For many job seekers, the start of the New Year brings a renewed motivation to take the next step in their careers. Now is the time of year that people are polishing their résumés, brushing up on their networking skills and researching companies they want to work for.
Those looking for a job in the tech field have the added challenge of keeping up with the industry's ever-evolving demands. As trends emerge and technologies advance, it's important to keep your skills sharp and up to date if you want to get hired.
Ten hiring managers, executives and tech experts shared the top tech skills employers are looking for on a job candidate's résumé. [25 Hottest Job Skills on LinkedIn]
A comScore report from June 2014 found that 60 percent of total digital media time was spent on a smartphone or tablet, and this number is only expected to rise. As mobile devices continue to grow in popularity, businesses must be ready to move to these platforms, said Rona Borre, CEO and founder of Instant Technology. Since this technology is always changing, it's often wise to hire internal talent to keep up with the ever-shifting market. As a result, Borre said that mobile talent will be in high demand.
There is a strong demand for certified information systems security professionals, said Bill Rosenthal, CEO of Logical Operations, Inc.Experts in security for mobile app development are particularly in demand, reflected in the increasing number of certifications sought in this specialty. Enterprises have learned how to make networks secure, but they need much more security for mobile apps. The need to bring staff up to speed in this capability escalated quickly because of the increase in the risks involved, Rosenthal said.
User experience design
Big Data analytics
Today's tech-job seekers need to understand and assess how businesses, governments and universities can harness big data analytics in shaping their competitive strategy and advantages, said Oliver McGee III, a professor of mechanical engineering and former vice president for research and compliance at Howard University. Employerswant candidates who can capture real value through data analytics and who can manage enterprise risks.
Social media expertise
Lots of job seekers throw "social media" on the skills sections of their résumés, but this generalized term won't cut it with today's hiring managers. Amanda Augustine, job search expert for TheLadders, advised listing the specific social media platforms you have a working knowledge of and any systems you've used to manage these channels, such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite. Don't let an employer assume you're not tech-savvy, she said — itemize your know-how by platform. This becomes even more essential if you're targeting positions in marketing, mobile-product development or others that require you to work on various social media platforms.
In this alternative to traditional software development methods, tasks are broken down into smaller and easier-to-manage projects. More and more companies are embracing Agile for project management because it encourages a more collaborative, flexible process, said Tracy Cashman, partner and general manager in the information technology search division at WinterWyman. Therefore, employers are increasingly looking for candidates who are familiar with Agile.
Experience with emerging technologies
Specific tech skills like HTML, Drupal, Java, Ruby on Rails, SEO, SEM and ORM are extremely valuable and appealing on a résumé. But as these technologies become more commonplace, employers want to find candidates who can go beyond what many other applicants know. Jessica Bayer, senior director of talent acquisition and management at Qorvis Communications, said she looks for job seekers who list experience with technologies she's only vaguely familiar with or has never heard of. The technology landscape is constantly changing, and hiring managers want someone who's ahead of the curve, Bayer said.
Structured query language (SQL)
SQL is a highly sought-after technical skill due to its ability to work with nearly all databases, said Ibro Palic, CEO of Resume Templates for Mac. Companies that gather a lot of data need somebody who can use SQL to quickly pull out key data components and generate reports that aid the decision-making process.
Understanding how to use certain technologies is one thing, but it's an entirely different skill to be able to write about those technologies in a way everyday users can understand. Messages between suppliers, manufacturers, distributors and the end user all happen in the written word online via emails, press releases, Web pages, articles, PDFs, manuals, etc., said Cameron Postelwait, marketing director at Sewell Direct. Companies need someone with a gift for written communication who also understands the technology.
Additional reporting by Dave Mielach, Business News Daily social media contributor.
Originally published Aug. 14, 2013. Updated Jan. 2015.