Every student’s ‘next step’ is getting the perfect job. The question is, what superpower will get you yours?

We’d use one word to describe today’s workforce, ambiguous. Doesn’t leave much room for planning thanks to the pace technology is affecting your average job criteria. One thing that won’t be changing any time soon is the absolute need for creative skills

No use giving an employer a bullet point selection of skills and technical expertise if you can’t use them to your advantage and set yourself apart from the hundreds of other applicants going for the same positions. Fueling this conversation is a filmmaker and author M. Night Shyamalan, who spoke at the recent Adobe MAX Creativity Conference and here’s what he had to say. 

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The Rundown

Igniting student creativity from the ‘get-go’ comes from “giving students a voice”. In his own experiences through a career in creative fields, Shyamalan attributed any success he had by owning his in the story, practised and preached. A recent Get Hired: Importance of Creativity and Soft Skills Study got leading employers to dish out the top five skills the future is looking for, which will roll right off the tongue since they all start with ‘C’.

The study went into deep-dive research mode examining “2 Million resumes and 2 Million Job Postings across 18 diverse careers” to see whether the demand of these skills matched with the number of candidates who possessed them. Turns out today’s resumes are lacking in the five ‘C’s despite the high demand and critical need for such skills. A shocking 3 out of 4 resumes don’t list either creativity or communication as a skill they possess, such soft skills that cannot be trained and need to be highlighted. 

Shyamalan’s testimony on the state of the current workforce guided by the recent “Get Hired” study funnels down to the need to ask two questions: 

1. Do candidates possess these skills? 

Are these skills emphasized enough in schools so students can be prepared for the future? 69% of educators don’t think so and hope they will be nurtured soon. 

Creativity is being misinterpreted as ‘how well you can draw a pretty picture’ rather than creativity in the way a person can tackle tasks. A necessary skill that is being poorly neglected although is most critical in jobs that require hard skills, the ones you would typically learn in a classroom that an employer can quantify. 

2. How can job seekers who DO have these skills better showcase them on paper or in person?

For those who defied the odds and possess the skills of the future, the task is to show them off and it all comes down to your ability to tell your story much like Shyamalan’s experience. When you present your technical skills in an interview without the mundane listing, you inadvertently start showing off your soft skills to present your in-person highlight reel. 

Give the examples employers are waiting for, how have you collaborated in your past or present job? How have the ‘c’s been applied? 

In time Shyamalan hopes that candidates will become hybrids, with a blend of soft and hard skills, but until then, we urge you to make creativity your superpower and land yourself the job of your dreams. 

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