When you’re looking for a new job, you need to be as marketable as possible. But what traits, beyond your skills, are employers looking for in new candidates? Companies are looking for a unique combination of soft skills that will demonstrate that you will be a big-picture hire for them. Before you send your resume or go in for that next interview, consider these top three skills and how to showcase them in your own background and personality.
The Ability to Listen
One of the most important skills any potential employee brings to the table is the ability to listen. Human nature is a funny thing. Often, when we are in a conversation with someone, we spend more time thinking about how we will respond to what they are saying than we do to the actual words they are saying. The problem is, even though we all tend to do this, it makes for a very one-sided conversation.
Instead, develop really good listening skills. That means not just hearing the words but understanding them. Communication is a two-way street. So focus on listening to what the other person is saying. Then reply with what you heard so they know you were listening. And don’t provide advice unless you’ve been asked, but don’t respond to it until you’re certain you’ve understood them correctly.
Another quality that employers look for in a new employee is adaptability. This means that the perfect candidate is someone who can roll with the punches when changes happen with little to no notice. While everyone would like some routine predictability in their days, not every business has that luxury.
At the same time, being adaptable in your work is also key to allowing your employers to be flexible in your schedule. These kinds of relationships are reciprocal and if you’re able to adapt to changing needs, your employer is more likely to consider allowing you flexibility and freedom with your schedule and work.
Finally, even if you’re not in a specific management position, companies want to see that their employees have leadership potential. Leadership doesn’t just mean that you are able to delegate responsibilities to others. It also means that you have a good sense of how a project will come together, who can handle the tasks best, and how to motivate everyone to come together to produce the final product.
To be hired in a new position, look at your employment history and pull out some of the instances where your leadership abilities were apparent. Focus on these within your resume and during your interview to showcase how your career can be developed in a leadership role.
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