What are Employers Today Looking For?

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Having the right skills on your resume can put you to the top of the list when applying to jobs, but what are the right skills to put on your resume? Coming out of college, most students have dabbled in a few technologies that are going onto their resumes. On average, a graduate has learned 8-10 skills while in college, with many having similar skills. These 8-10 skills usually include Microsoft Office, Google Suite, and Adobe Suites.

These skills are fairly basic skills that almost anyone graduating college should have.  But most companies now use over 100 software/tools to power various functions across the company. Many of these tools aren’t being taught or discussed in university to the detriment of their students. These skills used to be taught on the job, but now employers expect their hires to add value from the start. So what kind of skills are people looking for when hiring?


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - Marketing is all about getting your brand in front of the right eyes and persuading them to act on it. With billions of searches occurring every day, one of the hardest things is getting your content seen in the first place. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO is the science behind making your website more discoverable by the people who would best benefit from and engage with your site. Google and other search engines want quality and relevant results for their users. To ensure this they push sites with original content and filter sites using keywords to the top of the SERPs, or Search Engine Result Pages. Understanding SEO can take your Content Marketing to the next level and will only ever be more crucial in the future.

Google Analytics - A great way to understand who your users are and what they want is through your analytics. Google Analytics is a free service that allows you to monitor various aspects of your site and its traffic. For example, say you want to see how your paid social campaign is tracking so you go to Google Analytics to check how people are being linked to your site. If the majority of users are coming through web searches and you have no one coming in from social media, your campaign failed. These are the kinds of insights marketers need to measure to ensure campaign effectiveness and understand user behavior.

Email Marketing - Email Marketing may seem old fashioned, but having a person’s email is one of the most valuable data to own from a customer. Having someone’s email address shows that this customer is more engaged with your brand and that they took the extra step in signing up for a brand’s email. It also allows businesses to market directly to that customer, rather than posting on social media and relying on the algorithm to serve up your content to all your followers.  So in short, Email Marketing is a must. Creating an email campaign requires so many different avenues, from your coloring and word choice to your frequency and audience. A great marketer can not only write great emails but they can also analyze how these emails perform. They use this data to test, create, and optimize campaigns even better and use segmented emails based on what their viewers want. Popular email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, HubSpot, GetResponse, AWeber, and Drip are rarely learned in the classroom, but used by a large majority of marketers/companies.


User Interaction (UI) Design - Designers today are working with more tools than ever before to design interactive experiences. To keep this interaction flowing, they must understand how a person and their product interacts. This is where UI design comes in. How many times have you been annoyed by a confusing app or that super-loud, super-annoying trailer autoplay feature on Netflix? A great designer always thinks about usability and relies on data to see what users want and need. Designers these days should have experience with products like Sketch and Figma.

Basic Coding - A good design can only go so far since everything goes back to tech. You don’t need to be a coder but being able to speak with developers in their language goes a long way. If you understand the basics, you can design with implementation and even edit your work without having to ask someone for help. These days, employers look for HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Branding - The idea of what a brand is has evolved beyond what you see on a billboard or see in a store. The identity of the brand you work for should be at the forefront of your mind and ever-present in your design. This doesn’t just mean double-checking your company's color palette. Your design should reflect what the brand is trying to capture. A good example of a brand that excels at this is REI Co-op. They embrace their identity as being a purpose-driven outdoor brand.

Analytical Thinking

Data Visualization - There is a ton of data being produced every day, and the job of an analyst is to make sense of it all. Analysts can sense trends and patterns in the numbers that others can’t, but the best analysts are the ones that are also adept at data visualization. Data visualization shows data and information in a graphical format and is vital to providing a bigger picture and understanding of the data. It also allows analysts to better and more effectively communicate their findings to stakeholders and other teams, a core responsibility of their job. Luckily, there are data visualization tools, like Tableau and Looker, that provide an automated, accessible way to visualize and present data. Employers today are looking for analysts that are skilled both in data visualization and with data visualization tools like D3, Tableau, or Looker.

Web Analytics - Unlike marketers, analysts look at the analytics for many different insights. This could be for UI, performance metrics, or even security, but the main requirement is that you should understand how to extract insights from your website. Whatever you are looking to solve, you need to not only understand where to find the answers but also draw insights from the available information. Without this ability, you’re going to be lost in a lot of meetings. Web analytics software such as Mixpanel and FullStory are fairly commonly used tools.

Problem Solving - Problem-solving is one of the most common skills employers look for, but what does it mean to be good at it? It means that you can identify the problem, design a solution, and then explain in full how your solution worked. This will not only allow you to understand what needs to be done going forward, but it will also help you explain what value you added when applying to jobs down the road.

How PathMatch Can Help

These are just a few of the tools and skills that companies need in their hires. We know the job search process can be hard, but PathMatch is here to help you navigate through it every step of the way. We’ve helped tons of students figure out their path and give them the support to plan their careers and achieve their goals. To learn more about jumpstarting your future, check out our plans.

Want the secret of what employers are looking for to fit in your pocket for on-the-go resources? Download our PathMatch app today! 

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