If you’re in job search mode or even keeping your eye on job openings *just in case*, then you’re probably wondering what you can do to really get the attention of someone who can give you a job.
LinkedIn looked into that very question and analyzed over 330 million member profiles to see which skills are the most important in the job market. The result was that the vast majority of the 25 “hottest” ones were tech-related. Those top skills included things like mobile development, digital marketing, Ruby and user interface design.
So, fine. Now you know that tech skills are important. But what tech skills should YOU learn to start working towards a new or better career? What will get you — and keep you — the job of your dreams?
And what should you do if you don’t know the first thing about tech, let alone anything about user interfaces?
Well you don’t have to become the next Mark Zuckerberg or an encryption expert or even a “rockstar digital unicorn” to take advantage of tech in your career.
Start by getting the fundamentals in the following four areas. That might be all you need to do your work more efficiently and effectively. Or, if then you realize that you need to dive deeper, you’ll have the foundation set to go further into design or development and to take your career even further.
- Content management
Think about your favorite blogs or all the sites you rely on to get your news, information, or entertainment. What if you went to one of them tomorrow and there was nothing new? No daily post. No news. No latest episode of your favorite TV show. “Noooooo!” you shriek.
Well, without content management, that’s what would happen. Content management is basically getting digital content — like text, photos, videos, etc., — onto a website. The main steps involved in content management include creating, editing and publishing the digital materials.
To get started as a content manager, you’ll need to get familiar with a content management system (or “CMS”) like WordPress. That means, for example, learning your way around the admin panel, creating and editing posts, formatting content and so on.
There’s plenty to learn, but it’s easy to get started. And, since almost every company or organization uses web content in some way nowadays, you can turn even basic content management skills into a real advantage at your current job or in your job hunt.
- Photo editing and design skills
Since there are millions and millions of websites out there nowadays, your company will definitely want theirs to stand out … in a good way, that is!
One of the best ways to make a site that people love to visit is to make it beautiful to look at and a pleasure to use. And that’s where photo editing and graphic design skills come in.
With photo editing, you’ll be able to make gorgeous images and graphics. And, by doing user research, tracing user flows, mapping out sites and drafting wireframes, you can craft user-friendly sites. Add on design concepts like typography, color theory and the Golden Ratio, and you’ll soon be able to design sites — and even email newsletters —that people actually love.
To get going with photo editing, you’ll need to learn to use software like Photoshop. And, to gain web design skills, you’ll need to learn the mainstays of user experience (UX) and design.
All this talk of websites might have you wondering what’s behind most of them. What are they built on? Well, that’s HTML, or HyperText Mark-up Language.
Tech terms like that might sound a little intimidating, but HTML is just the language used to put content on a web page and give it structure.
Since HTML is a building block of the Web, having a hold on the basics of HTML can play an important role in your career. With it, you can not only start creating or modifying website content, you can also make emails that go beyond simple text or tweak content in your company CMS even more.
It won’t take long to get going with HTML, but it will take you far. Once you’ve learned about elements and attributes, you’ll be ready to wield your coding superpowers and actually start being a builder of web pages and websites.
The fourth and final skill that’ll make you a favorite of any hiring manager is CSS. CSS is short for “Cascading Style Sheets”, and it’s also code that’s used to create web content. But, instead of making up the content and underlying structure, CSS is what creates the style. In other words, it’s what makes a web page look the way it does — like the color, background, fonts, etc.
So, we’re back to those good-looking websites every company is dying to have. When you know CSS, you can make them. And, as with HTML, you can also use CSS to put some pretty designs on HTML emails and CMS content.
CSS is made up of rules that affect how the HTML content looks. The rules include properties (that’s those colors, backgrounds, fonts, etc.,) and their values (like “red”, an image or Helvetica). Wrap your head around them, and you’ll be whipping up irresistible sites and some real tech skills to offer companies.
So, there you have it. You don’t have to come out of the gate as a Gaming Developer to benefit from the trend toward hiring for tech skills. These four skills will get you started in tech and help you get the job you really want.
And, if you don’t have a handle on any or all of the skills yet, download our free checklist “How to Learn the Most In-Demand Tech Skills” to get started. And then you can go on to learn much, much more — in a Skillcrush Career Blueprint.
With these fundamentals of the web, you’ll be digitally independent so you won’t have to rely on a developer or designer to get things done. And that means you’ll offer any company much more bang for their buck. Plus, you’ll be able to build on this knowledge to quickly move up into the upper echelons.
So, go on and get started NOW making a hiring manager’s dreams and your career dreams come true!
Image Credit: CC by Skill Crush.