Four Ways Job-Hunters Can Stand Out in a Skill-Centric Job Market

The hiring landscape is experiencing a significant shift for not only hiring managers and recruiters but also for jobseekers. What used to be the traditional criteria for candidates to land interviews, like college degrees and years of experience, are increasingly no longer the norm. Skills are now the top priority, and the ways in which skills are validated have shifted dramatically.

Organizations of all sizes are shifting their focus to skills-based hiring to prioritize human and hard skills over whether or where a candidate earned a college degree. In today’s hiring process, companies desire candidates who can demonstrate competencies that increase the likelihood of jumping into a new role on the first day and supporting growth into future roles.

As skills continue to become a currency in the workplace, here are four ways jobseekers can stand out in a skill-centric job market.

1. Pursue credential-based learning opportunities

Candidates can verify their skills by seeking out learning opportunities paired with digital credentials, which validate their knowledge for both hiring managers and recruiters. With digital credentials, candidates showcase data-intensive proof of skills, achievements, and learning. They also help streamline the hiring process by pinpointing specific skills that relate to their ability to perform on the job. In addition, earning credentials also signals to employers that an individual is not only qualified but also actively interested in making a career change and is ready to do so. Most importantly, credentials are proof of training and highlight relevant, timely skills that span beyond a traditional academic degree.

2. Share relevant skills with future and current employers

After candidates verify their skills, they should share them on professional networking and job board sites. This allows recruiters to see candidates’ demonstrated skills and reach out if they’re qualified for an open position. This can flip the job-searching model, which we all know can be arduous, by increasing the likelihood that an individual will be sought out for opportunities. It is also essential to directly share relevant credentials with a current employer to ensure an individual doesn’t miss out on opportunities within an existing role because an employer is unaware of his or her full breadth of skills.

3. Create a skills-based resume

Résumés continue to be the most common way for jobseekers to connect with employers, but that isn’t to say the traditional résumé will remain the same. To accommodate the new skills-based hiring surge, jobseekers need skills-based résumés that lead with an overview of their abilities rather than a conventional, chronological listing of prior work experiences. Candidates can choose to highlight whichever technical skills are most relevant to a particular job posting, while soft skills like problem-solving, flexibility, and leadership are essential for any job, as they consistently rank among the most in-demand skills across industries.

4. Keep track of accumulated skills from previous roles

A simple way for candidates to carry their prior learning and development into another role is by taking ownership of their learning outcomes and curating them for new job opportunities. This is another area in which digital credentials play a critical role in efficiently and consistently communicating an individual’s skills. When a candidate invests time and resources into learning, those learning outcomes should be used to reach his or her maximum potential.

In a skills-based market, jobseekers need to adapt during the hiring process by redirecting focus from a degree or specific work experience to their skills. Verifiable skills allow hiring managers to see that candidates have what it takes to get the job done.

Jarin Schmidt helps shape the future of documenting and promoting skills by leading the product, engineering, and design teams at Credly. With a background in design, strategy, and product development, Jarin is passionate about helping people tell their unique professional stories through emerging technology so they can discover the most rewarding opportunities.

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