In today’s job market, few things look more impressive on a resume than advanced digital skills. This means more than knowing how to use basic software or answer an email. Employers are looking for technology skills that may not have existed ten years ago, but are required to be competitive today—even if you aren’t applying for a job that is strictly digital or computer-related. Keep reading for a few technological skills that will pump up your resume and make you the first choice for future employers.
Simply put, this one involves the art of creating databases of information from the ground up. Database architecture is useful for making large quantities of information organized, navigable, and searchable, especially by those with lower-level computer skills. It is also necessary for maintaining databases and adding information to pre-existing ones. Learning the basics is possible through YouTube videos. Even more opportunities exist through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), accessible through Coursera and other online sources.
Social Media Marketing
With the current focus on social media outlets, having the ability design marketing campaigns and generate connections for a company is a highly marketable skill. This skill offers a lot of versatility since many firms have taken their business and marketing online, employing strategies through Facebook, Twitter, and more. Learning these skills can be done formally; however, learning through practice and exploration works well too. Many colleges now offer classes in social media studies, and there are helpful resources online as well. For example, Moz offers a beginner’s guide to social media for business if you’re looking for a place to start.
Related to coding and language, having the ability to create new apps in-house for an employer definitely looks good on a resume these days. The ability to design successfully for multiple platforms (Apple, Android, and Windows) looks even more impressive. Due to the massive number of mobile users, an understanding of application design and function will give you an edge over other interviewees competing for the job. This area is constantly evolving, so you should be prepared to explain how you're keeping up with trends and advances too. Learning to create apps is very hands-on. For a jump-start, Treehouse and Code School both provide a free platform for learning the ropes.
While not a glamorous skill, the ability to oversee the company's computer network and keep it secure is incredibly valuable, especially for companies with sensitive data, large networks, high computer-dependency, and smaller It departments. This skill can be a ticket to the top of the department in some organizations. Even if the position you want isn’t solely computer-related, these network skills will make you an attractive candidate by giving your resume an extra “edge.” Plus, it is likely to remain marketable for the foreseeable future. Few technology skills are best learned in the classroom, but this is definitely one of them. Consider auditing a course through distance-learning or a local community college to get a handle on this skill.
Digital Media Creation and Editing
More than just the ability to use Photoshop, digital media has numerous disparate purposes. These range from training videos/courses to online marketing materials to digital product creation. Not only does this require skill with a variety of software tools, it also requires some of the skill-set shared by graphic artists and marketing gurus, not to mention the ability to edit or polish the work of others. However, you don’t have to be a graphics pro—especially if your desired position isn’t strictly design-related. But, having a base foundation of graphic and digital media skills will make you a more valuable asset to future employers. Learning to create and use digital media can be overwhelming, but JISC Digital Media can provide pointers for those just starting out.
With the way technology is changing, these skills may be ubiquitous in ten years, but right now, they definitely catch the attention of prospective employers. Many of them even build on each other to create a skill-set that is undeniably impressive in today's digital world. Even if you have a basic understanding in a few of these areas, you’ll have a leg-up on the competition. Remember—just because you aren’t applying for a “computer job” doesn’t mean that extra digital skills won’t come in handy. The information for this article was provided by the professionals at the University of Florida who offer a digital media degree.
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