5 skills I would like to see in every applicant

5 skills I would like to see in every applicant

I’ve talked about this before, but I see a lot of resumes in my day-to-day. I’ve seen bad, I’ve seen good, and I’ve even seen great. But I wanted to share the best job skills that you can bring to any position that I keep an eye out for on a resume and in job interviews, so you can make sure you have those skills, too.

1 – Strong and clear communication.

One of the best job skills you can have in 2019 is strong communication – from email to phone calls to in person. Can you clearly explain your answer to a question thoroughly but succinctly? Do you follow standard email etiquette?

I talk to people and look for people that I feel comfortable sending out to talk to clients. That comes down to simple communication skills and how they respond to hard or complicated questions.

The test: How do you respond to something you don’t know? I want to see something more than “I don’t know.” That tells me a lot about how you communicate.

2 – Strong writing.

I encourage college students to join their student newspaper, if only because you will become a better writer – even if you don’t want to be a journalist one day! Even better, honestly.

Writing skills are so sought after in the “real world.” It’s part of strong communication, but not everyone can talk and write. I want to see people who can do both.

Practice your writing and get better at it, however you can. Because in a few years, you’ll wish you had.

3 – Independence.

I want to see if my job candidates can figure things out. That’s one of the best job skills you can have – simply trusting yourself and being independent. I am not asking my job candidates or future hires to go completely rogue, mind you. I just want to know: Can you follow directions? Can you figure things out if they aren’t told to you?

I am more than happy to confirm locations of interviews, phone numbers, etc. for people when they ask. But I look for people who go the extra mile and try to solve problems before they come to me.

My test: I set up phone interviews with people, and I put clear instructions in the Google Calendar invitation that I send them. I also follow up with an email that tells them to check out the invitation for instructions. If someone calls me at the time of their interview, per my instructions, I know they did what they were instructed and figured it out; if they don’t call me but ask for more information, I know they tried; and if they wait out their entire interview time and never try to get in touch with me until afterward, I move on to another candidate.

4 – Good questions.

I always leave time at the end of interviews for people to ask me questions. When I was new at the whole job application and interview process, I didn’t know I needed to ask questions. In fact, I thought not asking questions made me look more qualified and not less. Whoops!

I’ve learned, though, and now, I put a great value on questions. I don’t discount people who don’t ask questions, but I value the people who thought ahead and prepared one to two questions for me. Even better, I look for questions that are specific to the job or to our workplace, and not boiler plate questions (although sometimes, you need to know the answer to a boiler plate question, and that’s OK!).

5 – Confidence in themselves.

You are not always going to be the most qualified candidate in the room. That is 100% OK, and I hope you never tell yourself you aren’t good enough for a job you want just because you aren’t perfectly qualified. Because when someone walks into an interview with me, I am looking to see if they believe they belong in that room. That goes a long way in any job interview.

With my students, I try really hard to help them build that confidence. Because if you can sell yourself in an interview, you can usually overcome any obstacles that come up with lower qualifications.

BEST JOB SKILLS

I’ve talked about this before, but I see a lot of resumes in my day-to-day. I’ve seen bad, I’ve seen good, and I’ve even seen great. But I wanted to share the best job skills that you can bring to any position that I keep an eye out for on a resume and in job interviews, so you can make sure you have those skills, too. 

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