January 26, 2016

6 Skills You Need to Know For Professional Growth in 2016


Don’t let a lack of time stop you from learning both the technical and the soft skills you need to boost your career. Check out these six tech skills that will help you boost your career and succeed in 2016. Each one is fairly easy to learn and will do wonders for your resume.

1. Project Management

The meat of project management is ensuring that collaborative efforts are productive, that scope is maintained, that communication is frequent and accurate, and that everything stays organized and documented. If you want to learn the basics quickly, your best bet is to master a few project management tools.

Where to start: Todoist is a great beginner app that can help you keep projects on task. Plus, it allows for sharing tasks with others, so you can get the whole team on board.

2. Writing Code

You don’t have to master coding or become savvy enough to whip or enterprise-level apps. Simply knowing a bit of HTML or JavaScript, for example, can help you make small modifications to your company’s blog or website that will boost your SEO rankings and improve the user experience.

Where to start: Places like W3Schools and Codecademy offer free online tutorials in HTML, JavaScript, PHP, JQuery, and a variety of other programming languages.

3. Visual Design

If, every time someone shares an infographic on your Facebook feed, you think, “I’d like to do that,” then you’re onto something! Blog posts and other forms of content that contain visual elements such as infographics or GIFs go viral much more frequently than posts that rely on text and simple images alone.

BuildingWhere to start: One of the best tools for learning to create infographics for free is Piktochart. Not only is it a snap to sign up, but there are also many tutorials on the website and lots of support available to you as you learn.

4. WordPress

WordPress is not the only content management system (CMS) out there. However, it is one of the most popular, and probably your best option if you want to master a tool quickly. You can use WordPress to identify and execute your content marketing strategy, and it has multiple plugins and widgets that you can use for anything from eCommerce to hands-off content curation.

Where to start: There is a nearly endless variety of WordPress tutorials for you to choose from. Your best bet is to find one that focuses on the specific skills you want to learn. Start there, and then supplement your knowledge later on with tutorials that address other topics. You should be able to master the basics skills required to start a professional website in just a day or so.

5. Social Media Management

In order to effectively manage social media, you’ll need to develop a variety of skills that you can then use to create customer relationships, increase your Internet presence, promote your brand, and spark conversations. Skills like content writing optimizing and promotion, the ability to use various social media tools, and content curation will serve you well in this arena.

Where to start: Begin with a great guide from an industry leader like KISSmetrics cofounder Neil Patel. Then, check out these social media myths in order to learn more about what makes great social media content.

6. Photoshop

If you see an image in a magazine article or advertisement, it has probably been altered in some way by somebody using Photoshop. If you know how to use this tool, you can do a lot of great things, including:

– touch up your photographs;
– create original visual content for blog posts;
– and edit photos and other images for clarity and quality.

InstaWhere to start: There are many image editing tools available, but Photoshop is the obvious choice. If you are unsure about making the somewhat hefty investment needed to purchase the tool, remember that you can download it for a 30-day trial. Once you have the program, you can check out these tutorials to get a handle on it in short order.

Almost every company needs employees with these six skills. Boost your the power of your resume today, and you may just find yourself earning a bigger paycheck tomorrow.

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Laura Callisen is an ambitious young writer. Today, she works as a freelance journalist and business consultant and absolutely loves blogging about education, job search, and professional development. Follow her on Twitter (@LauraCallisen) and check out her portfolio!
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