When it comes landing your dream career in tech, there’s often one obstacle you have to pass first: Getting someone to call you from your resume, LinkedIn profile, or job applications.
So Bentley University and a startup called Burning Glass, which uses big data to examine workforce trends, set about answering what skills are most in demand. They examined nearly 25 million US job postings to find out.
From that, they came up with this list of top 12 skills that thousand of employers say they want. If you’ve got experience in these areas, be sure to use these keywords in your resume to help you come to the top of the resume pool.
No. 12: Process Improvement
Keyword/skill: Process Improvement
Average salary: $82,213 Increase in demand for that skill: 69% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 209,771
Process improvement is a term that comes from a systematic organization-management style called Business Process Management.
No. 11: Mentoring
- jam / Flickr
Average salary: $92,885 Increase in demand for that skill: 73% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 209,872
Many companies have formal mentoring programs, but many more are also looking for people who are willing to be leaders to others who are just learning the ropes.
No. 10: Collaboration
Average salary: $85,984 Increase in demand for that skill: 88% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 225,883
These days collaboration refers to both a work ethic (a willingness to work in groups), and proficiency with set of technologies that include things like Google Apps for working on documents, Box for sharing them, or Slack for chatting.
No. 9: Decision-making
- Saad Faruque/Flickr
Average salary: $76,603 Increase in demand for that skill: 87% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 208,303
Even if you weren’t a manager in charge of a team, employers are looking for evidence that employees have good decision-making skills. So use this keyword to explain how you work.
No. 8: Sales
- Thomson Reuters
Average salary: $70,470 Increase in demand for that skill: 57% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 890,710
Sales obviously applies to anyone looking for a sales gig. But others may want to sprinkle it in even if their work indirectly helped improve sales.
No. 7: SAP
Average salary: $76,178 Increase in demand for that skill: 39% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 307,728
“SAP” refers to the financial software from software giant SAP. Companies are looking for IT people who are adept at managing SAP, as well as employees who know how to work with its commonly used business apps.
No. 6: Oracle
- Thomson Reuters
Average salary: $90,557 Increase in demand for that skill: 56% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 565,002
Oracle also makes a lot of enterprise software, but this keyword typically refers to IT expertise managing Oracle databases.
No. 5: Mathematics
- Shaun Heasley / Getty Images
Average salary: $75,719 Increase in demand for that skill: 65% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 261,243
Even if you didn’t major in math in college, if you have an aptitude it can help to let your potential tech employer know.
No. 4: SQL
- Flickr / Mike McCune
Average salary: $93,154 Increase in demand for that skill: 49% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 726,698
SQL is a database technology for asking the database questions and getting reports back. It tends to goes hand in hand with “Oracle” as a keyword, since Oracle makes a hugely popular SQL database. But Microsoft, IBM, and others make SQL databases, too.
No. 3: Data analysis
Keyword/skill: Data analysis
Average salary: $76,384 Increase in demand for that skill: 82% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 278,514
The business world is agog over “big data” and finding people with the skills to do big data is tough for them. The trendy term these days is “data scientist” to describe the job. But “data analysis” is what this kind of work is all about.
No. 2: Business development
Keyword/skill: Business development
Average salary: $80,887 Increase in demand for that skill: 50% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 475,525
Business development can refer to work in sales or in marketing. But many support roles also contribute to business development, which can also mean anything that leads to the evolution of the business. So if you can make a case that you’ve got this skill, do it.
No. 1: Social media
Keyword/skill: Social media
Average salary: $62,680 Increase in demand for that skill: 160% Total number of job openings that need that skill: 115,004
Every company these days is using every means it can to communicate with all of its stakeholders, be they customers, employees, partners, shareholders. More and more, they want their people to know their way around Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, WeChat, Periscope, and all the other social-media apps around.