An Article from contributor John Stone.
Most people will agree that finding a job can in fact be considered a job itself! On top of searching positions, submitting resumes, and juggling interviews, you have to keep your job skills and knowledge competitive in today’s ever changing market.
Searching for a job requires constant learning and advancement, and taking the time for self-improvement can greatly boost your job search efforts. Professional skills can be learned and upgraded by taking both online and offline courses or by doing voluntary and humanitarian work. Following are some of the most sought-after business skills in today’s job market:
Good communication between employees and company management is the number one criterion for successful business. Employers know this, and strive to find candidates with good communication skills.
9 out of 10 candidates specify “excellent communication skills“ on their resumes, but some may still under perform once hired. It’s important to be honest about your abilities; communication skills aren’t only about talking! You should also be able to effectively communicate your goals using:
- written communication (e mail, social media and business correspondence),
- presentations (explaining and sharing information with maps, graphs and charts)
- non-verbal communication (body language, tone, gestures)
- giving speeches, welcoming lines, toasts and talking in front of crowds in general.
In a business environment, leaders can work together to build and direct teams, create ideas and make decisions. They can also identify and help to resolve disputes among team members. There are plenty of situations in business when employees need to improvise and take leadership roles, and employers are always looking for natural leaders in their organization.
Candidates with leadership skills have strategic thinking, they are able to “predict” future and competitor moves and they are good in organizing people action planning and problem solving.
Most people acquire research skills during their education. Employees with good research skills are able to investigate and find information that will help them improve company’s business and make it more competitive. Candidates that mastered these skills:
- Have fast and analytic thinking
- Understand problems and questions and quickly find solutions and answers
- Know where to find respectful resources that will provide them with right information
- Know how to organize their notes and point out most important segments
- Are good in presenting their research work
- Are self-critical and are able to honestly evaluate their research
Knowing your way around a computer is becoming more and more vital in today’s job market. From food service to law offices, almost every job interacts with technology, and not having basic tech skills can hinder your job search.
Knowledge in MS Excel is one of the most desired computer skills for all administrative jobs. Candidates with good Excel skills know how to make tables and do various calculations by implementing long list of Excel formulas on their spreadsheets. Although this software is one of the most commonly mentioned ones in resumes around the world, not many people know how to implement excel formulas and do calculations. Luckily there are plenty of both online and offline useful Excel courses that can be used for improving knowledge in this software.
If you feel like you’re lacking any of these skills, take the time to boost your marketability. Take an online or classroom course, and hone your skills through volunteering or community activities. Listing skills in your resume is just one part of the equation when it comes to job search. You have to demonstrate that you have the skills you’re selling during the interview and convince employers you are the best candidate.
John J. Stone is a business consultant and a regular contributor at Bizzmarkblog. Through years of experience he became a devout believer in the notion that form should always follow function and that developing the ability to think outside of the box is a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur.