Friday, January 20, 2012

Sharp Edge, Soft Center

I decided to do some research on what employers want these days, just to make sure I have what it takes to increase my chances of getting hired, faster. If I do posess highly-valued qualities and skills, I want to make sure I'm saying so in my cover letters and on my resume. If I don't, then that gives me some ideas for what to work on while I'm unemployed.

The first thing I surmised via my research was no surprise: technical skills are very much in demand. This can mean anything from basic computer skills, to IT savvy, to literally having abilities in software programming, hardware configuration or other stuff. By other stuff I mean things I don't have the technical skills to describe off the top of my head. By top of my head I mean right above the inside of my brain where a cartoon bear playing cymbals is dancing with a monkey in a conductor suit right now because of the possibility of more technical talk.

So we see where things shake out for me in the area of technical skills. Really quite good with the computer skills, given my trade. I speak the language of typing things and presenting them on paper and on screen, and even in design, I recognize the programs. I'm usually a PC but I've been a mac and can be one again, would welcome it. Totally down with the internet. Get the engines and all that. I blog, I tweet, I fb. After that enters the dancing bear.

Watch this space to learn how I add to my edge with technical skills while I am unemployed.

The best news I found via my research was that soft skills are still very much in demand by employers, and will be highly sought after for those hiring in 2012. In a recent report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), findings from a job outlook survey of 244 employers showed that they will be looking for evidence of these top five skills on a resume:
  1. Teamwork
  2. Leadership
  3. Written Communication (hooray!)
  4. Problem-Solving
  5. Work Ethic
I'm going to go over my resume yet again, and make sure my soft skills really stand out. I suggest you do the same as your ToDo4Today. Starting sentences with action words like, Led, Collaborated, Wrote, Reported, Served, or Built Consensus can make a difference in no time. Use those computer skills and click on thesaurus! See there, that's written communication and problem-solving both in one shot. More each day I realize, we truly are candidates of gold.

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