The job market is hot right now, and there are lots of exciting opportunities out there for soon-to-be-grads and young professionals. Plus, so many employers looking for talent means that pay, benefits, and perks are better than ever, making now the perfect time to take the next step in your career.
So, if you’re hoping to take advantage of the booming job market, you need to make sure your resume has the following five skills.
Strong communication skills will always be important no matter what roles you’re applying for. You need to be able hold a conversation well, listen carefully to others, and communicate your thoughts coherently, both writing or verbally.
As a student, there may have been plenty of times when you’ve had to hone these skills—for example, when writing essays or giving presentations. You’ve also probably used these skills in any volunteer or part-time work you’ve undertaken.
But be careful not to just list communication as a key skill. Instead, be sure to demonstrate how you’ve put these skills to good use in the past to achieve great results. This could be during your time in education, at work, or perhaps even as part of a hobby, such as coaching a sports team.
No manager wants to have to micromanage their teams. They want employees who can motivate themselves (and others) to get things done. This is particularly true in today’s climate, with lots of jobs offering remote or hybrid working opportunities, which require more self-motivation and timekeeping than traditional roles.
There are lots of ways that your resume can reflect your self-motivation; these could include times you’ve overcome challenges, extracurricular activities you’ve kept up for several years, or times you’ve taken on more responsibilities.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that adaptability is a beneficial and important skill. For example, you might have had to adapt how you were studying during the Covid-19 pandemic, as lots of schools and colleges practiced social distancing, closures, and virtual learning. Although you might not have necessarily thought of this as a skill, this is something that employers really value in an employee. With technology and the world of work ever-changing, they want someone who can keep up and continue to learn and develop. So, be sure to highlight on your resume that you can be flexible and adaptable where needed.
Problem-solving is going to be crucial in any role, and outlining this on your resume shows a number of other skills, too—from critical and creative thinking to adaptability and even conflict resolution.
There are a number of great ways you can showcase problem-solving on your resume to prove how you’ve had a real impact in the past, and these can come from your personal, professional, or educational life
Be sure to give examples and quantify these where possible, as providing figures can help employers better understand your achievements. So, for example, you might wish to explain how your solutions helped a past employer save time or money.
5. Technical literacy
In today’s digital world, we’re increasingly reliant on technology in some way or another for almost every role, be that hand-held devices, intranets, collaboration software, video conferencing tools, and more. So, although the technical skills may differ depending on the role you’re applying for, it’s a good idea to show that you have a good grasp of the most important industry tools.
In addition to boosting your salary, being tech-savvy has all kinds of good connotations—it shows that you’re smart, adaptable, and willing to keep learning new things.
So, when the time comes to write (or update) your resume, be sure to think carefully about your key skills section and ensure that you include the five we’ve outlined above. Don’t forget to also put careful thought into how you demonstrate these throughout using facts, figures, and achievements.
Andrew Fennell is the founder and director of Job Description Library and StandOut CV, two leading UK careers advice websites. He is a former recruitment consultant and contributes careers advice to publications like Business Insider, The Guardian, and The Independent.
“New hire’s remorse”—at least under this name—is a recent phenomenon that we broached last week. Also called “shift shock,” it arises when an employee regrets taking a job because it isn’t the right fit or is completely different from what was expected.