In my latest exploration, we delve into the profound shift toward skills-based hiring, a phenomenon eclipsing conventional educational benchmarks. Research reveals that workers without formal degrees tend to exhibit longer tenure in roles, providing a promising pathway for those looking to enter industries valuing hands-on expertise.
The challenge, however, lies in effectively showcasing these transferable skills. My insights offer a roadmap, emphasizing the strategic linkage of each skill to specific company needs, the art of minimizing jargon, and the importance of conducting thorough research to tailor applications to employer expectations. As we witness a profound shift towards a skills-centric job market, my guidance serves as a crucial compass for those navigating this transformative terrain.
Data Shows Growth for Skill-Based Hiring
It’s official, skills-based hiring is on the rise. Seventy-eight percent of hybrid companies opt to hire not on the traditional educational-based route but on a skills basis. What does that mean for recent grads? Well, 46% of employers are reducing degree requirements.
Hiring talent through a skills-based approach opens up innovation and helps increase retention rates. Research shows workers without a degree tend to stay in a role 34% longer than workers with degrees.
Employees trying to gain entry into an industry can be sure that skills gained in other roles are considered transferable, meaning lateral moves just became a little easier.
However, if you’re unsure of how best to demonstrate transferable skills through a resume or cover letter, rest assured you’re not alone. Recent studies show that 57% of workers can’t identify their transferable skills with a high degree of confidence. That’s unfortunate, given how important these skills are in the new job market. After all, 58% of job-seekers are unsure of how to showcase them on a resume or cover letter.
How to Land a Job with a Skills-Forward Approach
Looking to land a new job by showcasing your skills? I can help. Here are a few tried-and-true methods that make sure a hiring manager sees your value.
Soften the approach
Soft skills are as important as role-specific skills for the majority of employers. McKinsey found that the importance of skills such as empathy, communication, leadership and collaboration has doubled in recent years, which means they’re as valuable on a resume as practical skills. That’s something we’ve talked about recently. It’s important to remember the importance of making friends at work.
Link the skill to the role
Instead of assuming that the employer will understand how a certain skill will benefit the company and ensure success in a role, show them.
Read the job spec carefully to understand the scope of the role and then research the company to understand its current needs. Then format your resume to include a line after each skill, linking it back to the company’s specific needs. Here are the skills to include on your resume.
When crafting your cover letter, it’s imperative to transcend the confines of outdated jargon. And you don’t need a master’s in speech pathology to excel here. Imagine stepping into the shoes of the hiring manager, sifting through a sea of cover letters inundating their desk, all vying for the same coveted role. In this fast-paced and competitive arena, the opening lines of your cover letter carry disproportionate weight.
To truly stand out, cut through the noise by strategically placing the most crucial information within the initial sentences. These opening lines should serve as a concise yet impactful introduction, instantly capturing the hiring manager’s attention. By addressing the company’s key points right from the outset, you demonstrate not only your awareness of their needs but also your ability to articulate how your skills align seamlessly with their requirements.
In this era of information overload, where attention spans are at a premium, mastering the art of succinctly conveying your value proposition becomes a game-changer. Your cover letter should act as a compelling narrative, enticing the hiring manager to delve deeper into your application, convinced that you are not just another candidate but the ideal fit for their team.
Do your research
Once you’ve found a role that interests you, do your research on the company. Look at other roles they’re hiring for, even if they’re not in your wheelhouse, to get a more holistic understanding of the company culture. Remember, this isn’t a dissertation or thesis. It’s just a job hunt. Take 15 minutes to look into the company and personalize your introduction. You’d do the same with a grad’s letter of intent.
What soft skills come up in job descriptions? When describing company culture in job specs appear most frequently? By understanding what the company wants, you can tailor your resume and cover letter to ensure you hit the key points.
Current Opportunities for New Grads
The Grad Cafe Job Board is a great place to start as it’s full of opportunities from leading brands. Not only will you get company specific information, but you’ll also get industry wide knowledge that will help you narrow your search to areas that are in high demand. Three exciting roles are highlighted below to showcase the breadth of the roles on offer.
Inside Sales Excellence Academy, Dell Technologies, Nashville
The Dell Inside Sales Excellence Academy is an accelerated training program for account managers and product specialists, working with business-to-business account sets. You will learn about Dell culture and its portfolio of products in order to offer solutions and services to customers. Throughout training, you will receive real-time performance feedback, mentoring, and build business acumen. The ideal candidate will have completed an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree prior to start date. Find more information here.
Visual Experience Design Intern, Ripple, San Francisco
Ripple is dedicated to transforming the world of finance with an innovative blockchain solution that increases access to financial services to people around the world. It’s looking for a Visual Experience Design Intern with a strong brand-focused portfolio, a critical eye for detail and a desire to learn. You’ll be collaborating with the design team and their partners on a variety of projects from branding, web and event design. You will have a portfolio of work featuring strong brand, interactive and typographic designs, and be a good communicator and team player. Discover more about the role here.
Enterprise Account Executive, MongoDB, Columbus
MongoDB is transforming industries and empowering developers to build amazing apps that people use everyday, and now it’s seeking an Enterprise Account Executive to formulate and execute a sales strategy within an assigned territory, resulting in revenue growth and new customer acquisition. You will work closely with the enterprise ecosystem partner sales and channel partner to maximize deal sizes. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated ability to sell into new lines of business within open accounts and run a complex sales process. Find out more here.
Browse The Grad Cafe job board here for more exciting opportunities across every industry
Aisling O'Toole is a journalist who over the past 15 years has edited some of Ireland's leading publications, contributed regularly to TV and radio, and occasionally the odd podcast.