Education and experience may make you qualified for a job, but there are plenty of other strengths that companies are looking for that might matter even more.
A new report from Workopolis, Canada’s largest online job site, analyzed millions of job postings and surveyed more than 250 Canadian employers to determine the most sought-after skills.
What they found boils down to understanding how to communicate, according to Tara Talbot, the vice president of Human Resources for Workopolis.
What employers really want are workers who know how to pitch ideas, how to communicate with each other, how to establish and maintain good relations with clients, and how to work in a team. She says in many cases, communication and interpersonal skills can be more important than education or experience.
“Those are actually trumping education and some of the technical skills,” Talbot told CTV’s Canada AM.
Top 10 most sought after skills in Canadian job postings:
- communication skills
- customer relations
- organizational skills
- Microsoft Office
- policy analysis
- supervisory skills/leadership
- problem solving
Good communication skills are mandatory in the service field, but there are plenty of other industries where they can be crucial. More than 60 per cent of marketing, health care and wellness jobs require good communication skills, for example.
Almost half (47 per cent) of technology and digital media jobs require good communication skills, as do an equal number of sales and business development jobs.
Talbot says the good news for young people just entering the workforce is that communication skills can be learned and perfected in entry-level positions.
Jobs in the retail and the hospitality industries, where many young people find their first employment opportunities, are ideal places to hone communication abilities. She says young employees shouldn’t take these skills for granted when applying for jobs in their chosen career.
“Candidates need to think more broadly about their experience, because whether they’ve been in school or team environment or volunteer, they probably have a lot of experience that may not be paid work,” she said.
“They need to draw on that and get that across to employers.”
In terms of hard skills, the Top 10 skills rising in demand in 2015 include:
- Social media platforms
- Big data
- Google Analytics
While some of these skills may be unfamiliar to many jobseekers, Talbot says most relate to data analysis, which, like social media, continues to be a crucial part of how business is done today.
“Social media continues to be something we all need to be fluent in, but a lot of these real skills they’re looking for are around big data and analytics,” she said.
What are the top 10 skills you need to land a job?
Posted on August 28, 2015