Global Economy

Why hard skills aren't enough to land a position in a hot job market

Right now, there’s more work than actual bodies to fill those jobs.

According to the latest Labor Department data, there are about 6.9 million jobs available, about 800,000 more positions than there are available workers.

With many employers saying it’s tough to find qualified applicants to hire, how can job seekers ensure their resumes go to the top of the pile?

“When you talk to employers about the skills they’re looking for, they’re ‘soft skills’, communication, problem solving,” Dan Roth, LinkedIn’s editor-in-chief, told CNBC’s “On the Money” recently.

“One big skill is adaptability. I think that is the key one, making sure you have it,” he said, adding that such a skill means “being able to handle change when it comes to the workforce.”

Roth gave CNBC an example. “When you are working somewhere and they say, ‘Hey, we’re going to automate away your job. We need you to now go work in this other job.’ That’s adaptability,'” he added. Roth said that other soft skills that companies value include creativity, persuasion, collaboration and time management.

Still, hard skills are very much in demand, he cautioned. “You need to learn about AI (artificial intelligence), you need to learn cloud computing, these are the ones that employers want to have but those hard skills are going to change all the time.

Roth added that “Staying current is important, but you always have to have those soft skills too.”


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