Everyone is a job hunter at one point in time, and no matter how experienced or high your salary expectations are, you want to be heading into the job market with some desirable skills to back you. Of course, the standard changes as times go on and so you want to be making sure you have a modern suite of skills that are going to be of value to future employees. Before you submit another application, familiarise yourself with the following skills and see how you shape up and where you might need to bridge a skill gap.
1. Financial acumen
It is a wide expectation that modern job hunters are commercially minded and have an understanding of the financial operation of the business. Many businesses use MYOB and other online accounting and bookkeeping services to make staying on top of financial commitments manageable, and so it might stand you in good stead to familiarise yourself with the most popular financial tools used by your sector.
For those that find themselves interested in upskilling with accounting software and other digital services, you’re in luck. There is a wide variety of online resources available that cover a large number of the most well-known technological services, including LinkedIn Learning, which covers everything from Excel to various accounting platforms.
2. Workflow software
The whiteboard is no longer the source of truth when it comes to the ins and outs of an office, as most task management is done through workflow software. Having experience in one or a few of these workflow app products will be very advantageous, as it tells the employer that you don’t need to have a lengthy induction into how it works and can hit the ground running. Microsoft Teams and Slack are some of the more well-known names, but there are many out there serving a similar purpose.
Collaboration is a skill that is invaluable to any organisation, especially a multifaceted company with many stakeholders. Collaboration can be seen within a team as well as cross-department as it shows that you are a team player and in-tune with the greater needs of the business. When applying for a role, be sure to include examples of how you collaborated effectively in the past, and what strengths have allowed you to progress this skill.
Employers look for people that are able to communicate their ideas effectively and work constructively within a team environment. Whilst the usefulness of these skills is obvious, it can be less easy to brush up on these skills if you’re currently in a workplace that doesn’t facilitate it. For those that are looking to improve their collaborative abilities, joining clubs, communities or local sports teams can be a fantastic way to improve your collaboration whilst also learning new skills.
4. Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite
Some programs and services have become ubiquitous across the business landscape. This means that anyone looking to excel in their field should have at least a base-level understanding of how to use them. So, even if you are entering the health sector or a lab, there will be an expectation that you are experienced in using the Microsoft Office Suite. Employers want to see that you know your way around a computer and can jump on at a moment’s notice even if it doesn’t call out this activity on the position description specifically. Windows or Mac, try and get comfortable using the programs that belong to the Microsoft Office Suite.
5. Social engagement
Will you be an active part of the social scene at your new workplace, or will you fade into the background and be satisfied in simply punching your hours each day? There are no wrong answers here, but you might be a more attractive candidate if you express an interest in getting to know your team and are happy to attend social engagements outside of working hours. Employers want to bring in team players and those who will enrich the workplace culture – so prove just that!
Remember that any good employer isn’t just looking at a list of achievements when they interview a candidate. They should be looking for someone who is going to bring a considerable amount of value to their business, and morale is a huge part of that. So, if you’re a charismatic person that is willing to bond with their team, you’re often going to fare better in interviews than someone who is more standoffish.
6. Time management
If bottlenecks and deadline drama can be avoided in any way in the workplace – your employer will pay that price. Time management is an office skill that many say they have, but the proof might not always point to that conclusion. On your CV and in your interview, demonstrate examples of how you have delivered projects on time and what your strategy has been when you had a number of other time-sensitive commitments.
If you’re someone that struggles with time management, or you don’t feel like you can adequately display your time management skills, there are several ways to improve and develop these positive behaviours. Set yourself daily schedules, goals and routines to get yourself used to the feeling of being on the clock. If you’re currently in a business role and are simply looking to upskill for the job market, collaborate with team members more. By having another person there that relies on your ability to work to deadlines, you can use them as motivation to stay on track with your tasks.
It can be demotivating when you are in the job market for a long time, especially when you are not hearing from every employer so you don’t have feedback to work with. However, it’s important to remember that you have the ability to improve and adapt to your surroundings. So, if you feel uncertain or lack confidence in your ability to win over potential employers, there are things that can be done to improve those specific skills. Concentrate on strengthening your office skills at home and calling out these attributes directly on your CV.