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.