Why should you care about this skills gap? Well, showing you have bridged that gap, and have it takes, will make you stand out a mile to an employer.
How to develop skills employers want
OK, so what skills will your future-self thank you sacrificing your time and energy in developing? Well, there's a core group of skills, both soft and hard, that all employers look for. Many of these are only picked up through work experience: placements, internships, volunteering, extracurricular activities. This is why you need to put yourself out there as soon as possible!
Let's take a quick dive into just seven of these, there are many others!
1. Commercial awareness: Become an expert on your industry. Research and follow what is impacting companies you are interested in, their sector, their customers. Track topical trends online and in trade publications, speak to people in industry and attend industry related events.
2. Communication skills: Verbal, written and listening. Be a great communicator, know your audience, be focused and tailor your style and format. Be an active listener, be aware of body language and image. Find opportunities to practice public speaking, influencing, persuading, and negotiating. Post online, blog and vlog.
3. Problem solving: Having a solution-focused mindset, show initiative, be innovative and creative.
4. Emotional intelligence: Self-leadership and the ability to manage your emotions and the emotional and social dynamics of working well in a team.
5. Interpersonal skills: The world of business is built on relationships. Highlight your relationship building skills and customer focus.
6. Digital skills: Tech changes constantly and showing you have an up to the minute and relevant digital skillset will recession-proof and future-proof your career!
7. Work-ready office experience: The ability to write a professional email, manage an outlook calendar, use software suites like Microsoft Office 365. Planning, prioritising, and scheduling skills and experience of working in a team towards a common goal.
Find out more below about the skills you need to focus on developing. The world of work is in constant flux. Upskilling and skills are the currency of your future career, not your job title which might not even exist in 5 years' time.
For more information and support on this topic from the University of Salford - please click here