There is no getting around it, the job market is tough.  Despite employers’ complaints that there is a talent shortage, the reality for the unemployed is that there is a shortage of suitable jobs.  As the economy changes and morphs, there is a widening gap between skilled and unskilled labor.  Requirements for jobs that pay over $20 an hour are increasing.  On the other side of the coin, there is an increasing amount of low skill jobs such as customer service or food service that do not pay the bills.

This dynamic has created a huge problem for labor and business alike.

Companies are in the position to be picky. It feels like they require the moon and sky from new hires in terms of skills and experience.  Rejected candidates are forced to go elsewhere, often driven into low-skill jobs that do nothing to advance skills.  Eventually, the job market will shift.  Employers will no longer be able to be so picky.

This is when the current dynamic will backfire on them and the talent shortage will manifest.

A lot of those workers who were rejected, even though they could have done the job, will no longer be qualified because their skills will be dated due to work in low-skill environments.  It is a snowball effect.  Employers want the best, and are unwilling to invest in new talent because right now they do not have to.  This will change when the economy fully recovers.  Employers will be begging for even semi-qualified workers to join their teams.

Fortunately, there is no reason to despair.  Workers who have been rejected can brush up and improve for little or no cost to them. Online training videos that update old skills, teach new, and inspire confidence needed to win those high-skill jobs are widely available.

Skills to Prime

Microsoft is the largest provider of business software and IT management systems.  Learning their software is a great way to improve a resume.   Here are the top Microsoft programs to master to improve a resume:

  • Microsoft SharePoint:  This is a network-based file storage and information sharing system.  Major companies and small businesses alike utilize SharePoint.  The valuable skill with SharePoint is knowing how to administer and manage the system.
  • Microsoft Office:  Learning all the programs offered in Microsoft Office is invaluable.  The vast majority of workers know how to use Word, but beyond that few people understand how to unlock the productivity potential in MS Office.  Superior knowledge will set your resume apart from the crowd.
  • Microsoft Project:  Anybody interested in a position as a project manager must know this software inside and out.  Project managers are expected to come into position knowing how to manage and how to use the tools.  Knowing MS Project will open doors.
  • Microsoft IT Management:  Microsoft provides a great deal of IT software and support to businesses of all sizes.  The following certifications are invaluable and always in demand; MTA, MCTS and MCITP.  The best part is that people can update their skills and earn these certifications online with Microsoft online IT training.

With so much competition for jobs, there is no reason to delay brushing up technology skills, especially Microsoft-based software skills.  There are lots of programs offered through employers and states that allow workers to take courses for free.  Be sure to research what is available, and take steps to improve your resume today.