Do You Have The Tech Skills Employers Want?

tech skills for employersImpressing employers with your technical skills these days requires more than just knowing how to use formulas in Microsoft Excel. Instead, hiring managers are looking for familiarity with some of the latest Web 2.0 technologies. No matter what industry you work in, knowing your way around a computer can be critical to landing a new job--or hanging on to your current one.

While some technical skills are highly job specific--niche computer programming languages, for example--others can easily jump from one industry to another. Having in-demand technical skills in your arsenal signals to employers that you are comfortable around technology and able to pick up new skills as your job demands.


Five tech skills employers want

Diverse industries are recognizing the power of social media to tap into new customer bases, while other companies are leveraging new technologies to make processes faster, more efficient and cheaper. Across industries, career experts pinpointed the following five skills as key to making your resume stand out.

1. Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, Digg, StumbleUpon--these are types of social media networks, and today's employers expect employees to know how to navigate at least two or three of them.

"New candidates often know more about Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., than their managers," says Lynne Sarikas, director of the MBA Career Center at Northeastern University in Boston. "If the candidate has a blog, they should mention it if it is appropriate content to share with an employer. These skills are particularly important in marketing roles."


2. Video

While most people think of YouTube when someone says video--and it is important for job applicants to be familiar with YouTube--video skills also include tools that enable global communication, such as Skype, videoconferencing and video chat rooms.

"These are simple tools people can learn and use in a matter of minutes, but many don't," says Mark A. Herschberg, CEO of Zepfrog and an instructor at MIT. "These are particularly important because so much of today's information-based economy is about communication--even more so in our global distributed world."


3. Software programs

It's a mistake to think that just because you're not familiar with a specific software program that you're not qualified for a particular job. Demonstrating an ability to learn and use software programs in the past shows employers that you can learn new ones as well.

"While employers love to find someone with experience in the specific software they utilize, most realize that finding someone with experience with any technical system shows their ability to work with technology and to learn new systems," Sarikas says. "Employers can train employees on specific application, but they cannot teach technical aptitude. That is what they are trying to hire."


4. HTML

HTML is the code used to create and modify content on web pages. Candidates who are familiar with the basics of HTML can take on simple troubleshooting and computer maintenance tasks previously reserved for web developers and IT gurus.

"If you can do some HTML coding, you're able to fix a broken email signature, upload a page telling your customers your servers are 'under maintenance' or even build an index to instruct and give access to all information and documents you have in your department Intranet directory," says Karla Lopez, co-founder of JobConvo.com. "It solves pretty much every communication problem with your internal and external clients."


5. SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the range of techniques used by marketers and web site designers to improve the visibility of their web pages in Internet search engine results. Ranking near the top of the list for search queries can bring valuable traffic and visibility to a company's web page, and as more businesses turn to the Internet to gain customers and promote their brand, SEO is becoming mainstream.

SEO skills range from techniques for writing compelling marketing copy to technical abilities involved in designing a web page.

"All large employers want this," says Roger Stanton, CEO of Job Search Television Network in Chicago. "They all want their content optimized."


How to increase your tech savvy

Learning some of these skills, such as LinkedIn or YouTube, may be as easy as familiarizing yourself with the site and how it works. In fact, many of the sites have their own learning center, such as the LinkedIn Learning Center or the Getting Started YouTube page.

Other, such as HTML and SEO, may require formal training. Colleges, universities and technical schools offer everything from targeted to certificate programs to fully fleshed out degrees in computer skills. If you are unable to find a class nearby or have problems finding one that fits into a packed schedule, there are many online offerings as well.

Investing the these and other versatile technical skills can help you turn your work experience and skills into the Resume 2.0 today's employers want.



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qwertymate

Tech skills requirements have really increased greatly, but I think a lot depends on an employment agency you apply to. There are many employment agencies that are not interested in their clients getting job (http://www.pissedconsumer.com/consumer-reviews/employment-agencies.html). And other agencies do their best to find job for a candidate

November 04 2011 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

The issue is that companies say they want smart workers, but they don't want a worker who can think for themselves. They really just want robots with skills who do just what they are told. No one is going to go to school for that long and spend that much effort to be treated like that. Plus companies want to 'own' the intellectual property of these workers without really compensating them for it. Best bet is to just start your own company then YOU can think for yourself and own your ideas and be compensated for them. Just be sure to patent your ideas, etc. so someone doesn't just end up stealing them anyway.

November 02 2011 at 1:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
zzyxx

yes create larger government and deepend our problems. people solve problems not government.

November 01 2011 at 10:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaguar6cy

How can can we allow women be under represented in this field? Clearly we need a new Feminist Government Agency set up and fully funded to correct this imbalance immediately. Companies should be required to hire more women in this field, and if that doesn't work, the number of men trained and hired should be reduced by law until fairness is achieved. Isn't that what government is for?

November 01 2011 at 6:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jaguar6cy's comment
chris44107

Nothing in the article suggests anything along the lines of your sarcastic statement. Since women are over 50% of the US population, it doesn't seem out of line to make mention of their involvement in the STEM workforce.

November 01 2011 at 8:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hman570

this artical is a joke right?

November 01 2011 at 4:28 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

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