Skills-based hiring is becoming increasingly popular among companies, while formal qualifications like degrees are becoming less important — especially as labor markets remain tight.
Many firms are still struggling to fill roles, and the way they currently approach hiring might be making this even more challenging, Sue Duke, vice president and head of global public policy at LinkedIn, told CNBC Make It.
One way companies are changing their approach is by focusing more on skills, rather than qualifications like college degrees or previous work experience. According to LinkedIn data shared with CNBC Make It, 45% of companies are now explicitly using skills-related metrics to find candidates, 12% more than a year ago.
Daniel Pell, vice president and country manager for the U.K. and Ireland at HR tool Workday, has also noticed a shift.
“HR has shifted to a skills-based economy,” Pell told CNBC Make It.
As skills come into focus, the way job applications are assessed may change — a shift that can be difficult for job-seekers to navigate. However, they can also use it to their advantage, recruitment specialists said.
“Applicants can optimize skills-based hiring by making sure their CVs are tailored to this type of hiring,” Gaelle Blake, director of permanent appointment at recruitment company Hays, Told CNBC Make It.
This does not, Blake said, mean turning your application into a long list of skills.
“Candidates should make sure their CV showcases their individual skills and abilities; rather than listing the generic, in-demand skills,” Blake said. Tangible examples or data points that demonstrate these skills are also crucial, she added.
Amanda Augustine, a career expert at TopResume and certified career coach and resume writer, agreed.
“When crafting a skills-based resume, it’s important to follow one simple rule: ‘show, don’t tell,’” Augustine told CNBC Make It.
Evidence of candidates having suitable skills can then be woven into the application, for example by adding it to bullet points outlining previous job experience, Augustine said.
Job-seekers might also want to change the structure of their resumes by adding slightly unconventional sections like “Core Skills” or “Areas of Expertise” to them, Augustine said. This could mean listing a skill, followed by proof of it through a brief anecdote or data.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Blake and Augustine both said there is one thing candidates should never overlook before tailoring a resume: the job description.
“Checking the job description for key words is a useful way of identifying the most relevant skills an employer is looking for,” Blake said. And that information is crucial for candidates trying to make sure their resume fits the bill — and gets them an interview.
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