While every employer values the career experience of job seekers, there are some skills that employers simply must have for a given position. For instance, three decades working in the aviation industry isn’t going to get you a job as a pilot if you don’t have the skills to fly a plane.
In addition to hard technical skills, employers are also seeking ‘soft skills’ – also known as people skills. Companies want people who can communicate effectively, solve problems, and work well in teams.
Consider the two types of skill sets below and why these skills are your best asset.
1) Technical skills will get you considered
Technical skills, or hard skills, are teachable abilities that translate to definitive results. Normally, these abilities are learned in the classroom, by reading training materials, or on the job. Common hard skills include knowing a foreign language, computer programming ability and how to operate machinery.
While the above skills are easy to define, someone who knows a second language can be a translator, some hard skills are less easily defined, but are no less valuable. For instance, someone might be a great salesperson, racking up more sales than their colleagues year after year, but being “good at sales” isn’t something you can learn by reading a book.
When discussing these skills, it’s important to consider results. So, a rock star salesperson should point to the number of sales, in dollars, that they were able to achieve for an employer on an annual basis.
Technical skills should be featured prominently on your resume because they are make-or-break qualities in the eyes of potential employers. Whenever possible, the results achieved by using these skills should be put into hard numbers on a resume.
2) Soft skills will get you hired
Unlike hard skills, soft skills are much harder to quantify and judging them is very subjective. Common, in-demand soft skills include leadership, communication, analytical and teamworking abilities.
Of course, every company wants to hire someone with good leadership ability. But how do you define good leadership? Is a no-nonsense disciplinarian a good leader? What about a laid-back, person who takes a ‘go with the flow’ approach?
Most companies use the screening and interviewing processes to assess candidates’ soft skills. To assess communication skills, hiring managers will look at the language used by a candidate in a resume, cover letter, emails and interview sessions.
In order to assess analytical ability, a hiring manager will ask interview questions about past results that required organization and planning. A hiring manager may also ask candidates for an example of when they developed an innovative solution.
Because people often provide former coworkers and supervisors as professional references, hiring personnel will often use reference checks to assess interpersonal and team working ability.
Are you looking for the next step in your career?
At Quanta, we work with job seekers to help them understand what their most marketable qualities are and where to find the best-fit opportunities for their career. If you are currently looking for career assistance, check out these current career opportunities and apply today!