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These are the skills you need to land a job in 2021

Fred Mathieu, Technical Recruiter - Asana

When will workers return to the office? The rapid vaccine rollout in the UK has brought hope of a reversion to normality, and businesses are beginning to try and work out what the new world will look like. But work is global and even as people return to the office, many will remain distributed all over the world as companies find the right balance, whether it’s office-first, fully remote, or hybrid.  This continued shift will have an  impact on day-to-day operations, as business leaders and their teams take on  habits and systems. 

Employers are now having to rethink what makes a great candidate in a distributed environment, and how to measure and manage success from afar.  Whether you are facing a forced career shift, or have taken this time as an opportunity to change career paths, here are the essential skills to highlight in interviews that can help you land the job you’ve been eyeing. 

Demonstrate your remote leadership skills
A recent study in the Journal of Business and Psychology showed that strong in-person leadership skills don’t often translate into being a good virtual leader. Confidence, intelligence and extraversion – traits that have often long propelled ambitious workers into executive level take less precedence forinto virtual leadership. Instead workers that are organised, dependable and productive take the reins of virtual teams. To demonstrate how you have successfully led teams in a remote setting, highlight that you understand the difference between these two distinct leadership styles. 

Know the company’s tech stack
Asana’s recent Anatomy of Work Index found for many organisations, the abrupt shift to remote work triggered an increase in the adoption of collaboration tools and accelerated digital transformation. On average, workers were switching between 10 apps, 25 times a day. Review the job description to see if there are any programs listed or research what platforms the company uses for communication and project management. From there, begin to familiarise yourself with any tools you haven’t used before, that way you can highlight your willingness to learn. 

Show you can manage your time from anywhere
Time management is a vital aspect of any professional role, especially when teams are physically apart and in different time zones. When interviewers ask questions about how you prioritise tasks or projects, do the best you can to illustrate how you have effectively determined which tasks need more attention than others. When answering, share anecdotes and describe situations in which you have made one task a priority over another, without having to sacrifice any other responsibilities that you needed to action. Highlight how you’ve limited distractions, managed deadlines and why you think it’s important to manage your time, as well as keep your focus. 

Lean into your virtual communication skills
Now more than ever, teams are looking for candidates who can communicate complex ideas and explain cross-functional project plans clearly. In interviews, showcase your communication skills by referring back to your interviewer’s question, taking them through your thinking process when answering, as well as highlighting why you think strong communication skills are fundamental to success in a remote team. 

Whether you are changing your career or looking for a job in a remote environment, you need to be prepared for every eventuality. To ensure you land the right role, you need to get ahead and develop an arsenal of skills expected in the new working normal. To seamlessly transition from remote, in-office, or distributed workplaces, you need to demonstrate expertise in a company’s tech stack, virtual communication, time management, and remote leadership.

Use Data and Metrics to show your impact
With the growth of remote teams, employers are going to rely on data to evaluate employee performance and impact. To separate yourself from other applicants, use data to describe your experience. Using frameworks like the “STAR” method on your resume and during interviews, you can show your impact, and how it directly contributed to your past organization’s success.

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