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Including these in-demand skills on your resume could be the key to getting hired

This was adapted from CNBC’s Work It newsletter on LinkedIn about all things work — from how to land the job to how to succeed in your career. (Click here to subscribe.)

When you think about your resume, you tend to think of including your experience, job responsibilities, education, etc. But one thing you shouldn’t overlook: your skills.

“Skills are the most important factor when it comes to landing a job right now,” LinkedIn career expert Blair Heitmann recently told CNBC Make It. “More companies are shifting from traditional measures like degrees and years of experience to skills-based hiring to ensure that they get the most qualified person in the job who can really deliver.”

So, what kind of skills are we talking about?

Recruiters want to know what hard skills (certifiable skills like coding or graphic design) you have but they’re increasingly looking for soft skills (less quantifiable skills like multitasking and problem solving) as well.

“Let’s say you have a special certification that wasn’t necessarily a higher education degree like a bachelor’s degree,” Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster, told CNBC Make It. This could be a certificate from an online course in marketing. Or if you are fluent in another language — that would be great to include under skills.

Some of your skills you can work into bullets under experience but for the rest, include them under the skills section of your resume.

Showing off your skills can put you “head and shoulders above other candidates,” Salemi said.

Of course, not all of these skills will apply to your job search. But it’s important to start training your brain to pick out what skills companies are looking for in the job description and, if those are skills you have, to highlight them on your resume and underscore them in the interview.

That says: Hey, I have exactly what you’re looking for!

And, if you happen to find yourself unemployed or hating your job and unsure of what to do next — take a look at this list for inspiration. It could lead to your next career move — or it could be helpful in how you sell yourself for the position.

Just remember, though: Be honest! Don’t say you have skills if you don’t just to get a job. It will quickly become apparent on the job and you’ll have lost valuable trust right out of the gate. Instead, if employers are looking for a skill that you don’t have, consider taking a class to obtain that skill. Just don’t say you have it — until you do.

Soft skills play a key role in hiring decisions
You might not be used to bragging about your communications skills or your ability to juggle a bunch of things at once but you might start to after you read this next part: A whopping 93% of employers said soft skills played a key role in their hiring decisions, according to ZipRecruiter.

Whoa! That is a huge number — and a huge opportunity to grab attention in a job search.

But what exactly are soft skills?

Soft skills are ones that demonstrate how you work. Some of them are people and interpersonal skills, while others are about process. I think they really fall into that category of how you would fit in to an organization. Is the organization or industry fast-paced? If so, you’ll need good time-management skills. Do things change often on the job? In that case, you’ll need to be flexible.

And don’t fret if you don’t have all of these skills, the idea is to figure out what you have and how it best matches up with a future job/employer. Finding the right fit is as much for their benefit as it is yours. At the end of the day, it would be great if you loved going to work and felt like you were firing on all cylinders.

Soft skills can include a million different things so it’s important to highlight those that are relevant to the position you are applying for — and that recruiters are looking for.

ZipRecruiter combed through its millions of job listings and compiled a list of the eight most in-demand soft skills.

Again, even though not all of these may apply to you, you should train your brain to pluck these out of the job descriptions when you’re applying for jobs, see which ones you have, and then work those into your application — be it in your resume, cover letter and/or answers to interview questions.

For example, let’s say you get asked to talk about a challenging time at work and how you overcame it. Maybe it required you to use your communications skills to smooth things over or maybe you were under a tight deadline and really had to display those time-management skills. Maybe you had to stop and analyze the situation and figure out the best way to proceed. And maybe that required you to be flexible and pivot in a different direction. These are all important details you need to convey in your answers to show the recruiters that you’re the right candidate for the job.

Edit yourself! Choose no more than six skills to highlight on your resume
It’s important to have some of your key skills on your resume to show recruiters and employers from the get-go who you are, why you are qualified and a little bit about how you work.

Career coaches say you can put those skills at the top or the bottom of your resume, but it’s important to not make it a huge list — pick those that best showcase your abilities.

“You’ve got to pick six skills that you are truly top of game,” Julie Bauke, founder and chief career strategist with The Bauke Group, told CNBC Make It.

Salemi said she would probably limit it to just “three or four top skills that are coveted by the employer.”

And don’t include too many general terms like “sales,” “marketing strategies” and “public speaking” in your skills section, Bauke said, otherwise you run the risk of it looking like “verbal vomit.”

Eesh! No, you don’t want that.

The idea is that your experience is going to be the first thing they look at. Including these focused skills can be what sets you apart from other candidates and helps you get the job.

Don’t forget to include your skills on your LinkedIn profile
If you’ve ever thought: Oh, wow. If I only knew what they were looking for. If I only had connections like some people.

Well, social media has leveled that playing field! You DO have connections. Or the potential for connections. It’s up to you what you make of them.

So, start following some recruiters and career coaches on TikTok, Instagram and other social platforms, because they have the inside scoop on what they — and other recruiters — are looking for in terms of skills and qualifications.

