6 Skills Organizations are Looking for in Employees Right Now

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The coronavirus pandemic ravaged job markets around the world in ways nobody saw coming. While unemployment in some industries soars, others (such as health care, delivery drivers, and essential manufacturing) can’t hire fast enough.

In this hiring landscape, many of the top in-demand skills have shifted. Here are six of the top skills workplaces are looking for right now.

1. Communication

Data from Emsi shows that the most commonly requested skill in March 2020 across the US was communication.

Communication during a time of crisis is vital. Whether it is a Public Relations specialist crafting a company’s press release or a call center representative handling customer complaints over the phone, strong communication skills are a strong asset to have right now. It’s no surprise that both “written communication” and “interpersonal communication” were also among the top 20 skills most often cited in job ads.

Communication is a needed skill for roles such as Retail Associates and Customer Service Representatives, both of which were among the list of more common job posts according to Emsi data.

2. Technology Literacy

Many organizations have fully shifted to a remote workforce. This means employees rely on a menagerie of communication and collaboration tools to get the job done, from video conferencing apps to VPNs. Since helpdesk specialists can no longer walk to your computer to install or troubleshoot software for you, technological literacy can give you a great advantage.

This doesn’t mean companies want every employee to have the knowledge of a computer program or helpdesk technician. Rather, employees should focus on being open to learning new tools, putting in effort to becoming acquainted with the different features, and learning how to search the web for answers when encountering an error.

3. Customer Service & Sales

Similar to communication, customer service skills are a valuable skill to list on any resume. Many organizations hiring in March 2020 were looking for employees who can work directly

with customers and provide great service. Customer service skills can apply to a range of jobs from call centers to medical receptionists.

Another related skill that saw great growth in demand is phone sales. Between March 2019 and March 2020 job posts asking for phone sales skills grew by 101% (Emsi).

4. SQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a programming language mainly used to communicate with a database. Data from Emsi shows that in March 2020, SQL was mentioned in job posts more than any other programming language.

There are many factors that could be influencing demand for SQL skills. The shift towards remote work has created increased demand for telecommunication tools. Additionally, many online platforms, from banking websites to social media, are seeing increased engagement as people look for ways to virtually run errands and interact. This makes it a great skill for job seekers to advertise now and in the future.

5. Management & Leadership

Through March 2020, “Management” was the second most mentioned skill on job ads. “Leadership” lagged just a couple of spots behind. A great leader will not just help the team pull through in times of adversity, but they can help maximize efficiency in the long run. It’s no wonder leadership skills are among the most needed.

It’s important to note that leadership skills translate well between industries. Check out our top tips for marketing your transferable skills during your job hunt.

6. Time Management

When working remotely, it’s up to each employee to figure out how to manage their time and get their work done. Your boss can’t be supervising what is on your computer the entire time—they can only check whether the final product was up to par and delivered in a timely fashion. Employees with great time management will be able to enjoy the flexibility that work-from-home arrangements provide, while still getting all of their work done promptly.

When interviewing for a remote job, emphasize your self-motivation and your ability to get things done.

For more tips on how to get hired, check out our quick guides on creating an eye-catching LinkedIn profile, writing the perfect resume, and rocking the virtual interview.