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Here are the top 10 skills you need to land a job now

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Whether you’re looking for full or part-time work, the right skills will help you stand out to employers. While employment history is the first thing that comes to mind when crafting a resume, there are other, more practical strengths you’ll want to include.

Here are 10 skills employers look for to help you land your dream job.

The skills that pay the bills

Most people can’t rely on a friend or family member to open the door to a job position or interview. Even if you do know someone, it’s not as important as what you have to offer.

LinkedIn compared the top skills professionals had in 2015 to those they have for the same jobs today. The result was a list of 20 skills found in 78% of jobs posted on LinkedIn from May 1 to July 31 worldwide.

The skills were divided into two categories: soft and hard.

Soft skills

Soft skills relate to how you work. Are you good with people? How well do you communicate and listen? Are you a team player, or do you work better independently?

Soft skills are difficult to measure and define. It’s more of a general sense of what type of person you are and how it affects your performance. “Reading the room” is an essential soft skill.

No matter what you do, however, soft skills are important. Let’s look at a common situation. Two people are employed at a company for roughly the same amount of time doing similar work. An opportunity for promotion comes up, and both are interviewed.

Employees with superior social skills can make a better case as to why they deserve the job. They know how to present themselves and their abilities. They’ll likely be the ones to land the new gig.

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Hard skills

Hard skills are easier to define. These are what you know and come from job experience and training. Are you good at taking dictation? Do you have experience using social media? How good are you with spreadsheets?

Hard skills can generally be measured — for example, how many words per minute you can type or how proficient you are at a foreign language.

Top five soft skills

  1. Leadership encompasses other soft skills such as motivation, organization and conflict resolution. What makes people want to follow your example? You want to inspire your team to do their best.
  2. Communication is another broad skill that can’t be specifically defined. Essentially, it relates to how well you pass information to others and understand others. This can refer to written and oral skills.
  3. Problem Solving is a big deal. You must work on your problem-solving skills if you panic whenever something goes wrong. Employers want people who can analyze and solve problems quickly and efficiently.
  4. Management is a form of leadership but typically involves working more closely with people. Empathy and compassion make people feel appreciated, which leads to a good work ethic.
  5. Time Management is more important than ever. You may think that the faster you complete a project, the better, but the end product is what counts. That’s not to say you should drag out your work. Balancing productivity, quality and efficiency are crucial parts of time management.

Top five hard skills

  1. Customer Service is not just about answering phones. While being proficient at customer service comes with experience, it involves many soft skills such as communication and problem-solving. Patience and empathy are key, as you may find yourself dealing with frustrated or unsavory people — in person or over the phone.
  2. Sales also encompass many soft skills. You want people to feel comfortable with you and place their trust in you. There’s truth to the adage about selling yourself in addition to the product or service you’re representing. No matter how much they want it, they won’t go for it if you easily get flustered.
  3. Accounting is truly a quantifiable skill. You can be tested on how well you know state tax codes or how organized you are regarding payroll. But there’s more to it than that. When you’re done crunching numbers, you may need to communicate the results to a board, shareholders or clients. Those soft skills again!
  4. Business Development is an industry itself. These professionals evaluate a business’s performance and look for ways to improve it. They jump on the best opportunities and build relationships with customers and clients. Soft skills in this field include research, strategy and negotiation. Hard skills that fall under business development include language, marketing, data analysis and computers.
  5. Marketing professionals can use various skills, including data analysis, copywriting, technical proficiency, SEO and social media. And, of course, you can’t have marketing without communication — after all, you’re communicating to the public why they should buy or otherwise engage with whatever is being marketed!

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