Emily Durham is a career coach and content creator with over 200,000 followers. She is also a senior recruiter for Intuit.

In a recent TikTok, Durham offered up some great tips to help make your LinkedIn profile fire.

Make sure you list your skills in the skills section! Recruiters literally type in what skills they are looking for when searching LinkedIn for candidates.
“If you don’t have key skills … in the skills section, it’s really unlikely that your profile is coming up,” Durham said.

And, remember the one skill you need during this whole process: The ability to sell yourself. You have the skills, the tools and the network at your disposal, you just have to use them to convince recruiters that the search is over — they’ve found the perfect candidate.

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Justice Department Investigation TikTok Owner for Spying on U.S. Journalists: Reports

The company admitted in December that some of its employees improperly accessed the data of U.S. journalists in a bid to uncover the source of leaks.

The Justice Department and the FBI are investigating the parent company of the popular social media app TikTok for surveilling American citizens, including journalists.

According to reports, federal authorities began their investigation late last year, after TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd. acknowledged that some of its employees improperly accessed journalists’ location data and other private data. Forbes was the first to report the investigations.

The investigation comes amid scrutiny of the app and a hardening policy stance by a bipartisan group of lawmakers and the White House over concerns that China is using the app to gather data on American citizens and influence elections.

ByteDance is based in China and has ties to the Chinese government. The app is banned from federal government devices, government devices in more than two dozen states and those in several European countries.

The FBI and the Justice Department are part of an agency called the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which has asked ByteDance to divest from the U.S. arm of the app – or face a potential nationwide ban, which the White House has signaled it might support.

Former President Donald Trump in 2020 issued an executive order that effectively forced the company to divest of its U.S.-held assets, drawing on emergency economic powers. Despite several reports that a sale was imminent, no agreement was reached. The order did not survive legal challenges in federal court and was ultimately revoked by President Joe Biden.

The latest request has come amid ongoing negotiations between the company and the government over its ownership and the storage of data belonging to Americans. ByteDance has previously proposed another plan whereby the data from U.S. users would be stored in the U.S. and managed by a U.S.-based team.

ByteDance said in December that the employees who accessed the journalist’s data did so in a bid to uncover the source of leaks. Those employees have been fired, it said.

Federal prosecutors in Virginia are also investigating ByteDance, according to reports. TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to testify in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee next week.

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Is the future of shopping still autonomous?

Dating back to the first vending machine developed in London in the early 1880s to sell postage stamps, autonomous shopping has had a long history.

In 2018, there were an estimated 350 stores in the world offering a fully autonomous checkout process — and this is expected to grow further with 10k autonomous stores anticipated by 2024.

But since then, consumer preferences have shifted: There’s an increased demand for personalisation, on-demand delivery, sustainable consumer choices and the growth of AI.

So how have autonomous stores been affected by these new market trends — and is the sector still on track to hit 10k stores in 2024? Sifted sat down with the experts to find out.

An increased demand for personalisation
Scaling personalisation has been shown to be one of the key retail trends of 2023. Consumers respond well to personalisation throughout the shopping process — from sales and marketing to upselling and after-sales support.

Brands are increasingly relying on consumer data, algorithms and online surveys to fulfil this growing demand for customised products.

For Natasha Thakkar, head of marketing at AiFi, an AI-powered platform that helps retailers scale autonomous shopping solutions, the boom in AI presents the perfect opportunity for it to be used more widely in enabling personalisation in autonomous shopping.

“AI analyses consumer purchase patterns, previous transactions, interests, demographics and other relevant data to help suggest personalised recommendations to the consumer,” she says. “This increases the likelihood of them making a purchase and interacting with the brand more frequently.

Paweł Grabowski, head of unmanned solutions at Żabka Future, a unit of Żabka Group that fosters innovation and finds businesses increasing the value of the convenience store chain, says that autonomous stores (Żabka Nano) allow them to deliver a personalised experience in the offline world. It now operates over 50 stores, making Żabka Nano the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe.

“It’s like ecommerce shopping, but within brick and mortar — we can collect customer data and track the customer journey at all the stages, which allows us to build advanced analytics, including sales funnel or advanced shopping history based on events.

“The data, combined with our mobile app, enable us to personalise communication, offer and even discount coupons to the customers,” he says.

On-demand delivery and flexible lifestyles
The pandemic drove up the demand for quick online shopping — also known as quick commerce or qcommerce. But now, there’s a shift back to offline shopping and consumers are increasingly opting for a hybrid approach — a mix of online and offline shopping.

40% of consumers who intend to increase in-store shopping and decrease online shopping say it’s because delivery costs are too high.

The experts say that a hybrid approach is the way to go for all brands.

“Both autonomous stores and quick online shopping educate people on how to do grocery shopping differently. We believe in the synergy between those business models,” Grabowski says. “Customers are expecting a complete ecosystem of convenience solutions. Qcommerce is based on dark stores located in good city spots. What if autonomous technology can extend their role to them? Dark stores can then serve both as warehouses and come-and-grab stores for the local community.”

