While soft skills, including dependability, motivation, and communication, were cited recently in a report from Express Employment Professionals as the most important skills employees possess, hard skills still play a vital role in today’s job market. In fact, one could argue that even if your soft skills are perfect, at the end of the day, there are certain critical hard skills needed to succeed. Because Express hires and employs more than 376,000 people per year, we have great insight into what is important in landing the job. Let’s take a look at the top hard skills ranked by Express franchises as important to employers.
Work experience ranked highest on the list of hard skills. Education is great, but there’s still the need to prove that you can do the job. And if you have trouble getting a job in your career field, find a job within the industry, even if it isn’t your ideal role. Being able to list a related industry on your resume can show correlated work experience. Check out this recent post on unemployment versus underemployment supported the value of getting work experience to your overall career.
- Technical ability
To best showcase your technical abilities on your resume or LinkedIn profile, use specific versions of software you have experience with or qualifying descriptions. Be specific about your ability, not just that you have skill, but how fast or at what level you can do the job. Understand the numbers in your job and be able to market yourself with specific results.
Whether it’s conflict resolution, goal-setting training, or a continuing education event, keep a record of the training you’ve received and what you’ve learned from it. Be able to explain what you’ve taken away and how you’ve applied it. Additionally, have a plan of your own on how you’re going to stay informed on changes and advancements in your industry to stay on top of your game.
What hard skills have been your biggest asset in your job search? Share with us in the comments section below.
As a former business executive, administrator and employer…these were the skills I valued in my employees. Unfortunately, job market/economy as it is… few are able to provide the incentives and opportunities now to attract or retain older/experienced workers (even when they don’t need the salaries they’re used to).
In spite of misconceptions that the “underemployed” are less dependable, younger workers prove to take more “sick days” and shop constantly for better/higher-paying jobs.