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Erin Schaffer for Educative

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Top skills to have on your resume in a post-lockdown world

COVID-19 changed the workforce, and we’re still navigating the aftermath. The pandemic triggered a job crisis and brought countless changes into our everyday lives. As job opportunities begin to arise, it’s important to prepare yourself to be a strong candidate. Today, we’re going to discuss the top skills to have on your resume in a post-lockdown world. Let’s get started!

We’ll cover:

Flexibility and adaptability

At work, things are constantly changing and situations aren’t going as planned. The COVID-19 pandemic brought countless changes and a lot of uncertainty to all of our lives. While it was never easy, we all found ways to adapt to the situation the best way we could.

Adjustment periods aren’t easy, and nothing is ever perfect, but in the working world, we’ll continue to encounter unprecedented situations. The ability to adapt to these changes and be flexible in our approach is a crucial skill to have. Additionally, it’s likely that remote work is here to stay in some capacity, and that requires a lot of adaptability and flexibility from ourselves, and from our companies, organizations, and teams.

As a developer, it’s extremely important to be flexible and adaptable. Programming languages come and go, trends change, new technologies are released, and new patterns emerge. Being a flexible developer requires that you have a growth mindset. It’s important to understand that you’ll be the most successful if you constantly learn new things and explore new languages, technologies, features, and more.

The way we conduct business is constantly changing. The COVID-19 pandemic was hard but was a great example of this. Now more than ever, employers are going to be looking for flexible and adaptable candidates.

Being adaptable and flexible in the workplace is about being able to:

  • work well under pressure
  • adjust and react to unexpected situations
  • carefully prioritize tasks
  • have an open mindset
  • embrace change
  • potentially take on additional responsibilities
  • continue learning

You can develop your flexibility and adaptability by doing things like:

  • taking on additional responsibilities to meet evolving needs
  • integrating new information into your work and drawing conclusions from it
  • adjusting your working style to meet evolving needs
  • seeking out new ways of doing things
  • learning new ways to reach goals

Tip: Keep in mind that you can highlight this on your resume. Employers will be looking for it!

Cloud skills

While cloud skills were already in high demand, the pandemic accelerated cloud adoption, which means that cloud skills are even more important now. More and more companies are moving towards cloud computing if they haven’t done so already.

During the pandemic, many companies leveraged the cloud to secure their survival and growth. The cloud enables businesses to reduce cost, bring new services to users, adapt to customer needs, and secure an efficient remote working environment. Reliance on the cloud isn’t going away, it’s only becoming bigger.

The field of cloud computing is constantly experiencing change, which means you have to stay on top of different trends, developments, and tools.

Some cloud computing skills to consider include:

  • Machine learning: ML is another highly sought-after skill. Combining cloud skills with machine learning skills will make you a very desirable candidate.

  • Cybersecurity: The nature of the cloud demands a focus on security. Security is a top priority for most organizations, and the demand for cybersecurity skills is growing every day, especially within the cloud.

  • DevOps: DevOps aims to improve your workflow throughout the entire software development life cycle, and it’s a very important development within the world of cloud computing.

Getting involved with the cloud can be intimidating because of how the breadth of the field. Don’t worry if you don’t have much experience. Let’s discuss a couple of ways you can get started sharpening your cloud skills so you can show them off on your resume!

Cloud certification

Getting a cloud certification demonstrates to potential employers that you have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of cloud computing. Over 80% of hiring managers say that cloud certifications make applicants more desirable. Certifications also expand your career opportunities and typically result in significant pay increases.

The most popular cloud certifications on the market now are AWS, Azure, and GCP. Regardless of the certification you choose, remember that multi-cloud skills are in high demand, so you’ll have room to move around.

Portfolio projects

Build a strong portfolio using projects. It’s important to design projects that focus on real-world applications. Employers want to see that you can solve problems that are practical.

SQL and database knowledge

SQL is used pretty much everywhere, and it’s in high demand for that reason. Just about every single big tech company uses SQL. Many people consider SQL to be the "gold standard" language for working with data. SQL, or Structured Query Language, was designed to facilitate interaction with databases.

SQL databases are everywhere, and the language itself is used as the foundation for a lot of database management systems. If you’re interested in a job in data, there’s a very high chance that you’ll need SQL skills for the job. SQL ranks as one of the most in-demand skills for jobs in the US, with over 115,000 job descriptions including the language.

