It’s very likely that the next person who interviews you will be looking to see whether you have skills in the following areas.
Be sure they’re in your tool belt and on your resume to give you a boost in today’s competitive job market.
1. Basic technology
There’s no way around it: You must be computer literate in today’s professional workplace. If you handle numbers, for example, you must be proficient in Microsoft Excel. If you’re going into graphic design, you need to know how to use tools like Adobe Illustrator. And no matter what job you want, you should have some proficiency with instant messaging, a cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive, and other common tools. If you don’t have those skills yet, the good news is that you can get up to speed quickly with one of many online tutorials.
You must be able to communicate effectively, which means talking, listening and writing. What you communicate with your body language is important, too. Good communication skills enable you to express your thoughts clearly. Display them in your cover letter and during the interview.
Unexpected issues will arise in any job: Whether you’re an accountant trying to find $5,000 missing on an audit or an IT pro looking for the cause of a server crash, it’s important that you can calmly and quickly find a solution. In your cover letter or in an interview, share an incident that shows how you helped your employer by solving a problem.
To succeed in anything, you must be able to collaborate effectively with your colleagues and clients. You may find yourself in face-to-face meetings or online discussions. Regardless, teamwork requires you to encourage, lead and question others as you work toward the same goals.
In today’s workplace, employees must be able to shift gears at the drop of a hat — whether that means switching projects, switching roles or switching careers. And when you fail — and you will fail — you need to be able to get up and try again. In your interview, relate an incident showing your adaptability.
Balancing multiple projects is vital in today’s workplace: Rarely do employees have the luxury of working on only one task. To be able to handle everything that today’s typical job throws at you requires organizational skills. Make sure you use your resume to show how effectively you can manage the “other duties as assigned” that most jobs involve.
7. Social media
What a difference a decade makes! Once thought to be a fad, social media has established itself as a way of networking, communicating with clients and marketing your business. Being skilled in the effective (and proper!) use of social media is becoming a necessity. Make sure your online presence is professional and credible. Bring up your proficiencies and successes in social media marketing when job hunting.