24 Seven recently released it’s annual 2015 Salary & Job Market Report, which emphasized the existence of a Skills Gap and its negative repercussions on companies. The Harvard Business Review also addressed this and reported that last year, 35% of the 38,000 employers surveyed stated that they are having difficulty filling jobs due to lack of talent. This skills gap is a trend that can be tracked across both businesses and business periodicals alike.
You may be thinking what does this mean for me?
Are the skills that I possess in demand?
Do I need to completely rethink my career path?
While Employees recognize the demand for skills and that having up-to-date skills improves hireability, they may find the skills employers listed as “in-demand” surprising. Employers are actually looking for range far beyond pure technical skill level. In fact, 75% of the hiring managers surveyed stated that soft skills are increasingly more important in the market. Some hiring managers went as far as to say that they would be willing to overlook functional skills (those that can be trained), favoring a candidate who possessed the right soft skills. And what is this magic combination of soft skills? According to the study, hiring managers are looking for creative, collaborative critical thinkers that are able to learn new things and develop coworker relationships.
Here are a few suggestions to increase your hireability:
- Huffington Post suggests thinking exponentially about your talent. The only thing you can count on in today’s workforce is that it is in a constant state of flux. You have to be able to adapt and continually learn the most you can from every stage of your career (even the less glamorous parts may be valuable down the line).
- Invest in your Social Media. Take the time to update your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google + and the rest. With the increasing dependence on the Internet, it’s important to make sure your media is up to date and that you have a web presence!
- Stay positive! It’s important to keep a positive attitude and not lose hope. The application process can be brutal but something will come! Employers want to see that you are enthusiastic and excited to get to work- not frustrated and angry. And if an interview goes poorly don’t beat yourself up, use it as a learning experience to see where you can improve for the next one. And I promise there will be a next one!
- Stay current. Even if you’re not working right now stay up to date with what’s happening in your field. Follow influencers on LinkedIn and your favorite companies on Twitter.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Recruitment and Staffing firms are trained to help! They will know how to ensure that you’re best qualities shine and help you through every step of the process.
Most importantly, deep breath, stay positive and have faith that you’ll end up right where you need to be!