Last week, I came across HR research on expertise hiring teams may be looking for on your resume and LinkedIn profile, regardless of your job title. The areas to think about include:
- Artificial intelligence (AI),
- Digital transformation, and
- Diversity, equity, and inclusion. (DEI)
The question you may have is “why should I worry about having AI skills or digital transformation skills when I don’t work in IT?”. Similarly, you may wonder why DEI should be a concern for your job search when you don’t work in HR or organizational development functions.
Part of the reason is that we could be asked to wear many hats in post-pandemic organizations. And, AI, digital transformation, and DEI can have an impact on everybody’s job.
The topic of artificial intelligence, or AI has been ubiquitous in the last year or so. Some feel AI will replace them at work because it is so good, while others are concerned with the mistakes it makes. It’s a technology that, like the World Wide Web 30 years ago, seems to be in its infancy although it has been around in some form for years.
Regardless of how you feel about AI, think about how it relates to your profession or occupation. Have you used an AI tool to produce written products in your current job? Have you developed expertise in editing AI-generated first drafts for publication? Consider including an accomplishment bullet that shows how you made money or saved money for the company using an AI tool. AI, like the internet, is a technology employers may expect us to use in our jobs, whether we love or fear it.
Financial technology (Fintech) professionals have been talking about digital transformation for years. But it is taking place in many industries now. While the term means different things to different people, the Enterprisers Project says “in general terms, we define digital transformation as the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business resulting in fundamental changes to how businesses operate and how they deliver value to customers.”
My Fintech clients have described their digital transformation assignments as projects to do things such as generate bank statements using automated instead of manual processes. One client told me most of us do not realize how many transactions we process through bank websites and apps are done manually “on the back end.”
Think about whether you can demonstrate digital transformation skills in your industry. A high school Spanish teacher, for example, described how he used Google classroom tools to create a “paperless classroom” for his students. This was an accomplishment that demonstrated the unique value of a teacher in a field where one might not have expected a prospective employee to introduce new technologies long before the pandemic. The accomplishment statement we agreed on to highlight the teacher’s digital classroom transformation expertise was as follows:
- Spearheaded digital transformation using Google education tools for the Spanish classroom that improved student scores on the Spanish National Exam.
Think about how you have used technology to change the way your job is done when you write your resume and prepare for interviews.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
Many of us have probably viewed DEI as an issue for our HR, organizational development departments, or senior leaders. But clients have sent me job descriptions that indicate employers expect workers at all levels, even those in customer service, for example, to be conscious of DEI in their daily work.
There are good reasons for this. Years ago, many of us worked in relatively homogeneous organizations. Most people in the office, classroom, lab, or retail sales, or factory floor lived in similar neighborhoods, went to the same schools, and came from the same religious and ethnic backgrounds. It was relatively easy for us to relate to coworkers, suppliers, and customers. (Although we may not have thought so at the time)
Recent Zoom calls I have been on have encompassed participants spread across 12 time zones—half the world—as well as an ethnically diverse group in the United States. Work environments such as this mean it won’t be good enough for your resume to say you have “great teamwork skills.” You’ll have to prove it by demonstrating how, for example, you brought together a team of engineers in four countries to produce and market a new product in record time.
DEI, like digital transformation, may not be defined the same way in every organization. And you may not agree with DEI concepts personally. Nonetheless, you will improve your chance of landing interviews and jobs when you demonstrate an ability to get results when working with a diverse team.
It’s fair to say no one is going to expect you to be an expert on AI or machine learning if you are not a software or robotics engineer. You don’t have to be a DEI consultant when you work in customer service, or an expert on digitally transforming your job function. But you should demonstrate more than an “awareness” of these skills and technologies. Highlight accomplishments that show an employer why they should hire you!