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Skills that Make Bosses Want to Hire You
Even with the recent gains made concerning the national unemployment rate, the job market remains much more competitive than it was thirty years ago. Part of this is because fewer households rely on the income of one breadwinner to get by. It’s more typical to find both partners working at least part time, and often full time, jobs. In addition, more men and women are graduating with college degrees or obtaining advanced certifications in their fields, making competition for jobs even tougher.
The good news is that you don’t need an Ivy League education, personal agent or even a fancy résumé to get noticed by prospective employers. In fact, the top skills many employers are looking for, both in prospective employees and in those already working for them, just might surprise you.
One of the most important ways to attract prospective employers is punctuality. The cliché, “better late than never”, should never apply. Punctuality, or being on time, is a skill that is essential to most employers for satisfactory work performance. However, many employees fail to see the importance of punctuality unless an employer is forced to make threats concerning habitual tardiness.
Never show up late for a job interview. Once you’re hired, always be on time to work, meetings and other events. Being punctual shows you have a good work ethic and that you respect other people’s time as important too.
Another great asset for employer appeal is interpersonal skills. There aren’t many careers in which effective interpersonal skills aren’t crucial to good job performance. This holds true even if you don’t work with the public. You still have to know how to work peacefully and efficiently with your leaders and fellow employees. Disagreements should always be handled in a calm, professional manner.
For some people, this comes naturally. Others have to work to build effective interpersonal skills. Ask yourself some questions: Do you argue with friends, family and coworkers? Did you hate your last boss and let everyone around you know it? If so, then you’ll need to work on gaining interpersonal skills. Sometimes this means changing the way you react to frustrations, orders and even advice from others. If you can do this, companies will want to hire and retain you.
Being diplomatic will also give you an advantage when you are pursuing employment. Do you tend to only see things as they appear from your own perspective or are you gifted in the ability to see things from multiple sides? Diplomacy is a skill bosses love to see in new hires and in long-time employees. It’s a skill any leader should possess. It allows you to collaborate with others and settle disputes more effectively. In short, it makes you a better employee, the kind employers want.
Diplomacy begins with getting along with your coworkers. You don’t have to be best friends, but you should build relationships of mutual respect. Learn to recognize and admit when you’re wrong. Communicate directly with coworkers. Think before you speak and if you don’t have anything nice or constructive to say, keep quiet until you do. Speaking respectfully and thoughtfully is a huge step towards developing diplomacy in the workplace.
Being bilingual is another great benefit to have when trying to attract future employers. Companies strive to meet the needs of a varied range of customers. Employees who speak more than one language are able to communicate with more customers, increasing their employer’s ability to reach and provide services to those customers. Bilingual employees aren’t only able to understand other languages, they are better able to relate to and appreciate other cultures. Having the ability to speak more than one language is a serious advantage in today’s job market.
If you don’t speak another language that doesn’t mean you can’t learn. While learning to be fluent in a second language is hard work, the advantage it provides in the workplace is well worth the effort. Invest in an online language learning program, take a few courses at a community college or public library or seek out a language learning program.
Knowing how to manage your time will also help you to stand out from the crowd. Bosses want employees who can effectively manage their time. Time management is more than just showing up on time, though punctuality is part of it. An employee who effectively manages their time is able to plan, meet deadlines and increase productivity.
Developing time management skills is one of the best ways to become indispensible to your boss. To do lists, multi-tasking and organizational skills are all part of effective time management. Learning to prioritize and minimize distractions can help you become a more efficient employee.
A skill often forgotten in the workplace is self-awareness. Potential employers want employees who exhibit self-awareness. What does it mean to be self-aware and why is it such an important skill? To be self-aware means to have a clear view of your own strengths and weakness, as well as your motivations, beliefs and general personality. Self-awareness is a more rare trait, but it’s highly valuable in a prospective employee.
Have you spent a lot of time contemplating your own strengths and weakness, and motivations and reactions? Developing self-awareness begins with listening and observing, both those around you and yourself. Pay attention to how others react to you. Pay attention to how you react to others. Try attending a seminar or reading a reputable book to help you gain strong self-awareness.
When making a first impression on a prospective employer, don’t forget to dress professionally and look the part. This may seem obvious, but many capable job candidates are turned down due to a non-professional appearance. Potential employers do assess job candidates based on personal appearance in the appropriate context of what the specific job may be.
Dressing well and looking the part is a trait that definitely makes job seekers more employable. Read the dress code of the company and abide by it. Dress appropriately and always maintain a neat appearance. The same goes for when attending interviews. You never get a second chance to make a first impression.
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