The labor market is always changing from year to year and 2021 will not be an exception. To remain competitive, you need to understand what qualities and skills employers are looking for. While this is not a complete list, the five skills we share below are the top areas you should focus on developing and highlighting to stand out from your peers.
The ability to face a problem and produce a solution after analyzing all the information that is available is a skill that employers put a tremendous amount of value on. The level of analytical skills needed will vary depending on the job and the industry but showcasing this skill on your resume and in face-to-face interviews will often give you a leg up on the competition.
In 2020, the world made a giant leap to remote work and many companies struggled with communication between departments and teams. Many tools existed pre-pandemic (MS Teams, Slack, etc.) but in March of 2020 they became indispensable for many organizations. Employees that can manage a broad range of communication methods in 2021 will stand out as some of their employers most valuable team members.
Or, more specifically, an eagerness to learn and adapt. Since businesses today need to be flexible, they need flexible employees to help them succeed. If you have a thirst for knowledge, are quick to adapt, and dedicated to personal growth, you have that flexibility. If you are also eager to share what you have learned, there is an employer looking for your services.
Not all employees aspire to be in management positions but that does not mean that all employees should not aspire to be a leader. Even if you are not applying for management jobs, leadership is a valuable skill to bring to the employer. Many companies prefer to promote from within, and as such, they often look for strong leadership qualities, even when hiring for entry-level positions. Leaders do not need to be managers to add value to their department or team.
Time Management Skills
Have you ever boasted (or heard someone boast) about being great at multi-tasking? If so, you may want to look at some of the research related to multi-tasking. The reality is that human brains are terrible at it and it is not a skill that will add value for your employer. However, the ability to manage time well is highly-prized these days. Are you adept at meeting deadlines, prioritizing tasks, and getting things done? If so, that skill needs to be described in your resume.
The skills mentioned above are what are referred to as “soft skills”. They have nothing to do with your knowledge of a specific computer program or your undergraduate degree. However, these are the skills that will allow you to stand out and excel in a new career.