The Skills You REALLY Need to Stand Out in the Job Hunt

It’s somewhat popular today to discuss – when the topic of long-term unemployment comes up – that the people who can’t find jobs lack the types of “hard” skills employers demand today.

Those types of hard skills actually are more technical in nature, such as those for skilled labor machinists, engineers, and those skilled in science, technology, healthcare, etc. These skills are important to employers but so are soft skills such as a hard-work ethic, the “old fashioned” idea that punctuality is important, answering the phone in a polite manner, keeping anger and attitude under control, being a team player, attention to detail, etc.

All of these “soft” skills are critical to success on the job but also as you look for a job: The more you can demonstrate that you have these types of skills, the more favorably an employer will regard you.

The first step in showing you possess these important skills is to make sure your resume has absolutely no typos or grammatical errors. Having them shows that you’re a bit lax in your attention to detail.

You also should make sure you arrive at an interview on time. If you stress that punctuality is one of your strong suits, arriving late shows just the opposite. “Things” over which you have no control often can cause you to be late. If this happens, be sure you call your interviewer as soon as you know you’re not going to arrive on time.

Better yet, work hard to ensure you aren’t late. If possible, drive to the interview location the day before. How long does it take you? If you’ll be traveling by public transportation, take the bus or the subway the day before so that you can plan out your trip.

Once you arrive at the interview, watch your manners. Be polite and friendly to everyone, including receptionists, secretaries, cleaning personnel – everyone.

During your interview, show enthusiasm about your career as well as the open position. Never bad mouth a current or past boss. Show self-confidence, but don’t be arrogant or overly boastful.

Make sure you’re dressed correctly for a job interview. If you’re applying for an office position, a suit and tie for men and a professional skirt of pant suit (or conservative dress and jacket/blazer) are critical.

Sit up in your chair, speak clearly and answer all questions a completely as possible.

If you remember nothing else, remember that hiring managers are looking for people who have the right skills for the position as well as the ability to fit in with the company’s or department’s “culture.” Demonstrate your ability to work hard, be on time, get along with others, etc. and you’ll help your candidacy tremendously.

If you’re looking for work in Portland, Seattle, Lake Tacoma, Lake Oswego, Anchorage, or Chicago, contact a recruiter at the Opti Staffing Group. We can help you find permanent employment and also help you keep an income via temporary assignments. We look forward to hearing from you!

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