In today’s workplace many jobs require specific skills. Knowing which skills and qualities are most sought-after, and investing in the appropriate professional skills, can give you an edge over other jobseekers.
Professional skills versus experience
Your experience in a particular field will always be valuable but as the world of work becomes more specialised, having key professional skills can broaden your options in the workplace.
This makes it important to develop your skillset with a focus on what is most valued – and sought-after – by employers in your particular industry.
Are your technical skills up to date?
In a rapidly evolving commercial environment, you need to be prepared to continuously develop your technical skills.
Technology is a major driver of change, and across virtually every field, strong IT skills are often seen as essential by hiring managers.
In other sectors, changing regulations can be the thing that define whether your technical skills are up to date. Accounting and finance professionals for example need to understand the compliance requirements that apply in their jurisdiction.
Which qualifications are needed?
Many employers look for candidates who hold a university degree. However, postgraduate qualifications can also be seen as highly desirable as they may offer clear evidence that you have the professional skills and education needed to fulfil the role.
Accounting, for instance, is a field where jobseekers who hold a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Chartered Accountant (CA) designation can have an advantage over other candidates. Just as importantly, these qualifications are recognised internationally, meaning the professional skills they confer are valued by employers across the globe.
Gaining professional qualifications can be time-consuming and costly, so do some research to recognise which designations are most valued in your industry.
Soft skills matter too
Employers look for jobseekers who can work well with other people – be it their colleagues, clients or customers. This makes soft skills very important.
In particular, hiring managers look for strong communication skills, the ability to motivate your team, leadership and problem-solving skills.
These soft skills may not be the something you have been taught in formal education but they can be learned, and developing your soft skills will not only make you a more attractive candidate, they can help you achieve your career goals.
Accountants are no longer seen as “number crunchers”. These days, accountants need to be able to see the big picture – anything from shifts in global trading conditions to changes in local compliance regimes, and how they can impact their clients.
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The finance industry is dynamic, rapidly changing and full of possibilities for talented candidates. But the professional skills needed to enjoy career success in financial work go beyond having a good mind for figures.
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