career development / Job market

You won’t get made redundant with these skills!

In the current climate getting a step ahead of the competition is key and this is no different in the recruitment world. Employers want certain skills and value some above others. Here at Cybersecurity Professionals we have worked closely with employers, offering relevant training programmes and have got an insight into the skills that employers are really looking for. The skills we cover are a mixture of hard skills (measurable abilities) and soft skills (which help you integrate into your workplace and work effectively with others). Both of these skill sets are vital in a workplace environment.

We will discuss 4 of the top attributes companies are looking for, what they entail and why they are in demand.

Big Data Analysis

Data is one of the biggest indicators of business performance, ‘you can’t dispute facts’ is what you always hear. You see people on social media constantly using statistics to back up their points and that’s exactly what business leaders do too, it’s just in a more professional way. Data Analysis is pivotal in the workplace. It allows companies to pick up on trends within that data and then implement a strategy to maximise the trend if it is a good one, or ways to combat a negative trend. This in turn makes for faster and more concise decision making. The overall benefit of the handling of big data is that it is cost effective for the business and will either maximise profit or minimise loss.

The skills involved in Big Data Analysis are critical, as is creative thinking. Do you think ‘outside the box’ and come up with creative solutions to your problems? Effective communication skills, being able to verbally and visually communicate your findings is also very important. Having attention to detail (leaving no stone unturned as you may miss something that is potentially game changing for your business) and being proficient in Microsoft Excel helps too – it generally is the tool of choice for data manipulation so being savvy will help you in the long run.

Social Media Experience

Social Media is fast becoming a preferred business tool. Actually, I am wrong, it is a business tool and a very powerful one too. When you think of social media you most likely think of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. They are arguably the market leading brands and Facebook is one of the oldest forms of social media, but there are many more and each have their own abilities and demographics. No matter what you end up doing, the company will have a social media presence, for advertising, brand awareness, customer engagement and website traffic generation.

Skills that come with social media vary from graphic design, copywriting, content optimisation and adaptability. These are skills that can be easily transferred and developed so if you are in possession of these via hosting your own blog, running social media pages or creating content then make sure to mention them in a way that will assist you in the role.

Project Management

Project management doesn’t necessarily mean having experience being a project manager, it can simply be seen as being the main driver of a project and many of these skills can be developed without you even being aware. For example, if you’re normally the one who is driving things in a group project then you can say that you have project management skills. The skills that you will have demonstrated include planning, ideation, communication and time management, these are massive plus points for pretty much any role and industry. These are also some of the more basic skills that may be required as you progress in your career, combining management skills with softer skills as you perhaps move on to leading your own team.

Coding & Programming

For most people coding and programming are completely alien they wouldn’t believe that they had transferable, relevant skills. But that’s where you’d be wrong! The key aspects of coding, minus the actual coding, are:

a) Attention to detail – one minor error or mis-type could bring a whole project to the ground

b) Problem solving – things don’t always go to plan and each project is slightly different so being able to think on your feet is vital

c) Communication – this is a big one as programmers will have to explain and discuss their work with people who don’t have the understanding they do. Being able to effectively explain in a way that can be understood is a big part of the role as well and inquisitiveness, this can be seen as being able to develop methods and ways of doing things to make them more efficient. The old adage of ‘work smarter not harder” is very much based around this.

In conclusion, employers are looking for people with experience in these areas but there is also a huge overlap of skills in many areas. When it comes to the job hunt break down your experience into the basic skills and talk about them on your CV, covering letter and in interviews. Add context to them and it can make you really stand out in a crowd and differentiate your application.

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