Updated: Feb 3
With a severe financial struggle and dare we say it, a recession being imminent due to the economic impact of Coronavirus, we recently published a post detailing all the things you can start to do to be proactive and prepare for the incoming recession.
One of which was to update and refine your CV in case of job lay offs. We saw in 2008 how many companies started to make people redundant as they simply could not afford to employ them. And with the slumps of demand and large amount of government spending because of Coronavirus, we may start to see the same again.
There are two major things we recommend doing are:
1. Research the skills that are highly sought after and train yourself in these.
2. Freshen up your CV to reflect the first point and complete any gaps.
There are two types of skills — soft and hard (mind out of the gutter, people)
Hard skills are those that are teachable, you can teach them via a book or in a classroom and they’re 100% quantifiable. Soft skills are slightly different and some would say they’re impossible to ‘learn via a book’. They’re a mixture of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social intelligence and emotional intelligence that are usually developed through character and experience.
So, to give you 5 of the most desired hard skills by employees would be unfair so we’ve given you 5 soft skills and 5 hard skills
Being able to crunch numbers is a talent! Having analytical reasoning doesn't mean you have to be a numbers pro, or a whiz at excel. It just means you are able to look at numbers and data, pick out trends and use this to make informed decisions. Data is the future, and most companies are looking for people that can use this to provide analytics, make predictions or gain insights so that businesses can make decisions. If you are not a number gal (or guy) have a look for courses online which focuses on data and strategic decision.
You may have heard the saying, ‘the customer is king'. Companies are focusing on one thing, and that thing is the User Experience. Maximising this to ensure the customer has a seamless experience is paramount to companies if they want to ensure customers keep coming back and buying from them. They need people to put themselves in the shoes of the customer to research and design software to ensure it is not bad, slow, or clunky or anything that will detract from enhancing that all important user experience. Reading up on Adobe and taking any training programmes regarding the above is a good start.
The way a company presents its goods or services to a customer has changed massively over the last decade. The ability to purchase a product through Instagram...unheard of if you rewind back 10 years. Given companies need to stay one step ahead of the curve when it comes to tapping into the market and actually selling their products, companies are looking for marketeers at the top of the game. The ones that know how to use customer relationship management software, are able to advise on how to increase the SEO (search engine optimisation) position of a company and how to tap right into the hearts of the customers to give them want they want is key for companies. There are some GREAT Youtube videos and Ted Talks looking at digital marketing.
Linking to the analytical reasoning part, more and more companies are turning to Artificial intelligence (AI). To put it simply, AI is an area of computer science that uses machines to work and react like humans (don’t worry, they are not taking over our jobs just yet). If you have ever used speech recognition, tools like this is are a product of AI.
AI also involves the use of predictive algorithms and machine learning to provide an intuitive way of interacting with customers, Those who can build AI products, sell AI products or devise AI strategy are in hot demand. There are LOADS of basic AI courses online.
Have you ever heard of cryptocurrency? Well, that’s blockchain. By definition, blockchain makes history of any digital assets through the use of decentralisation and cryptographic hashing. Think of it this way — you have a Google Doc, you share the Google Doc with a handful of people, the document is distributed instead of copied or transferred. This creates a decentralised distribution chain that gives everyone access to the document at the same time. No one is locked out, awaiting changes from another party, while all modifications to the doc are being recorded in real-time, making changes completely transparent. This is blockchain. With blockchain, coding and software development skills are a prerequisite. Again, lots of online certifications to help with this.
Every company wants to be unique but how do they stay one step ahead of the curve and be more innovative than any other company out there? Creative individuals who like to think out of the box to generate original ideas and solutions. Which is why creativity is a hot soft skill to have this year! This also links back into the hard skill of UX design, you need to be highly creative to produce cutting edge user experiences.
The ability to adapt successfully to change is a MUST. Who knows when an event such as a global pandemic will come interrupt the way of life and change things forever. Certainly not us. That being said, companies want to hire people who are able to adapt to change like a duck to water, learn continuously and embrace the change to find the positives of a situation.
Collaboration and teamwork.
The age old interview question is ‘tell me about a time where you worked in a team’. As annoying as this question is and will leave you drawing back to your netball experiences at school, or when you were forced into a project team from Karen at work — it is vital. Being able to work on a team is something most organisations place as part of their core values in some way or another (go on, take a look at their mission statements/core value pages and see). Being able to show you can communicate, persuade and influence others when working towards a commonly shared goal is key when it comes to submitting a job application.
Hands up, who loves a good story? Well, every company you are thinking of applying to has their hands raised right up. The art of being able to frame a narrative is becoming more and more important. Employers want people who are able to organise their thoughts in a coherent and structured way so that when they go to pitch a sales recommendation or present an idea, it is done to provide an impact.
There is one thing coming up with a solution to a problem and there is another deducing an answer critically using a holistic way to evaluate an issue then come up with a judgment. It’s also great to not take the first solution as given. Employees LOVE people who will challenge their thoughts and thinking to get a better solution.
So once you’ve got a solid foundation of knowledge in these, now what do you do? Refine your CV to reflect any of the above and make it the best CV the employer will ever look at (you got this)
6 Things To Do On Your CV
Trim out the irrelevant information
Got info about all the jobs you had whilst at school, or a long list of your personal hobbies on your CV? If they aren't relevant to the job you’re applying for, cut them out! Remember, the ideal CV is only 2 pages long so you want all bits of information that is going to make you shine to be presented on there.
Make it attractive
The more attractive a CV, the more it stands out amongst the bland templates. A lot of people use the standard templates on Microsoft Word, so why not try looking at Canva to find some of their snazzy designs.
Display information in an impactful way.
Think about how the reader views your CV. Most people read from top to bottom so it is super important to highlight any key achievements that will make the reader think ‘WOW they are great’ at the top.
We love to adopt the Power of 3 too. The power of 3 is more useful for the personal statement section of the CV. If you want to make a point or use descriptive words, say them in 3s. Information presented in groups of three stay in our heads better than other clusters of items.
Don't forget your keywords.
CVs have got to be tailored to the company you are applying for and one way to do this is via the keywords used. Some organisations use software to pick out specific words in an application. Some don’t. But if they do, these key words are most likely to be along their lines of their mission statement or values. For example, if a company bangs on about being collaborative and is very clear that this is a selling point of theirs, then collaboration is most likely to be a key word to drop into your CV.
Quantify your achievements
It’s always good to add figures to your CV to show that you’re not just stating your achievements but actually showing the evidence right there. Quantifying them is one way to do so.
Include online or continuous learning post-graduation
Online learning is just as important as gaining a graduate degree. It should not be looked down on and takes as much skills and effort to complete an online certification than it does to complete a classroom one. So for us, that’s a massive motive to include them in your CV.