What Skills are Employers Looking for?
Have you ever realized the job search process is strangely similar to dating? Like dating, when searching for a job, you meet a lot of new people, figure out what type of job you’re looking for, pick out the perfect interview outfit, talk about yourself carefully, listen to what the company has to offer, watch for clues that indicate whether the company is interested in you and, finally, wait patiently for a call.
First impressions are also critical in both dating and job hunting. So, how can you put your best foot forward in the job search process? Show off the skills and traits employers are looking for when hiring new employees. ITAC’s Nashville Market Leader Kemper Trull and Associate Recruiter Annie McRee provided insights on what employers are looking for:
- Soft Skills: Kemper noted that employers are starting to weigh intangible (soft) and tangible skills on a nearly-even scale. He specified, “Intangibles like initiative, drive, communication skills and critical thinking are increasingly important as companies search for young talent that stands out from the crowd.” Annie also emphasized the importance of soft skills. She said that employers in all industries value an employee who is dependable, hardworking, a team player, an independent thinker, eager, willing to learn and adaptable to change.
- Communication/Presentation Skills: Effective communication and presentation skills are also growing in value. Kemper pointed out, “As more roles entail a customer-facing component and companies structure workgroups into teams that share information with the rest of the organization, the value of communication and presentation skills increases. The ability to synthesize data, convert it into actionable information, and communicate the ‘story’ of the data is popular across companies and industries.”
- Technical Skills: These days technical skills are being demanded across all industries. Kemper stressed that, “Excel (or other database) skills, presentation skills (demonstrated through experience) and comfortability with data are increasingly sought-after skills.”
Not only is it important to have these skills and attributes, but it is essential to effectively portray them throughout the job application process. Annie suggested including a short summary of skills at the top of your resume with bullet points or listing bullet points under each job that prove you are a team player, hardworking, etc. Likewise, during job interviews, Kemper recommended highlighting hands-on experience with different data tools and describing projects where you have given presentations or effectively communicated with a team how to accomplish larger goals.
All in all, putting yourself out there in the job search (or dating scene) can be frustrating at times. But, ultimately, the hope is that the process results in the perfect match between you and a company. Contact ITAC today and let us help you find a job you’ll love!