Career success comes from the mastery of skills plus current tools that can be applied across positions, fields or companies. I have 10 core skills and tools you need to have if you want to improve your chances for that $120k+ job.
Whether you believe some people have what it takes to do the job or not, one thing is for certain, they need to be able to demonstrate that they apply their skills and that they work with current tools.
Sales is the basis of all business success and applying for a job is just one of many examples of your sales skills. You are always selling, even if nothing in your job description mentions sales. You sell to internal and external customers during all sorts of activities including at team meetings and when providing customer service, product management, engineering, user experience and more. A solid foundation in how to sell can give you a wide advantage over your colleagues and competitors.
Transferable skills give you the ability to see your past experience in a new light. That experience can be as varied as volunteer work to a full-time job, to your weekend hobby to a coding gig. During each experience, you acquired skills that can be applied to your future career success.
Coding is the skill for 21st century applicants. You don’t need to know how to build the next Airbnb app, but a basic understanding of how the Web works and how software and apps are built can give you a big advantage. Most positions require some technical knowledge, but even if your job never requires you to be overly technical, you should know what’s happening under the hood.
Data is all around us in every digital and social media exchange that occurs and it’s only going to get bigger and morph more and more into an ‘everyday tool’ as technology advances. With big data you can gain a competitive advantage, whether it is just in your private apps or inside your business. Understanding customer preferences and knowing how to utilise big data will help you to be a person who makes more informed business decisions.
If you need to brush up your Big Data knowledgebase and tools, visit Udemy. They offer a wide range of big data courses.
Like it or not, pretty much all of your data is going to end up in the cloud at some point, so you should demonstrate as much knowledge as you can – whether it’s simply mastering Google Drive, Dropbox or tools like Oracle or Zoho. When you have an understanding of the cloud, you are able to demonstrate that you know how to collaborate more efficiently with colleagues, improve your security, discover new business models and ensure that you stay competitive.
Are you new to cloud computing? Check out this free introduction course at Cloudacademy.
Both written and oral communication skills are expected, but that doesn’t mean they’re not difficult to master! Communication in the 21st century also means mobile and online and this requires that you should have a good knowledge of etiquette on the most popular social media tools. I’m not talking about knowing the acronyms such as OMG and BFF.
This may sound a bit obvious, but the ability to effectively communicate, interact and engage with others with the right online and mobile tools is extremely important. Learn how to manage your Skype, Google Hangout and other tools and demonstrate your proper use of email inbox tools to automate messages and label messages, as well as basic keyboard shortcuts and the right social media acronyms. Good communication with the right dose of information and social media content sharing will show that you strive to make everyone competent.
Diygenius put together a list of 10 free online courses that can help your social media skills.
The ability to ask and learn is, in my opinion, the easiest yet most underutilised skill to fast-track your career. You are far less likely to find challenge, job meaning and job reward in your work if you don’t use your learning skills. And, I am not talking about ‘asking Dr. Google’.
If the thought of asking makes you break out in cold sweat, try practicing in non-work related contexts. Hone your inquisitive thinking skills by asking questions like “Why?” and “How?” to your employers, your customers and yourself. Everyone will appreciate your interest and thirst for knowledge and they will remember you for it when the time is right.
The old fashioned word for it is project management. This is an important skill but it is ultimately all about results. Can you see the big picture and break it down into small, manageable and action-oriented steps? If you are good at this then you have undeniable value.
This skill requires you to synthesise many of your other skills and combine them with your passion and focus. Results-driven people are generally ‘in the zone’ and can quantify outcomes to motivate themselves and their teams, all whilst contributing to the bottom line.
Mention your Microsoft Project skills and you should be on the safe side, but even better if you know tools like Basecamp, Trello, Podio or Slack,
Interpersonal skills are just a fancy way of saying how you get along, relate and communicate with others. Employers hire people with domain expertise, of course, but mostly they hire people they like and can get along with. This is also referred to as ‘culture fit’.
Think about how to become more likable. You might try mimicking the body language of the people you’re talking with, repeating their ideas and opinions back to them to show you are really listening. But keep in mind that all the tips and tricks in the world won’t help if you don’t have genuine interest in, and empathy for, your fellow team member.
Without a doubt, work is serious business for most of us. Products and services must be sold and delivered, and money must be made. Despite the gravity of these responsibilities, successful managers and staffers make their organisations fun places to work. The bar on this has been raised and continues to go up.
No matter what your position in the team, you can make that task a little bit easier for yourself by remembering to delegate wisely, to communicate properly, to make time for team members, to set goals and most importantly, To Not Take It All Too Seriously, so that you and the team can have some fun.
Demonstrate your best skills and highlight your ability to work with current tools and you should have a good shot at that $120k+ job. Good luck and remember to hunt wisely!
For more on the topic of Leadership, Talent Sourcing and Executive Careers including best practices that reduce bias in evaluations your applications read his blogs, in CVJedi and also in TheJobSearchCoach. You can also follow Ulrich on Twitter @ulrichschild