside of the box.
‘Houston, we have a problem.’
As mentioned above, the importance of being able to problem solve can’t be under-estimated. This soft skill will always been in demand from employers no matter how much the job industry changes as we will never stop finding problems that need solutions. Companies like to know that you won’t burst into flames and melt à la the famous Raiders of the Lost Ark scene at the first sign of trouble and that you can handle issues calmly and effectively. Even if you can’t find a perfect answer to whatever has gone wrong, at least you have demonstrated that you are willing to get stuck in and try.