The 1 skill you need to land a job during the pandemic

The internet is flooded with articles listing the top industries thriving during the pandemic (we wrote a few of them actually.) There might not be enough information on the qualities that matter the most in terms of securing these positions though.

If you’re reading this you’re in luck, because Ladders pooled together the most commonly cited qualities that employers look for in a candidate. These qualities fall into two categories, soft skills and hard skills.

Soft skills are interpersonal skills that are useful no matter what the position you’re applying for is. Things like communication skills, listening skills, and time management. Hard skills are teachable skills that are specific to the job you want to perform.

“In addition to soft skills, there are other, more tangible or technical skills that most projects require. These are called hard skills, and they are the specific knowledge and abilities required to do the job. You’ll need both hard and soft skills for any job, and it’s important to show employers that you have the combination of hybrid skills they need when you’re applying and interviewing for jobs,” says career expert, Alison Doyle.

“In order to get your application noticed, be sure to incorporate in your resume and cover letter the skills you have that are required for the position. Also, highlight your most relevant skills during job interviews by being able to provide real-life examples.”

The Soft Skills

Professionalism, critical thinking and communication are far and away the most commonly listed soft skill sets referenced by employers looking to pick up talent. They all kind of bleed into each other and each can be displayed effortlessly during a job interview.

“The one skill that is required by every employer is the ability of the job-seeker to speak, write and listen in an effective way. Successful communication is a crucial aspect of any job. The person needs to be a good listener as well as a good communicator who has the capacity to effectively convey the information in writing and also verbally, irrespective of the industry for which he or she is working. The job-seeker should have the ability to establish effective communication with the customers, managers and employees either in person or online or on the phone and/or in writing,” online teaching providing server eduCBA reports.

Sometimes this requires a little front selling. Recruiters often privilege candidates who seek out relationships with others in their field before officially applying for a gig. This can be easily achieved with platforms like Linkedin.

“Companies might not be hiring today, because they’re trying to figure out how to do business virtually, but they will be hiring,” Danielle Beauparlant Moser, managing director and executive coach with bltCareers in Asheville, NC explained.“The people who continue to relationship-build and share their ideas will be in a better position when companies start hiring.”

In a recent survey conducted by the NACE Career Readiness Committee of 606 representatives from various organizations, 7 important skills came up the most.

“Nearly 20 industries were represented in the respondent pool, but the greatest concentrations were in professional services consulting (includes accounting, engineering, law, computers, and advertising), with 21.5 percent of the pool; education (13 percent); organizations classified as “other manufacturing” (11.9 percent); and government organizations (8 percent),” the authors said.

“Respondents were asked to indicate the extent to which they view the seven competencies as essential to new college hire success when considering new college graduate candidates for their workplaces.”

The Hard Skills

In a detailed data analysis released by LinkedIn, 11 hard skills were revealed as the most important in a pandemic job market.

  • Data science
  • Software development
  • Healthcare
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Mental health
  • Sales
  • Digital designers
  • Marketing
  • Finance
  • Education

We’ve all got a lot more time to reflect on career moves going forward, so consider how you maneuver on your next job hunt.

“Job seekers often jump at the first available opportunity or go into their search without fully considering what they want to do next. Take advantage of the slowing job market by getting clarity about where you want to work and the type of role and title you’re seeking,” work culture reporter, Lisa Rabasca Roepe writes.

Create a one-page document that lists your target industry, companies, job titles, and anything, in particular, you’re looking for, Labovich says. It goes without saying that you should apply to every posting you see that hits some or all of your criteria. But beyond job openings, you can also focus on which companies you want to work for and who you can reach out to at those companies. (The company might not have an open role yet but you can use your network to help you start making connections now.)