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Hard and soft skills to place your bets on in 2021

17 Dec 2020

What are the top skills you’ll need for work next year? These infographics from Zety provide a few suggestions.

If getting a new job or upskilling is a career goal you have in mind for next year, paying attention to the perspectives of recruiters and hiring managers is a wise move.

CV-building platform Zety recently surveyed more than 200 people working in recruitment in the US about the skills they value in candidates and what they’ll be looking for in 2021.

Recruiters and hiring managers showed a preference for soft skills over hard skills, with 61pc of respondents saying they were more important. This is likely because softer skills such as communication and emotional intelligence can be more difficult to teach, while hard skills can often be learned on the job.

Top skills for 2021

Based on participant responses, Zety produced a list of the top 10 soft skills recruiters are looking for. Teamwork came out on top, with 57pc of respondents highlighting the importance of collaboration at work.

Teamwork has become more challenging this year with the pivot to remote working. This could be why many employers will be prioritising this skill next year. The same can be said for the second-most important skill listed – communication.

Also in the top 10 were emotional intelligence and stress management. Again, these soft skills have become crucial to working life in the upheaval of 2020.

Having the emotional intelligence required to empathise with others in the midst of a pandemic will continue to be critical. But being aware of your own wellbeing and taking care of yourself will be equally important.

Recruiters who took part in the survey also said they are looking for a diverse range of hard skills, from customer service to graphic design.

Many of the top skills listed were linked to tech, with analytical skills in first place followed by high-level IT skills and then basic computer knowledge.

Zety infographic showing 10 top soft skills for 2021.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: Zety

Zety infographic showing 10 top hard skills for 2021.

Click to enlarge. Infographic: Zety

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Lisa Ardill
By Lisa Ardill

Lisa Ardill joined Silicon Republic as senior careers reporter in July 2019. She has a BA in neuroscience and a master’s degree in science communication. She is also a semi-published poet and a big fan of doggos. Lisa briefly served as Careers Editor at Silicon Republic before leaving the company in June 2021.

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