The secret to standing out in your job search isn’t just to dazzle an interviewer or craft the perfect follow-up email — the first step to landing your dream job is to hone your skills.
“Skills are the most important factor when it comes to landing a job right now,” LinkedIn career expert Blair Heitmann told CNBC Make It. “More and more companies are switching from traditional metrics like degrees and years of experience to skills-based hiring to ensure they hire the most qualified person for the job who can truly deliver. “
While hard skills are the primary criteria hiring managers consider when evaluating a candidate, soft skills, such as multitasking and problem solving, can also be deciding factors: a The overwhelming majority of employers ― 93% ― say that the essential role in their hiring decisions, according to ZipRecruiter.
To help job seekers decide which skills to highlight on their resume, LinkedIn has identified the top 20 skills employers are looking for right now. These skills featured in more than three-quarters of paid jobs posted globally in the last three months on LinkedIn.
Here are the top 10 skills on this list (see the full report here):
- Customer service
- Business development
- digital marketing
- Sales management
- Problem solving
However, the skills employers are looking for are constantly changing: the most in-demand job skills have changed by 25% since 2015, with hard skills such as customer service and sales and soft skills such as leadership and communication reaching the top. summit, LinkedIn found. . This percentage is expected to double over the next five years.
Because the most in-demand skills change so often, LinkedIn Learning is also offering free courses in each of the 20 skills for the entire month of September.
It is important to note that job seekers do not need to include every skill on this list in their application to be successful in their search: a teacher, for example, does not necessarily need accounting skills to land a job, just like a financial analyst may not need to be proficient in digital marketing.
Still, it’s a good idea to think about in-demand skills in the industries you’re interested in, Heitmann says, by studying job descriptions, reading company career pages, or arranging networking calls with people in those fields and asking them what skills they’ve found to be most useful in their position.
In addition to including these in-demand skills on your resume and LinkedIn profile, Heitmann encourages job seekers to mention examples of practicing these skills in an interview. For example, you might explain how mastering a skill helped you solve a difficult problem at work, or how certain skills you developed would help you excel at the tasks of the role you’re applying for.
“The days are gone when companies expect you to do one specific thing,” says Heitmann. “Having a growth mindset, being willing to learn and grow over your career will really help you become a marketable and competitive candidate for the rest of your working life.”
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