Are Your Skills Market Ready?

“You know, like nun chuck skills, bow hunting skills, computer hacking skills…”  Even Napoleon Dynamite understood the value of marketing relevant skills as he tried to find a girlfriend. Employers are looking for candidates with skills too – you know, marketing skills, writing skills, mobile design skills…

Companies are increasingly looking for creative professionals who can wear multiple hats. Today, they may be seeking someone versed in project design paired with project management, strong SEO skills, the ability bridge to print and digital, mobile design and strong copywriting skills. Requirements and trends will continue to evolve and expectations will continue to increase as we move into 2012.

Strong business expertise and the ability to interact professionally on all levels (with peers, management, clients, or vendors) are now more important than ever. Those who are marketable can effectively communicate their design or marketing plan, write clear emails, have savvy in-person and virtual presentation skills (think web conferencing) and understand social media marketing.

In addition to ninja-like business acumen, the desire to actively engage and express ideas, become a thought leader and think outside the box is something employers are drawn to.  According to a recent AIGA article, creative professionals who “demonstrate their creativity and innovation-generating capabilities may rise above the pack.”

As a creative professional, do you have what it takes to be competitive in today’s job market?

If not, it’s time to consider taking stock of your capabilities to be sure you’re in alignment with what prospective employers may be looking for (Hint: It’s those “must haves” or even “preferences” that employers are looking for when hiring.)

So What Are You To Do?

  • Research – Do your research to understand the latest technology and design trends for your particular role.  Read industry-related blogs, sites and other reference materials.
  •  Express willingness to learn – Even if you don’t have every skill an employer wants, being open to learning something new will increase your chances and some managers will give you the chance to learn as you go.
  • Education – Consider taking supplemental courses, attending local events and seminars, or online learning sessions to stay up to date.

It’s a constantly evolving creative world.  So nun chuck skills aside, be sure you have a clear understanding of your strengths and what it might take to update your skills to remain competitive in your job search and succeed in your career.

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