4 Skills That Make You Irresistible for Entry-Level Jobs and How to Master Them

You just hit the job market and you’re looking for some entry-level gigs. The competition for jobs these days is stiff, so how can you stand out? In countless job descriptions, certain skills keep coming up. Here are a few examples and some tips on how to master them:

    1. Analytical Skills

Many jobs require a certain amount of data manipulation. Most job seekers might say they have experience with Excel, but skill levels vary quite a bit and can make a difference in landing that first job. Having a strong command of a program like Excel can give you a huge advantage in standing out among other candidates.

      • Tips for mastering:

Learn keyboard shortcuts. Using these shortcuts can make an unbelievable improvement in your productivity. Try unplugging your mouse for a day and learn how to do everything with your keyboard.

    1. Presentation Skills

The ability to create and deliver a presentation is arguable one of the most important skills for any profession. Make sure you have experience with at least one presentation application, like PowerPoint or Keynote.

      • Tips for mastering:

Pick a topic, craft a short presentation about it, and deliver your presentation to a friend or family member. Extra credit: style your presentation without using a template. To show off your slides, create an account on SlideShare and upload your presentation.

    1. Writing Skills

Writing is another key component of most jobs. Whether it’s a report, email, or memo, chances are you will need to write something in your work. Strong writing skills will also be critical in your cover letter, so sharpening them will not only help you at the job, but will help you apply for it as well.

      • Tips for mastering:

Write, write, write. Practicing writing is the best way to improve your skills in this area. Choose a news topic you find interesting and write a brief editorial about it. To work on being concise, choose a certain word limit and make sure to stay within it. And while you’re at it, start a blog!

    1. Web Development/Programming

Having a working understanding of programming and development languages can really make you stand out as a job candidate. Learning programming languages is a hot new professional trend and some people believe that programming skills are the next need-to-know skill sets.

      • Tips for mastering:

Check out Codecademy, Treehouse, or Udemy. Watch videos on Khan Academy, OpenCourseWare, or even Youtube tutorials. But don’t stop there—make something! Whether it’s a simple web app, a website, or customizing your own WordPress site, working through a project is the best way to apply what you’ve learned. Plus, you’ll have something to show for your efforts!

Practicing and demonstrating these four skills will make you an irresistible candidate for many entry-level jobs. Leave time in your job search for developing your skills and get employers to call you back!