Emanuel de Bellis, associate professor and director of the Institute of Behavioral Science and Technology at the University in St. Gallen, Switzerland, says that he sees autonomous technology working better for quick shopping in local stores. De Bellis’s research focuses on how consumers perceive and use new technologies.

“I don’t see a future with larger stores that are fully autonomous because I don’t really see the incremental benefit — the technology works better for smaller local stores where you can just grab a couple of things,” he says.

Additionally, autonomous stores also give brands the flexibility to operate within settings which were traditionally considered unusual for stores. The ATX Market at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas, recently became the first soccer stadium in the world to introduce a checkout-free store.

“Our stores are located in the middle of the offices, dormitories, gyms and inside other stores,” Grabowski adds. “Autonomous stores can provide convenience services in locations where traditional retailers are unable to operate.”

Sustainable consumer choices
Given inflation and the downturn, this may be the right time for brands to leverage technology to improve their offerings and come up with innovative ways for consumers to shop and save.

“Since there’s no checkout staff operating autonomous stores, retailers can operate them 24/7,” says Thakkar. “This not only provides more convenience to the customers, but also helps in increasing the revenue and significantly decreasing operating costs, thereby increasing overall store efficiency.”

Consumers are also increasingly shifting towards conscious shopping habits — buying decisions revolving around ethics, environmentalism and sustainability, regardless of macroeconomic conditions. A 2023 survey shows that 78% of consumers prioritise sustainability.

Grabowski says that at Żabka Group, the business and ESG strategies are interlinked. For example, the stores use only energy from renewable sources.

“Since there’s no checkout staff operating autonomous stores, retailers can operate them 24/7″

“Another crucial element is reducing food wastage: our store is data-driven, so for example, we can accurately predict the demand for fresh products,” he says.

De Bellis says that this also points towards a possible future where human intervention for grocery shopping can be completely eliminated — homes and retailers would be interconnected to predict the items and quantities that need to be purchased and replaced.

“With large amounts of data, it could check what’s in your fridge, for instance, or it could also be connected to many more things such as your blood glucose level and order specific things depending on how healthy you are,” he adds.

“It’s something that we can expect only in the distant future, but are slowly moving towards.”

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Why Do Your Customers Really Buy from You?

The following is a simple question for business owners. Why do your customers buy from you?

I told you the question was simple, but an accurate answer, on the other hand, can be far more complex and perhaps even elusive. To achieve long-term, sustainable success, your understanding of why your customers choose to do business with your company needs to be both correct and substantial.

Many business owners develop a customer value proposition (CVP) alongside their company mission and vision statements. The brief declaration is supposed to document why a customer would opt to buy your product or service over the competition.

While developing a CVP is commendable in its customer-centric approach, it often falls short of its intended purpose due to ambiguity, a lack of self-reflection and sometimes even outright insincerity. Dollars to doughnuts, there is not a single CVP out there that reads, “Our customers turn to us because we deliver lackluster service and a marginally good product.”

Related: Who Is More Important — Your Customers or Your Employees?.

I would also assume that there are many businesses whose CVPs portray an exaggerated sense of the company’s true customer value. CVPs should never be created based on hype or manufactured mantras; instead built from sincere, astute insight.

Bravado and disingenuousness are not the only ways business owners are misguided in their understanding of customer engagement and loyalty. The following are common misconceptions related to the question of why customers buy from you.

“We are the cheapest”
Sure, this value statement might be dressed up as “We deliver the best value,” “We are the low-price leaders,” or some other cost-based differentiator. But when I hear any form of “My customers buy from us because we are the cheapest,” I cringe. Competing on price alone is simply not a good model and is often unsustainable. There is always some other business owner who is willing to run out of cash faster than you are.

Most customers – both B2B and B2C – understand the balance between cost and value. They walk that tightrope in every purchase they make. Contending that cheapest is the key attribute that keeps them coming back shortchanges both your business and your customers.

“We have the best employees”
Forgive me for being a bit skeptical about this assertion as well. Sure, your business may have good employees; but are they really the best? You may provide excellent service, but your competitors probably do as well. Is it truly your employees that keep your customers coming back? With the rare exception of that ultra-charismatic salesperson who charms the socks of buyers, the answer in all likeliness is a resounding no.

That is not to say that hiring for personality and alignment with company values is unimportant. It most definitely is. But to put the onus of success and customer loyalty squarely on the shoulders of your employees is shortsighted.

Related: 3 Reasons Why I Gladly Welcome Competition

“We’ve got the best product on the market”
While possessing a corner on the market is a great position to be in, it does not account for innovations in the marketplace and often fickle changes in consumer preferences. Evolving customer motivations and expectations, coupled with aging business models, have been the downfall of even some of the most successful industry titans.

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