The successful job applicant in 2015 will possess a multi-faceted array of knowledge, aptitudes and personality characteristics. The equation for the perfect employee looks something like this:
Formal/specific training + natural & learned capabilities + “soft skills” = the right person for the job
It’s all about what you know, what you can do and who you are.
The degree and level of formal instruction are of course important considerations to matching potential employees with specific job openings. But when comparing applicants with similar education, where do employers look next? It’s the below noted capabilities and characteristics that make applicants stand out.
- Written and Verbal Communication Skills
While some consider communication to fall under the “soft skills” category, many job search experts separate this crucial skill into a separate category due to its importance. An employee who excels in both written and verbal communication will be sought after in any field. Regardless of the basic core job duties, the ability to write a coherent memo or email, give clear verbal instructions, persuade others with a presentation and contribute in a productive way during a staff meeting are priceless skills. Employers also seek employees whose verbal communication is positive, creating a ripple effect of goodwill rather than a tidal wave of negativity.
- Project management Capabilities
According to Project Management’s Industry Growth Forecast, between 2010 and 2020, 15.7 million new project management roles will be created globally across seven project-intensive industries, including finance and insurance, business services and information services.
The ability to lead a group, to manage a budget, to create organization from chaos and to manage a timeline are skills you may well have developed in past positions. Consider experience in vendor management, general scheduling and planning as well as risk assessment as valuable assets in the growing field of project management.
- Data Analysis / Critical Thinking / Analytical Skills
With the increasing capability to collect large amounts of data, the ability to analyze data and pull together conclusive results is truly a marketable skill. In the daily challenges all businesses face, employees who can use critical thinking to collect relevant information, analyze the data then pull together a creative solution are assets in any number of professional fields.
- “Soft Skills” which include being a team player, a goal-oriented self-starter, being flexible and adaptable
“Today, employers want to see a candidate’s ability to show value in the workplace beyond the job description,” says Stefanie Cross-Wilson, co-president of recruitment and talent management at Hudson. “It’s the tangible skills or core competencies that get you in the door. It’s the soft skills that often get you the job.”
Employees who play well with others, can effectively work as part of a team, who can sometimes be a leader, sometimes a good follower—those are coveted candidates.
And a sense of humor doesn’t hurt either. According to John McKee, author of Career Wisdom—
“While I don’t hear recruiters asking for candidates who can tell a joke well, I do believe that evidence of light-heartedness and/or the ability to lighten up a tough situation is valued.”
- Social Media Savvy—the bonus capability
It’s likely a prospective employer will check out your online persona and thereby discover your degree of social media savviness. A well-developed, clean online profile will say several things about you. First, that you understand the value of an online footprint in today’s internet society. And second, your skill in using social media may prove helpful in developing or maintaining the company’s online presence.
Remember the importance of your intangible qualities and highlight them as thoroughly as you do your educational accomplishments.
Allow Thomas Byrne to assist you in meeting your career goals.