The secret to standing out in your job search isn’t just dazzling an interviewer or crafting the perfect follow-up email—the first step toward landing your dream job is honing your skills.
“Skills are the most important factor when landing a job right now,” LinkedIn career expert Blair Heitmann tells CNBC Make It. “More companies are shifting from traditional measures like degrees and years of experience to skills-based hiring to ensure that they get the most qualified person in the job who can deliver.”
Technical skills are the main thing that hiring managers look at when deciding who to hire, but soft skills like being able to multitask and solve problems can also be deal-breakers. ZipRecruiter says that 93% of employers say that soft skills are a very important part of their hiring decisions.
LinkedIn has made a list of the top 20 skills employers are looking for right now to help people figure out what skills to put on their resumes. Over the last three months, these skills were featured in more than three-quarters of paid jobs posted globally on LinkedIn.
Here are the top 10 skills on that list (see the full report here): 1. Customer service; 2. Sales; 3. Accounting, 4. Business Development, 5. Marketing, 6. Leadership, 7. Communication, 8. Digital Marketing, 9. Sales Management, 10. Problem Solving
But the skills employers want are always changing. LinkedIn found that the most in-demand job skills have changed by 25% since 2015, with soft skills like leadership and communication and hard skills like customer service and sales rising to the top. In the next five years, that number is likely to double.
Since the most in-demand skills change so often, LinkedIn Learning is also giving away free courses in each of the 20 skills for the whole month of September.
It’s important to remember that job seekers don’t have to include every skill on this list in their application in order to find a job. For example, a teacher doesn’t have to know how to do accounting to get a job, and a financial analyst might not have to know how to do digital marketing.
Still, Heitmann says it’s smart to think about which skills are in demand in the industries you’re interested in. You can do this by looking at job descriptions, reading company career pages, or setting up networking calls with people in those fields and asking them which skills have helped them the most in their jobs.
Heitmann recommends that job seekers put these sought-after skills on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles and give examples of how they have used these skills in the past during interviews. For example, you could talk about how mastering a skill helped you solve a tough problem at work or how the skills you’ve learned would help you do a great job in the role you’re applying for.
Heitmann says, “Gone are the days when companies expected you to do only one thing.” “If you have a growth mindset and are willing to learn and change as you go through your career, you will always be a marketable, competitive job candidate.”