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10 Skills Today’s Employers Are Looking For and Where to Learn Them

Whether you’re a recent grad or looking for a new role, now’s the time to be making big career moves.

At a moment in history when so many employees are leaving for greener pastures in what’s being called “The Great Resignation”, companies are scrambling to fill positions and keep their team members on deck.

For the most part, the ball is in your court when it comes to finding a new job. Still, it’s helpful to understand what exactly employers are looking for in potential candidates to make sure your résumé winds up at the top of the list. 

The good news is, there are a wide variety of highly in-demand skills right now. And if you can show them off to the company you’ve got your eye on, you’re way more likely to nab that interview.

The most in-demand job skills in 2022

job skills

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Just to clarify, we’re going to be breaking these skills down a bit. The first five are “soft” skills (skills that are universal, i.e. ‘people skills’) and the last five are “hard” skills (those that can be measured).

Both types of skills are incredibly important, but which ones you’ll want to focus on depends on the type of role and industry you’re pursuing.

Soft skills

1. Communication

They don’t say “communication is key” for nothing. Now more than ever, employers are looking for people who can be clear, direct, and consistent in their communication – whether they’re working in person or at home.

One of the best ways you can learn this (and show your skills off) is by actually doing it.

Throughout the job application process, there are multiple opportunities to demonstrate good communication, from emails to phone interviews, and simply how well you communicate your career story, skills, and personality in your résumé and cover letter. 

2. Project Management

Another big skill that’s becoming increasingly important is project management. Or how well you’re able to complete a task or reach a goal from start to finish.

Can you break something down into smaller parts and get it done efficiently?

Some people are naturally better at this, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn these skills as well. LinkedIn Learning and Coursera are great places to start for an introduction to project management.

3. Collaboration

Depending on the job you’re looking for, you might have to work closely with a team of people, and those people may all have different personalities, communication styles, and ways of approaching projects.

Hiring managers want to know how well you’ll be able to listen and focus on a shared goal together. Even if you’re a natural-born leader, it can pay to learn how to be a good teammate. Like communication, one of the best ways to learn is to practice. 

4. Problem-solving

Based on an in-depth look into millions of current job postings, PeopleReady found that over 1.6 million listings included problem-solving as a must-have skill.

Now, problem solving is pretty nebulous, but at its core, it’s all about figuring out how to get from point A to point B in a strategic and creative way.

Think With Google has a great guide to developing your problem-solving skills through step-by-step processes. 

5. Emotional intelligence

Once overlooked in the working world, emotional intelligence is now one of the most important soft skills you can bring to the table.

Emotional intelligence, or EQ as it’s often called, measures how well you can adapt and how mindful and intentional you are, along with your overall self-awareness. This INC piece is a great start to learning the ins and outs of EQ.

Hard skills

6. Social media/influencing

Companies finally get it – if you don’t have a social media presence, you’re pretty much invisible.

That being said, building up a presence that helps a brand inform, engage, and reach new audiences takes time and a lot of skill. That’s why those with social media experience and expertise are in high demand.

Sites like HubSpot are a great place to not only learn more about the field but earn certifications to add a nice boost to your application.

7. Video production

A big part of social media today is well-crafted and entertaining videos. But not anyone can just shoot from an iPhone and create a great piece of content.

If you know your way around a professional camera and editing software, there’s a company out there that wants you.

Nowadays, a lot of community colleges offer courses in video production, and you can also learn the basics from places like Udemy.

8. Data science

Data is the currency of modern business. With the right data at your fingertips, you can predict trends, anticipate problems before they even happen, and maximize profits.

But it’s not just about having good data – companies need people who can understand that data and transform it into actionable insights.

The good news is, there are a variety of great online courses you can take to hone your analytics skills. We especially like this one from MIT.

9. Programming

Almost 4000 new apps get uploaded to the Google Play Store every day. Someone has to program them. And it’s not only mobile apps – everything from websites to AI software requires airtight programming to function properly.

If you’re interested in learning programming, there are many places that offer boot camps in one or more programming languages. It can be helpful to pick a language or two you want to learn (Python, R, Javascript), then search for boot camps specializing in them.

10. Customer Service

Today, people want great service 24/7, 365. And more often than not, they want to speak with a real, human representative who can help them solve their problem.

Great customer service reps know how to handle difficult customer questions with patience, resourcefulness, and great problem-solving skills. Hubspot has a great guide to developing these specific skills that you can download and approach at your own pace. 

Closing Thoughts

While there’s no shortage of demand for workers, taking the time to hone your skills and learn new ones can help your applications stand out among the rest. 

Want more career insights and advice? Check out the top career episodes of the Paychecks & Balances podcast!

Next: Embrace Technology to Aid Your Job Search and Career Growth

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