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The 5 Top Skills Employers Are Looking For In 2020

If you’re thinking about looking for a new job this year, you’re in luck! The market for job seekers remains strong, with 69 percent of employers saying they plan to hire new staff in 2020. This means that, if you’re open to a new opportunity, this may be the year to find it! However, today’s hot market doesn’t necessarily mean you can take a laid back approach to job searching! Many job seekers in today’s market are known for their talent and skill level, so how do you stand out from the pack?

In order to get your resume noticed, ace the interview, and land the job, you’ll want to ensure you’re showing that you’re in possession of the top skills employers look for when they onboard new staff. To prove you’re the right candidate for the role, you’ll want to demonstrate the following five skills:

Problem-solving skills

Whether you’re an entry-level or seasoned professional, you’ve probably had multiple moments where you’ve had to resolve an issue. Since challenges can arise at any time, an employer will want to know how you handle what can often be a stressful situation. While listing experiences that show your problem-solving skills is important, you’ll also want to communicate you have this skill during the interview. Since it’s likely you’ll be asked how you handle conflicts in a professional setting, be thorough when discussing the details about what caused a problem, what you did to resolve it, and what the end results were.

Microsoft Office proficiency

While most roles won’t require you to be a tech expert, it’s hard to find any position now that doesn’t require at least some knowledge and experience in Microsoft Office. Particularly, proficiency in Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are among the top skills employers look for when making new hires. Instead of merely listing these skills on a resume, the way to stand out is by outlining when you were required to use these programs in a previous role. For example, instead of only saying you’re proficient in PowerPoint, be sure to mention any instances where you were required to put together presentations with the program throughout your resume.

Communication skills

Regardless of position, level, and industry, your ability to communicate with others can define your success within a role. It’s important to remember that communication isn’t just about being a fun person to talk to—it’s also about getting your message across and making it clear that you’re invested in your colleagues’ ideas. You’ll want to prove you have strong communication skills during the interview by practicing good body language, like keeping eye contact with the interviewer and maintaining good posture, as well as waiting for them to finish speaking before answering their questions.

Leadership abilities

Even if you’re just starting out in your career, one of the top skills employers look for in all of their hires is leadership. With employee retention continuing to be a major priority for employers, more companies are looking for employees who have the potential to advance within the organization. Because of this, demonstrating leadership skills on your resume and during the interview process can give you an edge. To prove you possess this coveted skill, don’t shy away from talking about the times where you have taken initiative and led a project, as well as how you learned and grew during these moments.

Adaptability

In today’s workforce, where any role may require you to wear multiple hats on any given day, employers will want to see that you’re willing to adapt to change in order to achieve team-wide goals. Throughout your professional career, there will be plenty of unusual circumstances that pull you away from your typical responsibilities or ask you to utilize skills you aren’t completely confident with. Employers specifically want candidates who are willing to step out of their comfort zone in order to help the team meet goals, so taking time during the interview to discuss prior instances where you’ve done so can help you stand out!

For more information about what employers are looking for in 2020, check out our annual Career Outlook!

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