If you’re new to SQL, don’t worry! It’s never too late to get started. The best approach to learning this language is to start slow. Make sure you master the basics before moving on to more advanced and complex topics. There are tons of free tutorials online that can assist you in your learning.

When learning something new, hands-on practice is key. SQL is a free, open-source database, so you can start using it right away. If you’re interested, we recommend looking into a certification as well. This will stand out to employers and will demonstrate your understanding of SQL.

Note: We discussed how much cloud skills are in-demand, but combining SQL knowledge with cloud skills is even more sought after. Cloud databases, such as Azure SQL Database and Google Cloud SQL are in increasing demand, which means knowing these two things will put you ahead of the curve.

Communication skills

Demonstrating your soft skills is becoming more and more important in the tech world, especially after the pandemic. Strong communication skills are key. With COVID-19 increasing remote work opportunities, many of us adopted new ways to communicate with our coworkers.

Solid communication skills come into play constantly in the developer world. Whether it’s writing documentation, sending messages, having a one-on-one with your manager, or presenting a new feature you’ve been working on, communicating is something we do every day. It’s important to make sure you’re mindful of the way you communicate with others.

Communication skills expand beyond verbal communication. Try to practice good “digital body language". This means that you’re sending thoughtful, respectful, and intentional emails and messages to your team. It also means that when you’re virtually interviewing, presenting, or sitting in on a meeting, you’re professional, clear, and caring.

While you can’t learn communication skills in the same way you can learn SQL, for example, there are many ways to sharpen your skills:

  • Learn to listen: How many times have you zoned out when a coworker was speaking to you? How many times have you stopped listening to someone because you got distracted? Try to focus on actually hearing other people. This will help you communicate more effectively with them.

  • Empathy: Showing understanding and compassion for your teammates will help you at work every day. Imagine you’re in their shoes and think about how you’d want someone to speak to you.

  • Prioritize clarity: It’s easy to ramble, but typically, effective communication in the workplace is clear and concise. Let’s apply this to coding. It’s important to make sure your code is easily readable by other people. Someone that may seem clear or obvious to you may not be that way to someone else.

  • Embrace mistakes: It’s okay to make mistakes, just make sure you’re learning from them. It’s important to have a growth mindset and to be eager to learn and improve.

  • Practice a lot: Clear and effective communication skills take practice, practice, practice. Find ways to practice whenever you can.

Diverse programming languages

Having experience with more than one programming language will put you ahead of the curve and help you stand out from other candidates. There are hundreds of programming languages, and most companies end up using at least two or more. Demonstrating your diverse programming language skills will show that you push yourself as a developer and can solve problems in different ways. It also demonstrates that you have a growth mindset, which many companies want to see in potential candidates.

With so many companies changing their dynamic due to the pandemic, employers expect candidates to learn their new tools, technologies, and practices. These things typically involve different programming languages.

Here are some of the top coding languages employers are looking for today:

  • Java
  • Python
  • JavaScript
  • C and C++
  • Golang
  • R
  • Etc.

While the list goes on, you can do your best to work this to your advantage. Research the companies you want to work for and figure out what languages they use. Browse job descriptions under the job title you’re interested in. If you’re looking to explore new opportunities within your current company, figure out what more you can learn to set yourself up for success.

Customer service mentality

Caring about your users will drastically improve the quality of your work. Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. As developers, we’re often working on problems that are way bigger than ourselves. We work on technologies, tools, and products that are used by hundreds, thousands, or more people. While you may not always interface with customers directly, it’s critical to keep your customers in mind as you solve problems and approach your work.

Especially after the pandemic, we want to show our customers that we prioritize them. Having a customer service mentality isn’t just about helping customers solve problems. It’s also about putting time, effort, and care into creating an enjoyable experience that helps gain their trust and loyalty. Showing that you’re dedicated to creating added value for your customers will not only lead to your own personal success but will also lead to the success of your company.

Wrapping up

As job opportunities grow, it’s important to prepare yourself for a desirable candidate. Learning new skills, preparing for technical interviews, and leveling up isn’t always easy, but we want to help. Educative provides interactive courses and learning paths for developers like you. Fill in the gaps in your knowledge with an Educative subscription. We have courses in React development, Modern CSS, Comp Negotiation, and much more.

Happy learning!

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