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  • Malou Baumann

The Perfect Skillset for Job Hunting, according to Forbes

With skill shortage looming on the horizon, this might just be the perfect timing for final-year students to secure a job in their desired area. Looking for a career in IT, executive management or marketing operations? Well, I’ve got good news for you: According to a study by McKinsey & Company, all these sectors currently find themselves among the top 5 business areas that need to come up with quick and effective solutions in order to break the bottleneck of staff shortage.


Hereby, a horizon of possibilities has opened up, just in reach for young, enthusiastic graduates to seize. Of course, we need to stay on the realistic side of things. Even with a skill shortage in the picture, there is still a wide sea of career-hungry applicants and no one is going to knock on your door and offer you the perfect job on a silver platter.


Don’t worry, though! There are many ways in which one can make their CV look more attractive to employers: With the most obvious ones being spring or summer internships, placements or study abroad experiences, there are also more inconspicuous approaches to spice up your resume and help you stand out from other candidates. Transferrable skills are the keyword every student gets to hear at least once when seeking help from the local student career service. Now, one might wonder what sort of skills, in concrete, is desired and looked for by potential recruiters.


Luckily enough, there are tonnes of studies talking about desirable qualities in a future potential employee. Forbes just released an article about the top 10 most In-Demand skills for the next 10 years: Talking yet again about the world of work changing at a fast pace, we also find a notable shift in sought-after skillsets.


1. Digital Skills


With talks about the metaverse, industry 4.0 and companies struggling to adapt with what we call digital transformation, it comes as no surprise that one of the top desired skills these days involves solid digital literacy. It seems next to impossible to get hired when the first question you ask is how to set up a meeting on zoom. While no one is probably going to expect you to come up with some python code in order to test the new company software (that is unless you’re an IT major), it might still be good to acquire some sort of practical knowledge about the digital world. Usually, throughout the course of a three years degree, you will have built upon a certain set of digital skills. You can actively continue to broaden these through taking discovery modules or participating in any sort of media-related society.


2. Data Literacy


Next up on the list, we have Data Literacy. In the age of ransomware where even major firms still lack proper cybersecurity systems, a solid understanding of data usage such as critically evaluating the integrity of a source as well as confidently working with appropriate data definitely comes in handy. Toyota suppliers being hacked earlier this year serves as a pressing example as to why data literacy is one of the most essential skills for employees and everyone lacking thereof represents a potential weak spot. In the past, there have been many cyber attacks on companies all over the world which is why many firms are currently investing in upskilling employees in order to prohibit such incidences. Again, there might be discovery modules that offer an introduction to data literacy but the first step might be to show that you are aware of the concept and are able to explain why it’s important to handle data in a sensible way.


3. Critical Thinking


As opposed to the aforementioned, critical thinking is not a newly emerging skill set and it can technically be seen as a no-brainer why it is a desirable quality in an employee. The good news is that university if nothing else does teach students to think critically every day: All these term papers and group projects do require someone to analyse situations, collect various information and evaluate results in an unbiased way.


Other top qualities named include emotional intelligence, creativity and flexibility. You might be surprised to find that solely by going to university, you have already accumulated some of these skills unknowingly and can now start to build upon the knowledge you already have. After all, the most important bit is being able to demonstrate when and in what context you acquired these skillsets.


That being said, it is also time for soon-to-be graduates to ask themselves what they want from a company or future workspace. Considering your priorities in terms of financial benefits, flexibility, location etc. and making sure the place you apply for ticks at least some of the boxes is equally important to polishing up your own skills.


After all, with the business world continuously changing, it doesn’t exclusively come down to job hunters to adjust to the ever-changing requirements of the career world: Staff shortage has shown that companies are likewise required to adapt rapidly and effectively in order to perpetually qualify as a desirable workplace.


Sources used:

1) https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/beyond-hiring-how-companies-are-reskilling-to-address-talent-gaps


2) https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2022/08/22/the-top-10-most-in-demand-skills-for-the-next-10-years/?sh=3595bb5e17be


3) https://www.cm-alliance.com/cybersecurity-blog/5-major-ransomware-attacks-of-2022

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