How to Identify and Fill Your Skills Gaps as an Applicant

places hiring in Napa Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you’re currently in the job market, you’ve probably heard about skills gaps. Basically, it’s the thought that none of us have skill sets that are complete. We all have things to learn, to perfect, to improve on. As a job applicant, it’s especially important to identify and fill your skills gaps. Doing so can help give you an edge on the competition, and help you stand out as a uniquely qualified candidate.

 

Broadening and strengthening your skills should be a key activity for active job seekers. What better way to improve your resume than by adding to your skillset?

 

With the rise of digitalization, luckily, you can learn almost anything online. Accessibility to learning is better than ever. Here’s some advice on how you can identify and fill your skills gaps as an applicant.

 

Identifying Your Skills Gaps

To identify your skills gaps, you need to do some research. Look at the job descriptions you’re applying to, search for top skills in your industry and specific role. For example, if you’re looking for a position in Napa, you’ll review places hiring with job titles you’re interested in. Then look at the qualification of those positions and make a list of the ones you don’t currently have or ones you could stand to improve. Then review LinkedIn profiles of people who are in your dream jobs. What skills do you see, repeating? What skills do you see that you don’t have? Those are your skills gaps. That’s where you want to focus.

 

Top Skills to Develop

If you need help deciding what skills you should focus on, or feel overwhelmed, it can help to divide them into lists. Think about both hard skills (technical, teachable skills) and soft skills (personality, people skills). To help get the ball rolling, consider some of  LinkedIn’s Top Skills of 2019.

 

The top soft skills companies are looking for are creativity, persuasion, collaboration, adaptability, and time management. Hard skills companies need from their new hires include cloud computing, artificial intelligence, analytical reasoning, people management, UX design, mobile application development, video production, sales leadership, and translation. Other top trending skills include audio production, natural language processing, scientific computing, game development, social media marketing, animation, business analytics, journalism, digital marketing, and industrial design.

 

Filling Your Skills Gaps

To fill your skills gaps, you need nothing more than the motivation to learn, a computer, and an internet connection. Before you begin, decide what end-game you’re looking for, and how much time you have to dedicate to learning this skill. Are you looking for a full-blown online course, like a college class? Do you absolutely need an actual certification of completion? Are you looking to develop a skill in an intensive course, or more laid-back, learn-on-your-own style? Can you find free training, or is it something you need to pay for?

You will have to prioritize and start with the one that will gain from the most. The key is to start!

Here are a few of our recommendations for online learning:

  • Hubspot Academy offers free online training, great for marketing professionals or those in sales., with classes ranging from 2 to 7 hours.
  • LinkedIn Learning provides training on virtually anything you want to learn, for hard skills and soft skills. Free for a month trial and included with LinkedIn Premium features.
  • Udemy hosts a ton of hard skills courses like financial analyst, business intelligence analyst, and software specific courses for CompTIA A+, AWS SysOps, and more. Not free, but not too expensive, especially if you snag a course that’s on sale.
  • Code Academy is exactly what it sounds like. They offer coding classes on data science skills, web development, and coding. Learn languages like Python, SQL, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and more. Pricing varies, but they do have a free plan.

 

Once you learn a skill or get a new certification, be sure to add it to both your resume and LinkedIn. Show it off, you earned it!

 

Want to know more about jobs hiring in Napa, CA, or other Northern California cities? Star Staffing can help! We have 7 locations and a variety of positions. Give us a call today at707-265-9911; we can’t wait to hear from you!

 

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