She is a fresh graduate of a four-year IT course. He is an experienced professional.
She is an excited neophyte willing to explore and try new things in her new world. He is a veteran with a long list of work experience under his sleeves.
She is raring to start her career. He is a long-time hopeful in finding a job he could keep for a long time.
Charibel and Kenji—two professionals with one immediate common goal: to clinch the job they want. Like most job-seekers, they hope to get noticed and win the nod of their prospective employers.
I remember a fellow who has been working as HR manager for a technology once told me that a job-seeker must appear as a ‘complete solution’ to the job. Meaning, he or she must possess the ‘irresistible’ combination of top skills and values to fill the vacant position.
But what do employers really want? Experts said that there are ‘universal or standard’ skills and personal values that employers are looking for job applicants. Below are some of the extremely important skills and traits you need to work on for you to get hired and keep the job you want.
1. Communication skills -The ability to listen, speak and write effectively is always given a high consideration in all types of jobs. The individual’s communication skills are always viewed as ‘primary’ requirements for employees because it is a critical part of the business’ success. As it has been said, ‘effective communication is the lifeblood of any business.’
2. Analytical skills - This is your ability to assess situation, identify pressing issues, gather various perspectives and arrive at best possible solution to the problem. Employers would love to have employees who know how to handle concerns at the first signs of the symptoms.
3. Computer Literacy - This is a basic skill you need to acquire as most businesses are run and operated by technologies. You must at least have basic understanding of computer hardware and software such as word processing and spreadsheet. Ability to execute other applications is a big plus for you!
4. Flexibility To Do Multiple Tasks - This is your ability to handle various assignments at a time and setting priorities without compromising the quality of your work. When you are able to do several things with equal excellence, you are earning your ‘value’ to the company.
5. Leadership / Management Skills- This deals with your ability to head the ship and manage your co-workers to advance the company’s business. It is said that only few are born to have leadership qualities. True or not, one thing is certain though: leadership can also be acquired through learning. Thus, you can do something to possess such quality and use it to your advantage. You can start by reading good books on this subject.
6. Ability to be a Team Player - While you need to hone your leadership skills, you also must know how to work well with co-employees in achieving a common goal. This will help you build trusting relationship with clients, bosses and colleagues.
7. Interpersonal Skills - This is your ability to relate and establish good relationship with people you are working with. Such are critical skills being looked at by employers because these make a ‘productive’ work environment.
Just as important as the skills is the personal values or characteristics of the workers. Most companies even give annual recognition to employees who set examples and display inspiring attitudes at the workplace.
Employers often find ways to get a taste of the candidate’s personality as early as during the screening process and interviews. Below are the top values the employers would like to see with their workers. For job-seekers, try to integrate examples that will show these characteristics into your resume, cover letters and interviews.
1. Honesty – for employers, this trait is indispensable. More than anything else, the employees ‘truthfulness and integrity’ appeal strongly to the employers. You probably already came across stories which exemplify how ‘honesty’ could spell success and recognition in the workplace.
2. Dependability –employers would love to have people who are reliable especially in times of work pressure.
3. Enthusiasm/ Work Passion – employers are also fond of seeing employees who exude enthusiasm at work. The energy and passion in doing the job drive the employees in achieving quality output or result.
4. Confidence – Speak with confidence and act with confidence! You must believe in yourself and in what you can do for the company so the employers would believe in you as well. You can not expect others to believe in you if you do not believe in yourself.
5. Flexibility – this is your willingness to accept workloads that are outside your area of coverage. Employers are likely to hire and keep employees who do not limit themselves to set of works but rather those that ‘extend’ help when need arises.
6. Loyalty – Employers want employees who will have strong commitment and devotion to the business even during tough times. A friend of mine worked in a hotel for 10 years and worked like it is her own business. She stuck with the work even during the ‘financial crises’ and helped the business to recover from monetary loss. Although she has moved to another field of endeavor, her efforts were recognized and she was considered as one of the company’s legendary movers.
7. Professionalism – this deals with executing things in ethical and responsible ways. Your first test: your punctuality during your first interview! Display your professionalism in your first encounter with the employer by coming early for the interview and dress like a professional. Remember, first impression counts!
Now that you know what it takes to be a ‘good catch’ for the employers, start working on these skills and values. To help you out, you could improve yourself by attending trainings, seminars and professional development sessions. You could also approach somebody you know who has been a ‘successful worker’ to give you inside tips and techniques. Their wisdoms and experiences could provide you a clear picture of the career world.
Lastly, keep that desire to succeed in your heart. Don’t let rejections and objections dampen your spirit. Employers have various ways looking at the qualifications of the candidates. But if you have the basic ingredients or qualities as mentioned in this article, you’ll increase your chances of getting hired. However, it is important that you continuously improve yourself. Remember that learning does not end in the classrooms. It is a continuous process. With that, you could be the next most sought-after professional in town!