Any career expert will tell you that keeping your professional skills sharp is the key to landing a job. What's in demand today may be old news in a year or two, so it's important to stay on top of your industry's changing needs.
Whether you're actively searching for a new job or want to "future-proof" your resume for the coming years, here are five skills hiring managers will be looking for in tomorrow's workforce.
1. SMAC (social, mobile, analytics, cloud)
The "digital revolution" of recent years has brought with it a slew of new technology jobs that were unheard of just a decade ago. In the IT and gaming industries in particular, candidates skilled in social, mobile, analytics and cloud — collectively known as SMAC — have been hard to come by, said Santiago Pinedo, chief human resources officer of Etermax, the mobile games company behind Trivia Crack.
"New technologies are evolving so fast that it’s becoming almost impossible to keep pace from a talent supply standpoint," Pinedo said. "There will be a shortage of talent in positions such as data science, game analysis, full stack developers or SEM analysts, among others."
Aside from training themselves in these highly demanded skills, Pinedo advises candidates to update their resumes to make them as simple, direct and visually attractive as possible.
"The ability to be clear and assertive is now becoming more important than it ever was," he added. [See Related Story: The Best Tech Skills to List on Your Resume]
2. Health care IT
Between the Affordable Care Act and new health management technologies, the health care industry is changing faster than ever. The problem, says Bryan Haardt, CEO of Decisio Health, is that companies in this field tend to focus more on research and development, rather than on improving their basic IT and process improvement.
"It's a difficult investment to make because very few people have the clinical experience, systems knowledge, and analytical prowess to make the necessary improvements and changes," Haardt told Business News Daily. "If you can combine clinical understanding with the skills of a process improvement analyst or data scientist, you'll have a job for a lifetime."
3. Content creation and promotion
In today's social media-centric "selfie culture," everyone is a content creator. Eric Shashoua, CEO of Kiwi for Gmail, said knowing how to market yourself across multiple social networks and digital platforms is becoming an essential job skill, regardless of your industry. This is especially true of image-based promotion, as Shashoua says more and more people are now able to take and edit excellent photos very quickly and efficiently.
"You really need to be good at taking photos of things and being able to edit them on your own," he said.
Right now, Shashoua advised professionals to focus on learning social media managing and marketing, and staying abreast of the new emerging platforms.
"Trying to learn how to market yourself on a social, digital medium … is what an online marketer has to be able to do," he added. "Once they master this, they have a major leg up on everything."
4. Customer support
Shashoua said that social media isn't just about content promotion: Many companies are now using social platforms for customer service, and support reps who can successfully navigate these digital channels will be in high demand.
"Companies can live or die based on their presence on social media," Shashoua said. "You have to be really savvy on social media [with] customer support, because reviews and ratings and positive thoughts [stem from] how you treat your customers."
5. Communication and collaboration
While these skills will always be valuable in any industry, entry-level job seekers pursuing fields like sales and product management should highlight their willingness to communicate and collaborate with others to learn the tricks of the trade, said David Pachter, co-founder of JumpCrew.
"Marketing automation and … CRM [customer relationship management] software have leveled the playing field in our industry across people with a variety of experiences," said Pachter, whose company provides sales and marketing solution. "If companies believe your core collaboration, communication and leadership skills will be an asset ... you can qualify for roles that you may not have experience in."
Pachter predicts that roles like sales and marketing associates, support operations and product/project management will all continue to see demand rise.
"The 100,000 developers and admins who attend DreamForce are creating systems and customizing software for millions of new roles in an interconnected and collaborative workforce," he said.
Ready to revamp your resume? Check out Business News Daily's guide to discussing your job skills here.