Did you ever wonder what the global job market is actually looking for? LinkedIn is in a unique position to find out, so after analyzing over 330 million LinkedIn member profiles, they came up with The 25 Hottest Professional Skills of 2014. Of that 25, the top 5 are:
Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
Middleware and Integration Software
Storage Systems and Management
Network and Information Security
What This Means For 2015
These were the top 5 skills that employers and recruiters were looking for last year. These are the skills that got people hired. Does that mean you should drop your current career plans and get a degree in statistical analysis? Not necessarily — but it does mean that technological understanding is something that cannot be ignored. Any candidate that has the skills needed for a particular job PLUS the global perspective of how that job fits into the bigger picture is a lot more prepared to compete.
If your resume doesn’t mention the technology you know how to utilize, it’s time to update your resume. In this increasingly interconnected world, we need professionals who can integrate the work they do with the global presence of the company that employs them. Each one of the “top skills” looked for attest to the fact that business is supported by technology and the IT department isn’t just tech support.
At the very least, taking the time to see what these areas consist of and how they are used in your industry prepares you to be someone who can see how their part fits into the mission of the company and gives you insight on the challenges of management and leadership. If you are interested in executive responsibilities, executive perspective sees how it all fits together.
If I were to make any predictions for 2015, it would be that most of the skills on 2014’s list will still be important. They may change positions, but like technology, they aren’t going away.
One frequent question I hear from my clients (even those who are happy in their jobs) is, “How often should I update my resume, or should I?” After all, they aren’t looking for a new job and are happy where they are in their careers. This is a stumbling block that people need to get over quickly; you should always have an updated resume. From a practical standpoint, are you really completely content to remain in exactly the same position you are currently in for the rest of your career? Even movement within the same company can often come with a request for an updated resume. And isn’t movement the whole point? Keeping your resume updated for such occasions makes sense… especially if you are on a senior or executive track. Plus, you have most likely learned new skills, taken a few new classes or seminars, tucked some new accomplishments under your belt, and/or just generally changed since you took the position you are currently in, so your resume should reflect that. There is also the reality of economics to consider. Companies shift focus, change and develop over time. People lose jobs and move on to other careers. All of these factors mean that you will likely be hunting for another job some time in the course of your career. Having a resume ready to go will allow you to quickly find a new job. It’s also far easier to keep a resume updated than to start over and try to fill in the missing pieces. Keeping your resume updated makes sense, and is a practical way of handling your career. You will always be ready to hand over a current copy when the opportunity presents itself.
This was from a call I took yesterday. The conversation went something like this:
Caller: “Hi, um, my name is Bob. I want to know about your resume service and when you can finish it. Because I need it soon.” Me: “Hi Bob. Well, let’s skip to your most important question. How quickly do you need it?” Bob: “I need it by tomorrow. I saw a job position I want to apply for at Johnson & Johnson and the position closes tomorrow.” Me: “Oh! Tomorrow. Has the position been open a while or did you hear about it from someone?” Bob: “I heard about it through a buddy of mine who works there. It’s for Regional Sales Management position– my dream job with my dream company. He told me about it awhile ago, but I didn’t really think about it much until last night when we met for a beer and he reminded me it was still open. But it closes tomorrow. He said to send my resume in to the HR person sometime in the morning.” Me: “Well, it’s 4:30 in the afternoon and I leave my office in an hour and a half. I won’t be able to do it in that amount of time…”
We talked for a little bit more and Bob even emailed me his resume. It was pretty bad (think Microsoft Word’s basic resume template… lots of white space, left-aligned, bullet-ridden and worse, hadn’t been updated since 2001).
The thing that got me was that he had known about the position for a month, assumed he’d have time to fix up his resume, then consequently forgot about the position, and was now in an all-out panic. We’ve all done it with one thing or another–putting off something we really shouldn’t have, and then regretting it later.
I felt bad for Bob because I knew his chances of getting the job with the old resume were slim to none. Worse, when he started talking about his experience and his excellent accomplishments I thought he would have probably had the chance. He said he was going to work on it himself and hope for the best.
So, the moral of the story is UPDATE YOUR RESUME TODAY. Don’t wait until your dream opportunity passes you by.