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Whether you’re actively looking for a new job, or simply interested in browsing what’s on offer, it’s important to keep your finger on the pulse of the job skills and career experiences that the job market demands. This way, no matter what job you’re doing, you can be aware of the areas where your resume or skills-set could use an extra boost. Improving your skills in these areas could be the key to a future promotion, or simply more pay in your next role.
Unsurprisingly, the areas to invest in improving your skills depend on your role and industry. Recently, Payscale released a helpful report showing the top 3 skills for approximately 17 different job types that correlate with a higher-than-average salary for those job roles.
For example, Payscale found that if you work in management, IT risk, mergers and acquisitions and SAP Business Intelligence are areas where employees seem to command a premium salary. Conversely, in the arts and media industries, Autodesk, UX and UI design were some of the most highly compensated skill sets.
If you’re just starting out in the job-market, Payscale also found that certain skills were highly valued by hiring managers, but not prevalent among recent graduates. If you’re recently out of school or planning your entry into the workforce for the first time, it might be good to keep these hard-skills in mind:
Demonstrating your proficiency in these areas might give you an edge in your job search or job application process. However, you may have to think creatively about how to demonstrate these skills because many of these items will never appear on your resume (or will not mean much as a line item without further proof). For example, if you’re a strong writer, consider publishing a few posts on your personal blog, website, or on your LinkedIn page and linking to the post on your resume. That way, your writing skills will have a chance to shine.
But how do you improve your market value and skills if you’ve identified a gap or area for improvement? You can take a class or do some reading, for starters. Many employers offer online training courses for employees and there are endless online class options these days. However, time to take webinars may not be realistic, or that simply may not be your preferred style of learning.
There are also more hands-on, practical approaches to learning. You can volunteer to work on a project that might lead to more experience in area of interest, or tell your manager about your desire to acquire a specific, new skill. Showing initiative and interest in self-improvement is a sign of an engaged and valuable employee, and even if no new project or assignment is immediately available, your manager will have filed away a mental note about your initiative-taking for future opportunities.
Regardless of what you do, thinking about how to demonstrate your existing skills and acquire new, valuable ones is an important part of making sure you’re maximizing your salary and advancing your career.
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