That little something extra: How digital skills can put the modern job hunter ahead

By Veronica Yao, TalentEgg May 19, 2016
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Let’s face it: job hunting in today’s market is tough.

Degrees and diplomas are common qualifications, and almost every young professional and their cousin graduates with a long list of extracurriculars and volunteer experiences under their belts. Recruiters are facing their own unique challenges as well. While there’s a surplus of available employees, it can be difficult to pinpoint the superstars best suited to their role if they all have similar qualifications.

So here’s the big question: how can you convince a recruiter to pick up your resume and connect with you?

It can be hard to be seen through all the noise, especially if your impressive qualifications look almost identical to the next applicant’s. Luckily for you, there is something you can add to your resume that will set you apart from the rest: digital skills.

These are highly valuable and sought-after abilities that almost every recruiter looks for in a candidate. Coding, UX Design, Digital Marketing, and Web Development are just some of the skills that can make all the difference in your application. Most job postings list these skills as “nice-to-have,” so you may not have thought much about them. The truth is, recruiters include them because they understand the value in having a tech-savvy employee who keeps up with industry trends.

This isn’t surprising, considering how technology is changing the landscape of almost every single profession. From virtual reality to big data, you’ll be hard pressed to find a line of work that doesn’t rely on some form of tech. Sales and marketing teams need UX designers to captivate and hold the attention of their consumers. The banking and finance industry is going mobile (have you tried depositing a cheque with your smartphone camera lately?). Even the insurance industry is starting to implement high-tech drones to collect data and assess risks for their clients.

Digital skills are especially valuable because they require a certain amount of education and teaching. While you might be able to learn how to use a sales platform on the fly at work, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to pick up something as complex as Javascript or Google Analytics just by looking over someone’s shoulder. The number of people willing to buckle down and teach themselves coding on the web are slim by comparison, so investing in a part-time course or a weekend tech bootcamp is an excellent way to boost your job hunt.

Now, there’s probably someone out there with a liberal arts degree saying: “Okay, but this doesn’t apply to me.” Well, that’s where you’re wrong! Modern day workplaces – especially startups – are more eager than ever to hire talented professionals with a multitude of useful skills. Employees aren’t confined and caged to their department; they go where the work takes them. If you’re one of those people who embraces a collaborative work environment, then digital skills can help you land a role at one of these top companies.

In short, no matter your background, having some digital know-how can give you an edge on the competition. It’s an exciting time to be a working professional as we pave the way for innovations across a multitude of industries. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get started!

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TalentEgg.ca is Canada’s most popular job site and online career resource for students and recent graduates. Since 2008, they have helped millions of students and recent grads hatch their careers, and worked with hundreds of Canadian employers to successfully attract top Gen Y and Z talent to join their organizations. Follow TalentEgg on Twitter and Instagram (@TalentEgg)!