Last week, Canada breathed a sigh of relief when it was announced that the labor market added 40,600 jobs in March, crushing expectations. Additionally, the unemployment rate fell to 7.1% and due to the renewed optimism in the Canadian economy, the loonie rose to 78 cents. With this competitive job market, it has never been as important to showcase your job skills on your resume.
This announcement brought hope for recent graduates and job seekers struggling to navigate Canada’s shaky and unpredictable job market.
Some would argue Canada’s job market has never been as competitive. Last year, there were over two million college graduates, many attempting to get jobs in industries where job cuts are frequent and aggressive.
To compete in this landscape, your resume has to shine. In looking at the job skills of the future, both hard and soft skills are important and these should be emphasized on your resume. Employers want universal skills you can learn across academic disciplines and in any job where you are working with others.
Employers also want new hires to have technical knowledge related to the job, but that’s not nearly as important as teamwork, strategic-thinking and communication skills, and the ability to plan and prioritize work.
TOP JOB SKILLS FOR NEW HIRES IN CANADA 2016
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook)
Employers expect new hires to have experience with the many facets of the Microsoft family. This is not something to emphasize on a resume; instead, ensure Microsoft fluency by practicing using the different applications.
Workplaces are fluid environments. Given the firehose of data, new information, new technology and general change that many workers increasingly face in their jobs, organization is essential for success. A well-crafted resume should explain how you deal with time management and stress based on previous positions and achievements which, in essence, explains your organizational habits.
Effective oral and verbal communication helps employees and managers form highly efficient teams by creating trust and respect. The result of a united team is high productivity, integrity and responsibility. Employees know their roles on the team and know their value. In addition, managers are able to correct employees’ mistakes without creating a hostile work environment. Ensure you have articulated this on your resume by presenting past experiences where you’ve shown strong communication, such as a major presentation or public speaking event.
Analytical and Strategic Thinking
This is the ability to gather and analyze data, make decisions, and implement them well — something that employers are looking for now more than ever. They want leaders that do not need to be babysat.
For example, the ability to ponder possibilities, see patterns and connections that others don’t see, and look at the same data in new and different ways represents a formidable competitive advantage. Given the growing importance and ubiquity of “big data,” in many occupations, including teaching, the ability to understand and use data effectively has become increasingly valuable in the labor market. Bringing an analytical approach will allow for unique insight that strengthens projects and teams. It is important to showcase this in your job interview – don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Working effectively as part of a team is incredibly important for output quality, morale, and retention. It takes great leadership to build great teams. Team members who are not afraid to add input, course correct, make difficult decisions, and establish their own standards of performance are shown to be more successful than team members that sit back. Add your value by using your strengths. This includes remote positions where it’s essential to demonstrate presence as part of a virtual team. But whether real or virtual, teamwork is ubiquitous.