By Joe Donahue
In recent years, many applicants have commented that their skillset doesn’t seem to carry them as far as it used to. It’s true. “Upskilling” is the rise in employer expectations to want more educated and qualified candidates. Upskilling became more popular during the last recession, as more high-skilled workers were willing to take whatever job they could get, even if it was a job for which they were overqualified. As a result, many employers became accustomed to additional skills on resumes that go above and beyond what some job seekers may expect.
No matter the field, employers are more likely to look for advanced expertise in employees. This means that they will look for more advanced key skills on resumes. For instance, employers want sales people who know how to use analytics and bank clerks who understand more advanced finance. If a job applicant wants to stand out, they should identify what advanced skills they have relative to the field of the position they want.
Employers now expect new hires to have more education than before. If a job used to require a four-year degree, it’s possible that the company would prefer to hire someone who finished graduate school. Even sales positions at national retail chains look for employees who have two-year degrees, when just a high school diploma used to be enough. This is why it is important that job seekers include their educational attainment on their resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Any continuing education classes and certifications should be listed to highlight this gained expertise. If relevant, course titles and projects can be listed on LinkedIn to demonstrate these skills, as well.
One conundrum that’s plagued recent grads entering the market for years is the fact that employers want to hire people with experience. This made it difficult for those without experience to get it. As such, it’s important to include any tangible and transferable experience whenever possible, especially if you’re just entering the job market. If you know how to use specific software, machines, or have experience in customer-facing roles, be sure to specifically mention these in your resume or application.
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