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The 2 things hiring managers want from job seekers

CareerBuilder | October 5, 2020

Transferable skills in 2020

As industries change rapidly, stay flexible and use a varied skill set to your advantage. Here's how.

We've been hearing it for years – careers aren’t really a ladder anymore, they’re more like a vine; skills are becoming more vital to the hiring process; employers are looking for flexibility on the team.

And the coronavirus pandemic has only focused those messages.

Of 603 hiring managers who were surveyed this summermanagers who were surveyed this summer, 57 percent said having the flexibility to quickly change their staff size was a priority. Hiring managers also agreed (61 percent) that demand for temporary work has increased (read: flexibility) and finding candidates with the right skills was a top concern across the board.

For you and other job seekers, that means rolling with the punches in this ever-changing economy. Here are a few ways you can gain a little bit of control in this environment, meet these demands and find a job now.

Show off your skills

Include your job titles, obviously, but don’t sell yourself short on your skills – especially if you’re in (or formerly were in) a role that has been hit hard by COVID-19. Don’t worry so much about whether your job title is an exact match or is on a specific career path. If you have the skills to do a job, tweak your resume to reflect that and apply!

For example, if you were a server in a restaurant or worked in retail, you likely have a good set of general customer service and basic selling skills. Look for sales positions or administrative assistant roles and be sure to highlight your flexibility.

Transfer those skills – and don’t be afraid to make a career change

Once you have a handle on what you’re great at, be open to roles that are in completely new industries or fields that are similar to yours. This can be a great way to find a job quickly, earn more money, explore temporary and flexible work, or grow your career. Use your candidate profile to showcase your full capabilities – beyond a one-page resume – and work with recruiters or staffing firms to help position you as a talented, well-rounded candidate. Job duties and tasks can be taught. The skills you have developed throughout your career, whether it’s strategic planning or software expertise, can be repurposed in new ways.

Tell the story of how you can do the tasks listed using the skills you’ve honed. Add your personality and a unique flair to your application by showing how your past industry, company or titles make you an especially skilled candidate.

Find and work for diverse companies

As many employers commit to improving diversity and inclusion within their teams and throughout the hiring process, there is a new focus on an applicant’s skills – not just previous job titles. This approach allows recruiters and hiring managers to potentially reach new candidates and attract a wider set of applicants. So, in addition to meeting overall demand for flexibility and transferable skills, highlighting your accomplishments and abilities is a particularly good way to find companies who will value diverse perspectives.

Cover your bases by learning more about a company through their career site, potentially work with a staffing firm to connect to employers who value diversity and complete your candidate profile to really put yourself out there.

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