If you’re looking for a job, you know that employers want to hire people with tech skills. We’re not talking about skills that everyone else has, like “proficient in Microsoft Word;” employers who see that will zoom right past your resume. They want to see in-demand tech skills that not many other people have.
If you don’t have many technical skills outside of Word or Excel, don’t worry. You can find classes online or at nearby schools to learn them. They might even give you a certificate when you’re done. You just need to know which ones to focus on.
Indeed.com, one of the world’s top job search sites, dedicated an entire blog post to this topic. “The tech industry has one of the most competitive job markets, and finding the right talent to fill key positions is never going to be easy,” the post explains.
Within this incredibly competitive market, Indeed shared the following positions that are highly sought after: engineering managers, front-end developers, full-stack developers, UX/UI designers, QA engineers, mobile developers, data scientists, back-end developers, online marketing specialists, software architects and VP engineers.
For many, those jobs might sound like a foreign language. But, even if you’re not planning to shift your career into what’s been defined as the “tech industry,” corporations and small businesses are also in need of people with similar qualifications. This is because of the ever-changing landscape of technology, the web and even cybercrime.
So, what are the in-demand skills employers are looking for? Keep reading for 10 tech skills that will set your resume apart.
1. Content management system (CMS)
If you don’t know how to post content to a website, you’ll want to quickly teach yourself how to do that (it’s easy). Content Management Systems are essentially word-processing systems, but with features that let you post words, photos and videos to a website.
WordPress is by far the most-used CMS, with 15.6 million websites using it. To learn WordPress, click here. Or, take an online or in-person class at a community college. You can learn to use WordPress, Joomla, Blogger, Drupal and other content management systems.
2. Web development
One of the most sought-after skills every year is web development. In fact, 24 percent of respondents to a recent survey said they’re hiring people with this skill.
While web developers sometimes build and design websites, most companies now have an established website that’s not going to change much. These days, web developers are ensuring that a company’s site functions as it’s supposed to and is optimized to generate sales.
Note: The best way to show off your development skills, and other skills we’re talking about here is to create a portfolio site. You can post examples of your best work on there.
3. Social media management systems (SMMS)
When you think about social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others, you probably think about the photos you post that people comment on. However, for companies, social media is a marketing tool.
They use social media to engage with their customers. They have conversations about their brands and get feedback, which they use to improve their product.
Social media marketing can be a complicated and expensive undertaking. If a company has thousands or millions of customers, and multiple social media sites, those campaigns are too complicated for one employee to occasionally check on.
Many companies now have social media budgets in the millions of dollars. These are advertising-type campaigns with graphic designs, marketing messages like “save 50 percent,” and precise objectives, such as reaching 1 million women 18-34 years old this week.
Social media management systems help companies streamline the implementation of those campaigns. This is definitely not a skill everyone else has, so the acronym SMMS will get an employer’s attention.
4. Mobile development
Like web developers, mobile developers are tasked with creating a company’s site, ensuring that it works well, is easy for customers to use and generates money. Importantly, mobile developers ensure a company’s site is optimized for smartphones and tablets.
There’s a lot of overlap between this and web development, so if you get into development right now, you’ll end up learning both. However, if you learned your web development skills even five years ago, you should go back and pick up this skill because it’s something employers are going to want to see.
If you’re looking for a job, you’re hearing this word a lot: startup. It’s just a shortcut for describing a young company, probably with a handful of employees. Often, startups are tech-focused companies with businesses that generate money online.
Startups, and all small businesses, need employees who can handle a multitude of tasks. Even if you’re not a full-fledged programmer, knowing basic coding will come in handy. You never know when you’ll be able to say, “I can do that” and save the day.
Fortunately, there are free sites where you can learn the basics of coding like Khan Academy. If you want to plunge in a little deeper, you may want to sign up for a class that gives you a certificate when you’re done.
HTML and CSS are computer languages used to create websites. While many job seekers may know how to post content to a website with a content management system, like WordPress, not many people know how to use HTML and CSS to build sites.
Both of these languages are part of web development. However, if you aren’t up for the full web development learning experience, just knowing this part of it will give you skills many employers will value. There are loads of online classes to learn the basics of HTML, some for free.
Structured Query Language (SQL) is one of the most-used computer languages by companies that have large databases. SQL helps them pull out information from databases and create reports. There are free and low-cost classes available online and at community colleges to learn the basics of SQL.
A few years ago, the word “cybercrime” sounded like an overreaction to some kids hacking into their school’s computer system. Today we know it’s a lot worse than that.
“With over $445 billion in losses to consumers, Cybercrime is a big business,” as security site CSO puts it. Cybercriminals are getting sophisticated.
These days, cybersecurity is one of the most in-demand tech skills. “Exactly 50% of the IT professionals who participated in our Forecast 2016 survey said they plan to increase spending on security technologies,” according to Computerworld magazine. Plus, salaries for jobs in cybersecurity are going up, about 5% to 7% this year.
Note: A lot of universities and community colleges offer certificate programs in cybersecurity.
9. Technical writing
If you’re a good writer with a solid understanding of grammar, journalism and technology, you may want to take it up a notch by getting a certificate in technical writing. This is more than just writing about the latest smartphone, however.
Technical writers take complex language and turn it into easy-to-understand content for brochures, user manuals, and so on. It could be for products ranging from medical equipment, solar turbines, industrial machines or the latest consumer gadgets.
Typically, companies hiring technical writers want proof that you know what you’re doing. Go online and look around for free classes. If you want to earn a certificate, and that’s a good idea, you may need to fork over a few hundred dollars and a few weeks of your time.
It’ll be worth it. Not many people have the credentials to be a technical writer, so an employer looking for one will read your resume.
10. Emerging technology
There are so many tech skills that it’s tough to keep track of them all, never mind acquiring the skills to list them on your resume. So, if you’ve got a skill that not many other people have, let employers know it.
For instance, if you know how to use the latest HTML5 features, list it on your resume. If you have experience or training in big data analysis or Google Analytics, make sure employers see that.
Of course, when you’re looking for a job, it’s important to keep your resume up to date. Make sure your tech skills, experience, certificates and degrees are highlighted and easy to read.
After all, employers get hundreds or thousands of resumes for a single job. Make sure you and your skills stand out.