The job market is constantly changing and so too are the mix of skills required to compete in our fast-paced business world. It is therefore important to be aware of the top skills that employers are recruiting for and to develop them through practice or short-term training.
Broadly speaking, skills can be categorised into hard and soft, whereby the former relates to technical and specialised knowledge, and the latter to cognitive and behavioural abilities. In other words, while hard skills focus on the employee’s ability to do the job, soft skills are more about how the employee approaches his or her tasks. Both types of skills are interrelated and crucial to successful performance at work, but in this article, we will explore the category that is harder to identify and measure - soft skills. We use them every day in our interactions with co-workers, clients or customers, and most of us have developed a pretty good portfolio of soft skills through life experience. But which specific soft skills will impress the majority of employers the most?
By analysing the skills of the people who are currently being hired at the highest rate and comparing them to the level of supply of these same skills, LinkedIn has created a list of the five most in-demand soft skills for 2020. Regardless of your chosen career or level of responsibility, having and developing in the below competencies will ensure you are more competitive in the job market and differentiate you from the hundreds or even thousands of candidates applying for your dream position.
Creativity is a crucial factor for business success. The ability to tap into our imaginations and figure out ways to use resources in strategic way to solve complex problems can add incredible value for employers. Creativity is also at the heart of innovation, and bringing novel ideas into life faster and better than competitors is often what differentiates market leaders from those who follow. Given the strategic importance of creativity to a thriving business, it is perhaps not so surprising that this skills ranks in the first place!
You may be saying to yourself “But I’m not a very naturally creative person”. It’s time to push those thoughts aside. There is a misconception out there that creativity is an inherent trait that is bestowed upon a few lucky people. Conversely, while creativity does come more easily to some than to others, it is nevertheless a skill that needs to be practised and can be learned, regardless of your level of natural ability. Experienced creative director, designer, writer, author and speaker, Stefan Mumaw says that in fact there is a five-step creative process that we can apply to any situation to build on this skill, a summary of which is provided below:
There are many approaches to the creative process and we encourage you to explore the different ways it can be applied in your daily work life. “Tell me about a time when you were faced with a complex problem and how you overcame it?” is a very common interview question, and is also the perfect opportunity to walk the interviewer through your creative process in solving the problem! Learning how to generate novel quality solutions for various issues, even if they are minor ones, will therefore give you great leverage during the candidate selection process and help you progress upwards in your career.