In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many individuals have found themselves out of work and in search of a new position. The good news is that many businesses are still seeking talent for their teams, especially as businesses begin to reopen.
But have the skills they’re looking to hire changed? Has the pandemic rewired what employers deem most important in a team member, beyond technical requirements?
While COVID-19 continues to revolutionize the new norm in the workplace, it’s important for candidates to understand how they can use this time to enhance their skillset. In fact, we have seen several companies modify their hiring practices and begin to target candidates with certain core skills—some they may not have prioritized pre-pandemic.
Forbes recently published an article that identifies these key skills employers are now looking for in candidates as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. So, be sure to read the 6 Skills to Leverage When Seeking a New Role in the Era of a Pandemic below if you are in search of a new role.
In a world where change is constant, being able to adapt is paramount. Change is inevitable during a pandemic, especially with regard to working environments. With many businesses in the U.S. beginning to reopen, employers will be looking for candidates who can perform well both at home and in the office. Professionals who can quickly adapt to change are more likely to be seen as flexible and resilient by employers. With the crisis sure to bring shifts in responsibilities and expectations, being an adaptable employee is of high value. Be sure to highlight this on your resume and in interviews.
Communication skills are important for candidates to have regardless of the state of public health. However, during a pandemic, we’ve seen how this skill is more essential than ever before. You always want to speak in a manner that is clear, thoughtful and concise so you can be easily understood. As communication channels evolve and virtual platforms become more widely used, you need to adjust the way you communicate. Employers may seek out candidates who can be nimble in their communication approach. Be sure you can give examples of how you have communicated effectively, listened intently and are able to get your thoughts across to other others in a successful way.
On many entry-level resumes, you may see organizational skills as a key skill, but we’ve seen that those with discipline and structure can excel at all levels. With many professionals having to balance working remotely with childcare and e-learning, not to mention handling everyday life, being organized has really become something of a “make or break” skill. Staying on top of multiple calendars, projects and deadlines—for not only you but for anyone you care for—has been a real challenge for some. Organizational skills correspond with being a critical thinker, which is important to demonstrate during a stressful time. Therefore, employers are seeking candidates who can think clearly and make decisions under high-pressure situations. If you can emerge from the crisis with a program and state of mind that has worked for you, that will set you apart from other candidates.
Creativity is usually an in-demand skillset for professions that require some level of artistry or ideation. However, we’ve seen that even in accounting and finance positions the current pandemic has called for others to pivot and assume an “out of the box” mindset at times. Moving accounting and finance functions to remote environments—something many thought before was not possible—has been challenging but doable. Those who can be creative in ways to achieve this through enlisting various tools and technologies really display how a skill indirectly related to their function can positively impact a business. This should be something to emphasize when talking with a prospective employer.
Being able to work independently just as successfully as you do with a team is a skill that is sought out by employers. Especially during a pandemic, employers want professionals who can work well with their colleagues both in-person and virtually. Working effectively in a team setting shows that you also have exceptional communication skills and can pool your ideas and your coworkers’ ideas to collectively come up with solutions. Having a strong team mindset also shows employers that you value the individual success of your colleges and the wellbeing of the company as a whole. Be sure you emphasize your ability to work well with a team.
There are many ways to show leadership skills without having a certain job title. These past few months have been challenging for many from a personal and professional perspective. Maybe you cheered up a co-worker who was having a difficult time. Maybe you asked your manager if you could take on some extra work due to less commute time. Maybe you voiced your opinion on a video conference that made others rethink their strategy. Displaying leadership can come from many different angles. When searching for a new role, consider times you’ve led or taken charge of your group when you didn’t necessarily have to. It’s times like these that allow professionals to grow and develop. You can show your leadership skills to employers by demonstrating your work ethic to your colleagues and bringing a positive influence to the office.
What are some other skills that have emerged from the pandemic as necessary for the workplace? Share your thoughts in the comments below.