I’ve looked over dozens of surveys and studies of the skills employers want most. I’ve also talked directly to hundreds of companies about the skills the value.
It always comes out roughly the same as this list I came across today from study in the UK:
Communication skills – (90 per cent)
Relationship building – (83 per cent)
Organisation skills – (63per cent)
Work well under pressure – (63 per cent)
Results driven – (60 per cent)
Time management – (57 per cent)
Team player – (50 per cent)
Analytical skills – (47 per cent)
Attention to detail – (47 per cent)
People skills – (47 per cent)
Self-motivated – (47 per cent)
Management skills (43 per cent)
Leadership skills (43 per cent)
IT skills (40 per cent)
Negotiating skills (40 per cent)
Problem solving (37 per cent)
See yourself in there?
If you’re ambitious enough to be reading this blog, you probably have about half of these traits. And you probably totally crush two or three of them.
In other words, you are valuable to the market!
(Go ahead and list the traits from above you think you are excellent at and those you’re pretty good at. You’ll see.)
The challenge for many people is how to show it. These soft skills aren’t something you can just list in a bullet point on a resume. That’s meaningless. There’s no proof or demonstration of the skills, it’s just paper. Proof beats paper every time.
I’ve seen people successfully demonstrate those skills in all kinds of creative ways. Sometimes, they are things that seem simple to you, but are packed with valuable proof of skills to others.
I saw a question on Twitter posed to hiring managers: “What’s more impressive in an applicant; a college degree or having run a marathon.” 90% of the responses were “Marathon.”
A short blog post about your marathon training regimen and the results of your race, ideally with photos so people know you’re not making it up, would demonstrate three of the skills listed above better than any bullet on a resume or academic credential.
Anyone who trained and ran a marathon is very likely to have these skills.
One job-seeker created a Crash pitch with a video of him doing a flip on a trampoline before introducing himself. See for yourself!
When he sent that, the CEO of the company took notice. After hiring he, he posted to LinkedIn,
“The moment I saw him flipping off a trampoline, I knew I wanted to hire him.
Why? Well it was a sales and customer success role, and he knew anyone with the creativity and confidence to create and send a video like that to get his attention had some of the skills he wanted.
Don’t expect your work history or education to do the work for you. They convey very little. Get creative in conveying the skills that matter!
A show all about creating a career outside the boring, debt-laden, conveyor belt humdrum.