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by Sarah Daren | February 24, 2020


The workplace is always evolving, so it’s important to adapt your skillset to meet the constantly changing demands of employers. With technology continuing to shift and advance, you need to be willing to learn and change along with it—if you want to climb the corporate ladder. 

So what are the most important skills for 2020? Try to get these six on your resume for your job search so you can stand out to potential employers.

1. Creativity

Although we talk about jobs in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields as being the fastest-growing occupations of the 21st century, creativity is still a crucial asset in today’s workplace. In fact, it’s never been more important.

As technology advances, we’re going to see more and more jobs being automated and taken over by AI and other tools. When that happens, your ability to be creative is one of your best—and uniquely human—assets.

The modern workplace changes quickly, and creative, adaptive thinking is key. We don’t need people to do the grunt work anymore. We need them to come up with the ideas.

2. Communication

Technology has benefited society in countless ways, but it has also changed the way we communicate with one another. We have more ways than ever to talk and communicate in the workplace, but those tools have proven to be a double-edged sword. Communication breakdowns and misunderstandings in the workplace are common and costly.

Around 40 percent of millennials spend more time on their phones than face-to-face with the people in their lives—a reality that’s leading to discomfort and difficulty communicating with people in person. If you can show an employer that you have advanced communication skills, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.

3. Leadership

In the past, employers wanted people who would come in, do their work, and keep their heads down when the boss walked in. Today, that’s changed. Employers are increasingly looking for employees with leadership qualities—people who can inspire others and will engage with the team and the work they’re doing.

Building leadership skills doesn’t mean you have to eventually lead a team. Some people just don’t enjoy managing others. But leadership skills like communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving will serve you in any role you take on.

4. Data Literacy

Data has become one of the biggest drivers of today’s economy. Organizations use data to improve their marketing, cut down on operational inefficiencies, and plan for the future. These days, organizations that don’t use data are at a huge competitive disadvantage.

Even if you don’t want to be a data analyst or data scientist, it’s important to at least have a basic understanding of how businesses collect and use data. The better your data literacy, the more desirable you’ll be in 2020. That’s the simple truth.

5. Software

A few years ago, you could still get hired without knowing much about computers and software. These days, jobs that require no technical or computer skills are practically nonexistent. If you’re not tech-savvy, then it’s time to improve your skills to the best of your ability as soon as possible.

You should also think about building your software skills. Obviously, you shouldn’t try to learn every program you might come across (that would be ridiculous and futile), but getting comfortable with the most common programs is a great use of your time.

Think about what’s most important in your industry. Do you need to know Microsoft Word or advanced Excel skills? How about Photoshop? The programs you’ll want to focus on will depend on the kind of job you’re looking for.

6. Adaptive Thinking/Problem-Solving

The world is moving so fast that our skillsets can’t fully keep up. What’s new and novel now could be obsolete by 2022. For this reason, it’s very important to build your adaptive thinking and problem-solving skills so you can adjust as the market does.

Confidence in your own ability to adapt is key. You need to be willing to jump into a problem and find solutions—even if no solutions have ever been discovered before. That’s what today’s workplace demands.

A Final Note

As humans, we’re wired to resist change. It’s uncomfortable, scary, and very uncertain. However, if you want to get hired in 2020, it’s important to not stay stagnant. You—and your resume—will need to adapt, grow, and change.

Sarah Daren has been a consultant for startups in multiple industries, including health and wellness, wearable technology, nursing, and education. She implements her health knowledge into every aspect of her life, including her position as a yoga instructor and raising her two children. When she's not watching the New York Yankees play, Sarah enjoys practicing yoga and reading a good book on the beach.