3 Takeaways from LinkedIn’s Article on Most Coveted Skills

 

One of the questions I often get from job seekers is, “What are employers looking for?”

Maya Pope-Chappell at LinkedIn interviewed human resources leaders at 25 of the 50 LinkedIn Top Companies in the U.S. on the top skills that they look for when hiring.  These skills range from web programming to social media marketing to data mining.

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While this information is good to know and having these skills on your resume is important; to bigger point within this article is that getting hired and being successful take more than having these skills.

  1. Create the Future

When I look at the skills that are in demand in the chart above, I think of all of the job seekers I have met that know Web programming, C/C++, and Java Development.  However, what companies want goes beyond the ability to code and program or have some other type of technical skill.  They want their employees to have the ability to think outside the box.

Apple’s iOS was not created by engineers who went to school to study iOS.  They were engineers who used their skills to create and innovate.

I’m not saying that you have to create the next Facebook in order to excel in your career, but having the ability to apply think creatively while utilizing your skills to enhance your field is the type of person that all companies want on their team.

Verizon’s chief talent and diversity officer, Magda Yrizarry, says,

“You hire people who have in the past been able to bend the curve on technology.  They may not have bent the curve on 5G (Technology that Verizon is pushing into) for example, but they were there to create earlier iterations of technologies like IoT or cybersecurity.  So you have a confidence that they are not beholden to the past, that they can create the future.”

My advice to job seekers who are looking to create that future: you learn and grow by doing.

If you are still in school, you need to find a way to get experience.  Work with your faculty on academic projects that will challenge you and allow you to take risks and grow.  Gain valuable experience through internships and volunteer work and apply what you have learned.

  1. Know the industry

Keeping up with industry trends and news is one of the challenges that universities have in educating students.  Ardine Williams of Amazon Web Services states, “It’s very difficult for a professor to build a curriculum or course that addresses the needs of tech in real time.”   

In order to excel in your field, you should be aware of the needs and demands.  Then you will be able to think, research, and find out where your skillset fits within a company and the types of industry problems you can solve.

  1. The right combination

Having the right combination of hard and soft skills is something all employers covet.  Are you able to use data in order to research and implement a business strategy?  Can you be part of a team but also lead and manage one with a vision and plan in place?

Comcast Cable EVP of HR Bill Strahan says, “What’s most in demand and the hardest to get is the combination.  It’s getting, for example, someone who is highly technical, but then has that and the leadership skills or to have that and the business strategy skills.” 

Not everything comes from a book and a lot is discovered through trial and error, but your professional growth is dependent upon refining both your hard and soft skills

For job seekers, it is essential to find the right opportunity to progress through work and experience.  Through that experience, you will be able to use your hard skills and soft skills to tackle any problem or dilemma.

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What to Expect At Your First Job

So you’ve graduated from college…congratulations!  Now what?

You’ve updated your resume, gone on several interviews, attended multiple networking events and workshops hosted by Career Services, and you’ve accepted an offer at a great company to start your first job.

So what should you expect?  This is a new and exciting chapter in your life, but one that is different from your first day on campus or starting an internship.

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At NYIT, we’re committed to educating the next generation of leaders and we would like to share some anecdotes and offer insight on what you should expect at your first job.

  1. Remember to have the right mindset and be humble.

You won’t start at the top and you’ll most likely be asked to do a lot of grunt work. Just remember that those who approach every task, big or small, with a good attitude and who treat everyone (and I mean everyone) with respect and fairness are the ones who climb a lot faster.

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take notes.

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If I had any sage advice to offer, it would be to ask plenty of questions and take notes on the answers. For example, ask what the usual office protocol is and once you start your daily duties, ask questions again about things you are unsure of rather than fear looking dumb. Asking questions rather than assuming things always creates for more efficient results.

When assigned a new task, write it down on a post-it and keep it in front of you. Trust me. It will save your life.

*Tip – Use Asana, a free project management tool, to get organized and manage workflow.

  1. If you are still interviewing, don’t forget to do your research.

My first job was in marketing and I learned, early on, the power of negotiation. I wish I had the strength and courage to negotiate for a better salary, but I didn’t say a word. I just took what they offered (which was low) and an extra few thousand dollars would have went a long way, especially considering I worked part-time for several months to make ends meet. My advice: negotiate! Do your research to know your worth and be confident to ask for it.

*Tip – Use Payscale to research salary profile databases

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  1. Salary is important, but not as important as your passion.

Don’t place too much emphasis on the money.  A few hundred or thousand dollars in salary in the grand scheme of things (especially after taxes) is important, but not as important as finding a job and career that you are passionate about. 

  1. Most people don’t stay at their first job forever. You may use it as a stepping-stone, or if necessary, re-evaluate your profession.

My initial thought at my first job was that I was going to be there forever.  As it turns out, this job was the perfect stepping stone! Through this experience, I learned that your first job doesn’t have to dictate your entire career if you don’t want it to.  Sometimes accepting jobs as a “resume builder” will equip you with the skills you need to reach your ultimate goal. Don’t shy away from an opportunity just because it’s not your dream job; rather, make the most of your experience, soak up as much knowledge as you can, and leverage your skills to create the career you want.

If you find yourself questioning your chosen career path and needing to re-assess yourself, it is important to not only consider what you like to do, but why you like to do it.

*Note –According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average job tenure for workers age 20-24 (most often, new graduates) has historically been around 1.3 years

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  1. Be patient and continue to learn and grow.

Enjoy the job, enjoy being a professional.  Be patient and embrace the learning process, especially if you find a good job at a  company with a good culture and atmosphere.

 Learning starts right away.  It does not stop just because you have graduated from college.  There is a lot still to be learned in your career and it takes time to develop and apply what you have learned as a student into your daily life. 

 

Do you have any anecdotes or insight to share about your first job?