Level Up: Sharpen Your Skills to Land Your Next Gig


Whether you lost your job or suffered a severe cut in hours, you might be worried about finding stable employment opportunities in the second half of 2020. As the country reopens, there will be a surge in both available jobs and job seekers. How can you ensure your name stands out? Hiring managers are going to start looking at hard and soft skills to help choose the right candidates from a large pool of applicants. Consider how you can sharpen your skills to make yourself the best candidate for the job.

How to Identify Your Hard and Soft Skills

typing on laptop When working on your resume or writing about your work experience, don’t forget to highlight your various skill sets. A hiring manager will look for certain hard and soft skills that would give you a competitive edge. 
Hard skills are considered to be specific types of knowledge or training. Soft skills are usually more personality based. Your goal should be to highlight a combination of hard and soft skills when you apply to a job.
There is a shift in thinking that you should adopt to be successful in your work moving forward. Blair Sheppard wrote this for strategy+business:

“Rather than asking people to choose a profession or career, we should be encouraging them to figure out what kinds of problems they most enjoy tackling, and build the skills to solve them — because problem solving is a transferable skill that will not change with technology…It will not be necessary to have a resume that has a particular career path if employees can show they have skills fit for the tasks at hand. And these new skills can be learned at any stage in life, if the opportunity is available and people are willing to put in the effort.”

Using Sheppard’s advice, take a close look at the jobs and experiences you have accumulated so far. Look for patterns or similarities that you can highlight to potential employers. 
Some Examples
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  • If you often work manual labor and warehousing jobs… Your hard skills might include forklift certification while your soft skills could be that you are organized and communicate effectively with your team.
  • If you enjoy cashier or customer service positions… Your hard skills may include training in POS (point-of-sale) systems while your soft skills could be that you are a great people-person with a sunny disposition.

How to Develop Your Hard and Soft Skills

Now that you have given some thought to your acquired toolbox, it’s time to push yourself a step further and really sharpen your skills. Bernard Marr wrote for Forbes, “There’s only one way to remain relevant in a post-coronavirus reality: commit to a lifetime of learning.”
To adapt to the constantly changing nature of the job market, you should always be thinking about how you can improve yourself and your skills to stay relevant.
In an interview with CBS, entrepreneur Mark Cuban said:

“The first question every interviewer is going to ask you is: ‘What did you learn during the pandemic of 2020? What skills did you add during the pandemic of 2020?‘…Keep on adding to your skill-set, no matter what it is… I don’t care if you’re a welder, or you want to learn how to [computer] program, you want to learn about artificial intelligence, whatever it is.”

Luckily, COVID-19 has pushed a lot of educational and developmental resources online so you can sharpen your skills from the comfort and safety of your home. We’ve compiled a list of resources you can utilize to improve your hard and soft skills. By taking the time to better yourself, you increase the value your reputation has.

Sharpen your skills with these resources

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  • Acadium*  – Apprentice under a mentor and gain new skills, work experience, and industry relationships.
  • Coursera – Build skills with courses from top universities like Yale, Michigan, Stanford, and leading companies like Google and IBM.
  • edX – Access 2000 free online courses from 140 leading institutions worldwide. Gain new skills and earn a certificate of completion.
  • Opportunity.LinkedIn.Com – LinkedIn’s community and resources are here to help you learn relevant skills, find jobs that are in-demand, and stand out to recruiters.
  • Skillshare* – Skillshare is a learning platform with online classes taught by the world’s best practitioners.
  • Udemy* – Udemy is an online learning and teaching marketplace with over 100000 courses and 24 million students.

(Resources marked with a * have a special deal for our Jobbler community, check out the Jobbler Marketplace in your Jobble app to learn more!)