Digital skills: marketing yourself for the future of work

By Robert Half 18th July 2019

The importance of digital skills in the current hiring market can’t be denied. A global study revealed that over half (56%) of employees lack the digital skills they’ll need for the future of work and are in dire need of digital skills training.

The digital skills gap has the potential to cost the UK economy an estimated £141.5 billion in GDP growth and it is estimated that within 20 years, 90% of all jobs will require digital skills

The job market might currently be in favour of the candidate, but you’ll stand a far better chance of securing your first-choice opportunities by making sure your digital skills are up to scratch and by optimising your approach to skills marketing.

How to market yourself for a job in the digital workplace

The experts at Robert Half share insights on how to market yourself for a job now that the digital workplace has changed the game, and what potential employers are looking for to ensure new employees have the digital skills to succeed in the future of work.

1) Mine your CV for basic digital skills
You need to start by asking yourself: what are the basic digital skills needed for this role and do I already have them? Some of them have been on your CV for years and may just need to be moved to more aligned with your technical skills. This can include sophisticated knowledge of Excel, experience with ERP software programs and basic CMS knowledge.

2) Demonstrate in-demand soft skills for your role
The digital workplace is facilitating better creative problem solving, cross-team collaboration and an increase in business partnering. This has led employers to start looking for specific soft skills that complement an employee’s technical and digital skills. 

Your CV and cover letter are both great tools for skills marketing. Use them to draw attention to achievements in which you’ve used online and digital solutions in your role or solved a problem with excellent communication skills, good customer-facing skills, and a capacity for collaboration. This will allow your potential hiring manager to draw on these in the interview as well.

3) Undertake independent digital skills training
If you’ve identified a skills gap, you can increase your chances of landing your dream role by undertaking digital skills training in your own time. Independent learning isn’t unheard of when it comes to digital upskilling — a recent study by Vodafone showed that 67% of employees taught themselves the digital skills they needed. 

As the digital workplace takes hold, employers are looking for staff members that understand the value of lifelong learning. The skills of coachability, the ability to learn and adapt are growing in importance today.

4)  Be willing to learn
Does your CV list a software or a platform which has recently been superseded by a new version? You can still use this to your advantage, provided it isn’t several years out of date. Bridge the digital skills gap by showing you understand the importance of keeping your digital skills up to date and demonstrate a clear interest in learning any new updates to the software or application.

5)  Show how adaptable you can be
According to 51% of UK business leaders, digitalisation is one of the biggest causes of change in the workplace. Because of this, many employers are looking to hire resilient, adaptable employees, as well as taking measures to upskill permanent staff.

In your personal statement, try to mention your willingness to adapt to a digital workplace to help fuel growth. Your skills marketing may also need to include solid examples of where your digital skills have added value during your interview.

6)  Make good use of your personal statement
A personal statement sits at the top of your CV and is typically used to outline your passions and career goals. This makes it an excellent tool to showcase how you plan to futureproof your career in a digital workplace. You can do this by mentioning new digital skills you’d like to learn or by outlining a career trajectory which includes an emerging digital role. 

The importance of digital skills

Workplace digitalisation is set to fundamentally change the way businesses operate. It has already created a wealth of new job roles and caused many existing roles to change. Digital skills are important for professionals at all levels because they support this business transformation. 

Closing the digital skills gap in your CV will help you add extra value to the business, excel in your role and could help you adapt to a digital workplace more quickly. It may also help to increase your professional value in the hiring market.

To find out which digital skills training you’ll need and how to market yourself for a job using the most in-demand skills, you can use a recognised industry report, such as the Salary Guide.

Are you interested in finding a new opportunity aligned with the future of work? Get in touch with the team at Robert Half to find your perfect fit.

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