If you’ve experienced struggles and rejection during your job search, you may feel like you’ll never be able to understand what employers are looking for in job applicants. Thankfully, new survey results reveal the top three hard skills that hiring managers believe candidates should posess. Rather than “soft” skills like etiquette, communication, and time management, hard skills are teachable abilities or skill sets that can be measured, like typing speed or proficiency in computer programming.
In a survey of 115 Express Employment Professionals offices, the three most important hard skills for applicants to have are experience, technical ability, and training.
For the second straight year in this survey, experience not education, was ranked as the best hard skill to have. Employers want to know that a job candidate has a background in and knowledge of an industry or a field before hiring them. A survey earlier this year by career website Glassdoor supports this, finding that three out of four college educated workers agree that “employers value work experience more than education.”
“While education is still valued as one piece of the puzzle for a successful career, we’re seeing a shift in the workplace in which most employees feel gaining the latest skills relevant to their job and industry is more valuable to help advance their careers,” said Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor career and workplace expert.
2. Technical Ability
Want to show a potential employer the skills or knowledge you have? Highlight any technical abilities you have by showcasing them in your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. If you can give specifics about the programs, software, or equipment you are proficient in, you’ll set yourself apart from candidates who focus on traits that employers find less important in the hiring decision.
Have you taken a secondary education class on a word processing program or personal finance? Did you earn a Certified Technical Education (CTE) that provided you the training needed to be a welder, IT technician, or legal secretary? If not, you may want to consider the training opportunities available to you, as employers ranked “training” as the third best hard skill an applicant can have.
If you want to learn why CTE may be the right path for you and why some of the fastest-growing jobs are in fields that require a CTE, check out the white paper “Caution: College May Not Be For Everyone.”
How do you showcase these important skills to potential employers? Share with us in the comments section below.
Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.