Have you ever browsed job listings only to find that barely any of the requested skills match your qualifications? Yes, that can be incredibly frustrating. However, the reality is that employers are increasingly demanding that candidates have a variety of specialized yet flexible skills. "The days of hiring generalists are gone," writes Jada A. Graves in a U.S. News article. "Today, employers are seeking hires who possess particular skills, be [they] technical -- like computer skills, for instance -- or analytical, like problem solving."
In other words, many hiring managers are looking for people with strong technical skills or the ability to understand and solve business problems. According to U.S. News, knowledge of marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), data analysis, and computer languages, as well as project management, problem solving, and sales strategies are all in high demand. Some of these skills, such as project management, typically require some work experience to obtain, but others, such as knowledge of online marketing, SEO, and computer languages, can often be learned online for free. Below are some resources for and further discussion of skills that could increase your chances of landing that job:
According to the Harvard Business Review's Jeanne Harris, "[T]he advent of the big data era means that analyzing large, messy, unstructured data is going to increasingly form part of everyone's work." While jobs dedicated to data analysis are usually reserved for people who formally study the subject and demonstrate expertise, you can increase your marketability by learning about the essentials of data analysis and the tools used to tackle big data. One such tool is Excel, which allows you to collect, organize, and graphically represent large sets of data so that you can better understand trends or aberrations within a given mass of information. Excel tutorials are widely available online: Microsoft offers several, while Udemy provides a Microsoft Office course that discusses basic, intermediate and advanced Excel techniques. In addition, Coursera offers a class from Johns Hopkins University that focuses in depth on data analysis (however, this course does require some knowledge of a statistical programming language).
Online Marketing and SEO
Online marketing strategies and search engine optimization are essential for businesses of all sizes and within all industries. Adam Stetzer writes in Search Engine Watch, "It should be clear at this point that SEO is no longer a technical exercise and is rapidly merging with marketing and public relations. Smart CEOs recognize the strategic importance of SEO in our digital world." In addition, Graves writes in U.S. News that the ability to use social media to effectively market a business or brand is also in high demand among hiring managers. How can you learn about these topics? SEOmoz is a well-known resource for SEO best practices, while HubSpot has compiled a list of useful social media marketing tutorials. Furthermore, Google has recently released its Learn website, which has a wealth of information about how to create an online presence for your business, as well as its SEO Starter Guide.
Problem Solving and Project Management
Today's job market can be intimidating and discouraging, but with the right online tools you can do a lot of empower yourself and enhance your skills and credentials.
Kaitlin is a content writer and editor for CareerColleges.com and CityTownInfo.com. She received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in English Literature from Stanford University, and aspires to be a writer of fiction and creative nonfiction.