In-Demand Skills to Develop In 2019

According to the latest “Employment Situation” from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 312,000 in December, and the unemployment rate rose by 3.9 percent. Further, it also reported that there are 7 million job openings as of an early December release.

Many economists and analysts have described the current labor market as one of the tightest in history, and one made more difficult by the fact that the country is in the midst of a skills gap. What does this mean? According to Abigail Hess, the skills gap “describes conditions in which the supply of workers with certain skills and abilities does not meet the demand from employers.” To get around this gap, employers are becoming more “open-minded” when looking to fill their open jobs. The focus has shifted from educational background and experience to the skills that candidates possess.

In order to portray yourself as the best candidate it is important to showcase your skills. As Facebook’s Vice President of Human Resources, Janelle Gale, says, “Skills really matter the most. We actually value skills over experience in the grand scheme of things. Apply if you have the relevant skills even if you don’t have the right experience, because we’re looking underneath the surface for what’s really going to matter here and that’s what skills you can bring to the table.”

The question becomes, what skills do you need to stand out? Luckily, LinkedIn has the answer to that. The team over at LinkedIn recently analyzed thousands of job postings to determine what skills companies need and want most in new employees this year. They are broken down into soft and hard skills and are as follows:

Soft Skills

  • Creativity – Organizations in all industries need creative individuals to think outside the box and come up with solutions to their problems.
  • Persuasion – This is a key skill, especially for sales professionals. It’s one thing to have a great product or offering, but if you can’t persuade people to buy it, what’s the point?
  • Collaboration – Unless you work for yourself, by yourself, chances are you’re going to have to collaborate at some point. Being a good team player and able to work with others will come in handy, regardless of the size of your organization.
  • Adaptability – Far too often we encounter people who are averse to change. While change can be scary, developing a level of adaptability is crucial, especially in fast-changing industries. “Yesterday’s solutions won’t solve today’s problems.”
  • Time Management – This is a skill that should be developed early on in your career, as it will serve you the rest of your career.

Hard Skills

  • Cloud Competing – Do you even know what the “cloud” is? As the digital shift towards the cloud continues, it has become increasingly important to find people who actually know what the cloud is.
  • Artificial Intelligence – Alexa, Siri, Google, chances are you have used one of these AI platforms. Believe it or not, it’s here to stay. Understanding AI is something that companies want to do in order to keep up, so finding people who can help is a priority.
  • Analytical Reasoning – Many decisions might have an emotional undertone to them, but it is important to separate emotions from logical decision making. It is no secret that companies are collecting data in order to influence their decision making, so being able to remove the emotions and take an analytical approach is a critical skill.
  • People Management – The lifeblood of your organization isn’t your product or service; it is the people within the organization. Being a good leader goes a long way, so understanding how to motivate those who you work with can make or break a company. After all, if you invest in your people, they’ll buy into the organization.
  • UX Design – The user experience is a critical component to your digital footprint. You might have the best product, but if the user experience on your website is poor, then you will lose potential customers. As a result, companies look for candidates with experience in designing top notch UX. As LinkedIn states, “UX design is the key to making a digital world work for humans.”

For the rest of the top hard skills that companies will look for in 2019, read the full article here.

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