Chapter 3: Tech Skills Employers Look For – The Most in-Demand Tech Skills of 2019

So far in this guide, we’ve covered a brief overview of the job market and how tech skills could help you excel in it, plus examined why it’s so important to submit strong resumes to employers. Now, we’re going to look at the top skills employers look for and how you can put them on your resume.

Social Media Skills Are Crucial

Social media is such an important part of the promotional strategies companies use that you need to show a command of how to use the major platforms. Data about social media usage shows more than 80 percent of Americans engaged with it in 2017. Also, 2018 statistics indicated 92 percent of small businesses planned to increase social media use this year.

That means that no matter where you work, tech skills related to social media should help you get ahead and meet the company’s needs. When adding social media experience to your resume, don’t be afraid to look outside of employment.

Perhaps you’ve been involved in a community group for the past several years and served as the primary person who updated the organization’s social media feeds. Sometimes, connecting your social media skills to roles outside the workplace looks especially favorable because it shows initiative not sparked by an employer’s requirement.

You Need Knowledge of Internet Security Best Practices

Statistics indicate the cybersecurity skills shortage is at an industry crisis point, with the potential for millions of unfilled positions existing by 2021. If your background makes it feasible for you to comprehend and pass a cybersecurity course, consider taking one. It’s one of the skills employees look for now, and that reality is likely to persist over the coming years.

Alternatively, take a lower-level computer security course that emphasizes best practices and teaches you how risky it is when employees don’t follow them. A lack of security is not only problematic at huge companies. The ramifications of data breaches are exceptionally dangerous for small businesses and put them at risk for shutting down.

However, 35 percent of employees at small businesses who responded to a poll admitted they did not think their organizations were targets for cybercriminals. During the course of a day, they might use public Wi-Fi connections for work purposes or share their passwords with colleagues.

Showing you know the importance of adhering to best practices while using the internet for work could make you an asset to employers who are ready to hire, even if the role you want isn’t a tech-centric one. Think about taking a course on internet security and listing it in the qualifications or training section of your resume.

If the education doesn’t include a certificate or other verifiable proof of completion, list the course as a training activity rather than a qualification.

Expert-Level Proficiency With Well-Known Tech Tools Gives You an Advantage

In their desire to list a variety of good job skills on a resume, people often give the impression they know a little about a lot of tools but lack a high level of knowledge. For example, career experts warn against mentioning something vague like “proficiency in Microsoft Office” on a resume. That’s because the tools in that software suite are so widely used that the ability to do so is assumed.

However, if you often work with formulas in Excel or frequently received praise for the creative ways you added videos to PowerPoint slides while working in a previous position, it’s worth calling attention to those tech skills. Above all else, strive for specificity.

Giving examples of how you used common tools in advanced ways doesn’t only show familiarity with technology. It demonstrates problem-solving abilities you applied to situations by best utilizing the tools at your disposal.

The Need for Coders Is at a High Point

Companies are struggling with a growing need for people with programming knowledge. Businesses from various sectors are training from within to address the skills gap they face or recognizing that degrees aren’t necessary for all or most of their positions.

On the tech side of things, GitHub has a longstanding practice of not making degrees prerequisites for candidates. Also, Intel has positions where people are recognized for other types of training besides degree programs, such as coding boot camps.

Coding is one of the top skills employers look for, and if you’re proficient in it, don’t neglect to mention that fact on your resume. The same goes for any tech skill you have under your belt. Listing tech skills on your resume helps you stand out in employers’ search results, and some experts even advocate for creating a dedicated tech skills section.

Wondering which programming languages translate into good job skills? Research conducted by Indeed.com that looked at the skills most often requested in job postings found Java came out on top, both for careers in Silicon Valley and across the country.

Describing Website Usability Experiences Could Put You Ahead

If you think about what it’s like to visit and interact with your favorite websites, it’s probably difficult to cite significant complaints. That’s because well-designed websites offer seamless and trouble-free experiences. If you can clearly state the positive and negative aspects of using websites, your insights could translate into a much-needed tech skill.

Research published in February 2018 about customer experience (CX) found that 90 percent of respondents from the marketing and product development sector felt CX was critical to the success of their businesses. They also said it helped them compete.

Interestingly, 90 percent of those polled also expressed a desire to empower other employees throughout their companies to conduct individualized CX research. They believed that would give them up-to-date human insights to drive business decisions.

If you understand the various factors that make websites simple or difficult to use and can discuss them in ways that make sense for web development professionals, that’s a desirable skill. Saying something like “I found that the drop-down menu was confusing and cumbersome because it didn’t contain the expected choices” offers more value than “The navigation wasn’t intuitive.”

Highlight your website usability or customer experience skills on a resume by bringing up any instances where you were asked to give relevant feedback. Then, go further by mentioning how your opinions helped the company. You could say, “The website I evaluated had 40 percent higher traffic levels after implementing the recommended improvements,” for example.

Content Marketing Capabilities Could Open up Your Job Prospects

Each year, the research team at Conductor, an SEO firm, carries out research to examine available jobs, average salaries and related characteristics about SEO and content marketing in the United States. One of the notable aspects of the 2018 findings is that there are more jobs in each of those fields than ever.

Between 2017 and 2018, the study showed a 43 percent and 33 percent year-over-year increase in SEO and content marketing openings, respectively. A different survey from Clutch.co investigated how companies rely on digital marketing, and it, too, revealed why content marketing skills are essential.

Specifically, 78 percent said their top digital marketing investment was their website and 69 percent mentioned email marketing as the main priority. It’s worth noting that 44 percent of respondents in that survey cited SEO as their lowest priority.

Regardless of whether content is a primarily a part of the job you want to land, it’s helpful for you to understand what constitutes high-quality content and why it’s necessary to know how to use keywords effectively. That’s because content could help companies get ahead or fall behind, depending on how the organizations use it, and they might want your input as an employee.

Maybe you used content-related tech skills when formatting a newsletter for a past employer or creating a video clip to post on YouTube that showed a new product. Content marketing is a broadly applicable skill, and if you have experience with it, present it in a way that shows how your efforts made it possible to reach goals.

Showcase Yourself As a Well-Equipped Candidate

Now that you know some of the tech skills employers look for, it should be easier to incorporate them into your resume before applying for jobs. Before reading this, you may not even have thought some you had were worth mentioning, but they undoubtedly are.

 

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Kayla Matthews is a technology writer and the editor of Productivity Bytes. Her work has been featured on Digital Trends, MakeUseOf, VICE, VentureBeat, The Daily Dot and WIRED, among others. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest posts.
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