Time and again, when clients show me their old resumes, I see skills that are completely outdated or irrelevant, which not only ages you, but tells employers you don’t value the skills that they value. As to what skills I predict that employers will look for in 2020, you can be assured that by this time next year, anything I say now may no longer be true. But trust me – I’m staying abreast of trends in employment so that you can focus on doing what you need to do in order to get ahead in your job search. (and read “7 Signs that Your Resume is Outdated” to make sure yours isn’t).
Most of my clients in the late 2010s have been in one of four types of fields: data analytics, supply chain logistics, digital marketing, and fintech. This doesn’t mean that companies aren’t hiring sales people or accountants or administrative assistants; they are, but those roles now require being skilled in different types of software, for one. Case in point – I received a call from an individual who hadn’t worked in retail for over 20 years, but assumed she could get another job as a salesperson (and this is despite the fact that retailers themselves are transitioning to e-commerce in order to remain relevant.) Anyway, I mentioned that candidates with more recent experience would be familiar with POS (point of sales) software, and her response was, “what’s that?” You see my point.
Skills that are fairly meaningless in 2020 – but that some job candidates still include on their resumes include typing speed, the ability to “use the Internet,” and obsolete software, like WordPerfect.
So, what skills will employers look for in 2020?
Let’s divide them into soft skills and hard skills. According to a LinkedIn survey, the most important skills employers require are as follows:
Soft skills: time management, adaptability, collaboration, persuasion, and creativity
Hard skills: data analytics, AI, cloud computing, UX design, talent management
Let’s tackle hard skills first, since you get to choose which one(s) interest you, and then you need to learn them. Soft skills are harder to qualify because everybody thinks they have them, and everybody says they have them, but how do you prove it? And how do you revise your resume around any of these important skills employers want?
For soft skills, instead of saying that you have excellent communication skills, mention how those skills impacted your organization. Don’t describe yourself as creative; point to examples of your creativity. You’re a “proven leader” ? Cite an example of your influence in a corporate setting.
Make sure your resume addresses skills-in-progress
Let’s say you haven’t yet been hired for a job that requires one of those top five hard skills, but you are taking courses and/or getting certified. Include on your resume academic projects in your field. So if you’re studying UX design, link to a site that you designed as an academic project so employers can see that you know what you’re doing well enough to be hired on an entry level, at the very least. Interested in talent management? While earning a degree or certification in human resources, include on your resume case studies you and your classmates wrote about employee engagement, or performance evaluations.
For some examples of how to include academic projects in your resume, take a look at the samples of recent graduate resumes on my website. This will give you some context for how to include these projects even if you’re not a full time student/
If you’d like personal assistance with crafting your resume to showcase these skills employers looking for, click here to read about my pricing and process.