You’ve got a stellar resume and your go-to interview outfit ready to go, but do you know which are the must-have job skills for 2013? It’s a tough workplace right now, with more and more applicants vying for the best positions, so getting your career skills in a row is crucial. Whether you are currently looking for a job, or perhaps looking for a promotion within your place of work, there are a handful of must-have work skills that can make all the difference in landing your dream job for 2013!
1. Amp up Your Social Media Presence
A major must-have work skill for 2013 is a familiarity with the main social media platforms (namely Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest). It doesn’t matter if you’re applying to work at a dental office or a newspaper, knowing your way around a Twitter handle can boost your value in just about any field. Businesses are constantly looking to build their relevance through social media—as a free form of advertising, there’s simply no easier or faster way to market your brand. Showing a company that you can assist in boosting sales through their exposure to potential customers simply by updating their social media channels is a great way to get a leg up on the competition.
2. Be Likable
Another important work skill for 2013 is your likability, i.e. your ability not just to get along, but to be liked by coworkers. Even if your prior work experience calls for some level of confidence, no one is looking to hire a diva. Showing that you have the skills to be friendly and still efficient with a team will make you an invaluable resource for any position. One of the best ways to show this skill to a potential employer is to have former co-workers write recommendations, rather than just former employers.
3. Show Them Your Creative Side
Whether you are a whiz with Photoshop or can plan a company Christmas party with the slightest of ease, having a creative side is a must-have work skill for 2013. This doesn’t mean that you have to turn into Picasso if you are looking for a position in finance. Maybe your creative skill is the ability to think out-of-the-box in solving a problem. This is perhaps one to the most important skills you can have, and yet it is one of the least mentioned during an interview.
4. Be Management Material
Top tier positions generally require more work, more skill, and more management than other positions – that’s often why they pay more. In order to move up the ladder, you MUST have an ability to manage others. This doesn’t mean that you turn into a dictator, simply watching your team do the work while you sit back and relax either. Good managers can effectively encourage their teams to do their best work by gaining their respect without being overbearing.
5. Get Software-Savvy
Brushing up on your tech skills is a must for career building this year. Most employers look for a working knowledge of basic programs such as word processing, organization programs such as Excel, and presentation programs like PowerPoint. Make an active effort to learn which programs your industry considers necessary, and get a leg up on the competition by familiarizing yourself with newer programs such as Constant Contact.
6. Build a Virtual Rolodex
It’s not all about what you know, it’s also who you know that counts. Networking is often just as necessary in getting your foot in the door as it is once you’re in the position. Having built-in connections that can assist in the company’s success can give you a huge advantage when meeting with potential employers. If you don’t already have a long list of relevant connections, use services such a LinkedIn to build your contacts.
7. Be Flexible
Business is constantly evolving. So, finding employees who are flexible and can evolve with the company to meet their needs are more desirable than those looking for specific work conditions. It’s best to decide up front which aspects of your job you are willing (and able) to be flexible on ahead of time. For instance, are you willing to travel more if needed, or work on weekends? The more flexible and easy going you are, the more likely they will be to hire you.
8. Show Proof of Productivity
Let’s be honest, employers aren’t willing to throw more money into a new employee unless they are quite certain they will be worth every penny. Productivity continues to be a must have skill for potential new hires, and showing how you have increased business in your past positions (either directly or indirectly) is crucial. When going after a new position, be prepared to answer questions about productivity with hard evidence from previous jobs.
9. Be Your Own Brand
This skill is closely related to your social media presence, but can also relate to a personal blog, profiles on websites such as LinkedIn, or your reputation within the industry. Having a stellar personal brand can make you a hot commodity in certain fields (particularly in publishing and media positions). It’s great to have thousands of followers on Twitter or your personal blog that can translate into business for a company. But, if you have a reputation as a difficult employee or present yourself through online forums as an overly opinionated subject, employers may not even bother taking a chance on you, so be aware of what other colleagues may be saying about you and what comes up about you after a basic search online.
10. Dress for the Job You Want, Not the Job You Have
Okay, so while you are searching for a new job may not be the best time to go out and buy a new wardrobe, but "dressing the part" is a necessary skill whether you’re interviewing or you’ve already landed the job. Along with your wardrobe, how you carry yourself can be a tremendously helpful work skill in advancing your career, and you don’t have to be rolling in the Gucci to do it. The way in which you present yourself will indicate to an employer whether you have confidence or not, which often does indicate your skill level. Make sure you have an appropriate and professional outfit for the interview, and put your best foot forward!
While it may be a tough economy with a stagnant unemployment rate, there are jobs to be had out there, and bringing your A-game is necessary if you are going to land the career of your dreams. What other job skills do you think are important for 2013? How have they helped you in landing your job? Let us know!