Our current extended indoor period presents an excellent opportunity to pick up some new skills while waiting for the pandemic to end. But which skills are most in demand during coronavirus?
As U.S. unemployment remains well over 30 million, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the post-COVID labor market will likely be marked by increased competition as out-of-work professionals scramble to transform themselves into more viable candidates.
Moreover, skills that lend themselves to the remote office will likely be in high demand as well, given that 62 percent of employed Americans are currently working from home, according to a Gallup poll.
As such, the skills that professionals develop while sheltering in place — and those desired by hiring professionals — may come to dominate the workforce during the pandemic in addition to the post-coronavirus labor market.
Skills Stay General, Job Search Stays Specialized During Coronavirus
The online behaviors of prospective employees seem to indicate that more and more people are interested in expanding their skill sets in general ways that can apply to a wide variety of telecommuting positions.
“Job seekers tend to be looking up advice on how to add analytical skills to their résumés, such as critical thinking and problem solving, as well as how to incorporate communication skills,” says content manager Caitlin Proctor of résumé writing website Zipjob.
Proctor goes on to add that such behaviors are indicative of the labor market’s current health, as individuals adapt to the “new normal” or look for new opportunities.
“Both analytical and communicative skills are critical for remote work and changing careers,” she states.
Despite these skills being suited for a “jack of all trades,” Proctor states that, in looking at data for which of Zipjob’s résumé samples had been viewed the most, workers are increasingly less interested in generalist positions and more interested in more niche careers suited for telecommuting.
“Most people are looking at résumé samples for specialist jobs that can often be done remotely,” Proctor says. “Some of these positions include brand strategists, creative strategists, and IT.”
Additional careers of interest to job seekers include positions in the fields of administration and office support, Proctor adds, with a decreasing interest in the field of business management.
“To me, these stats indicate people are interested in specialized jobs, and broadening their skill sets to include successful remote work tactics,” she says.
Employers Look for Efficient Professional Development
The gravitation of workers toward improving their analytical and communicative skill sets mirrors a desire among employers for efficient employees who can effectively manage remote work.
“Some of the most important skills to look for right now are in management — expectation setting, communication, performance management, and remote employee engagement,” said human resources professional Julie Lynch of Uncommon Consulting, in a previous article for CentSai.
“Undertaking courses, webinars, and self-study programs now can help individuals develop confidence for the long run and make an immediate impact to their current employment, and potentially their job security,” Lynch added.
While each workplace will have its own list of preferred skills, developing your efficiency in handling day-to-day operations, and an ability to adapt to novel workplace environments, can make you more hireable as we wait for things to return to normal.
In the meanwhile, stay up to date on the latest coronavirus news by following CentSai’s COVID-19 page.