The importance of skill in a tough job market

The Importance of Skill in a Tough Job Market

We’ve all heard the complaints: the job market is impossible, none of the 50 jobs I applied for online returned a response, I can’t seem to land an interview.  There is no doubt that it is tough to land a job out there right now, but that fact can’t be used to automatically eliminate yourself from the competition.  Instead, focus on answering the question, what skills do I bring to the workplace?

You must be familiar with the set of skills you are selling. If not, you are among the hundred-some other applicants who also applied for that perfect job you were hoping to get. Today, there are many fields to get into, with many specializations in each. Choosing a niche to focus on and becoming great at it will add that extra “oomph” needed to make you stand out among the rest in your field.

Start brainstorming your specialty. Are you a salesperson with a record for outselling your coworkers? Are you a computer programming specialist efficient in HTML coding? Having extra strength in your field will make you more marketable and employable. Employers are looking for “value” in every new hire – show them what your bring to the table.

Acquiring a skill helps brand you as an employment seeker. However, it is no use to have a skill if it’s not being showcased to enhance your strengths. Make your skill known – promote it! With social media being so prevalent in today’s society, it is easy to advertise your work online. Getting your name out there means more credibility, and a greater chance of being sought after.

Yes, there is no doubt the economy makes obtaining a job difficult, but having the right strategy can help you along, and skill is among the most important. Skill sits high as one of the top qualities an employer looks for, and the good news is that anyone has the ability to learn one. Remember: the more specialized you are, the more qualified you are!

3 mistakes job seekers make

3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make

It’s easy to blame the economy when your job search isn’t going as planned. Instead of automatically running to this excuse, first take a look at this list of the biggest mistakes that job seekers make – maybe the reason your luck seems to be running low lies in one of them.

#1 – Not Having a Top-Notch Resume

The internet has made it possible to submit a job application within seconds. This new technology has increased application volume. In turn, an overwhelming heap of resumes land on a company’s recruitment desk every day. The more resumes, the less likely it is that yours is being read thoroughly. Make sure your resume is fool-proof and includes attention-grabbing words. Provide the hiring manager with a reason to notice your application among the many others.

#2 – Poor (or no) Networking

Approximately 60% of all jobs are found through a networking referral. Imagine that 200 people apply for the same job. The person who has an influential referral in the business will most likely land an interview over the applicant who sent their resume in through an online search engine. Networking is key to getting your foot through the door.

#3 – Failure to Follow Up

Hiring managers appreciate those who take the time to follow up after an interview. This shows that the applicant is taking the opportunity seriously, and also displays proper work initiative. In the business setting, it is crucial to follow up with clients. Following up after an interview shows that you possess this quality. Thank the employer for the opportunity they have given you to interview with their company. Be sincere, and feel free to be creative: try sending a note in the mail. Employers are blasted daily with emails and phone calls – stand out among the crowd by putting a little extra time and thought into your thank you.

Keeping these three points in mind can greatly increase your chances of landing a job, as well as make you memorable among recruiters and employers. Always remember to have a solid resume, use your networking skills, and follow up!

Using nonverbal communication to enhance your interview

Using Nonverbal Communication to Enhance your Interview

It is said that 93% of communication is done non-verbally. Such a large percentage deserves some attention! Being aware of the nonverbal signals you put off has the potential to help your interview. Here are some pointers about your nonverbal communication during an interview:

- Make eye contact! When someone makes too little eye contact, we feel it is hard to connect with them, that they are suspicious, and that they may even be hiding something. On the contrary, making too much eye contact can make communicating uncomfortable. Be sure to look your interviewer in the eye every few seconds for a good balance.

- Don’t slouch! Be sure that you have appropriate posture. Slouching will imply that you are not interested in what the interviewer is saying and that you are not taking the interview seriously. Sit straight and try leaning in slightly – this will imply that you are engaged and interested in what is being said.

- Smile and nod to create a positive vibe. Smile only at appropriate times, and never laugh unless your interviewer laughs first. Nodding will let them know you are following along with what they are saying and are engaged in the conversation.

- Have a solid handshake! This is such an important part of an interview. Your handshake says a lot about you and creates the first peek into your level of assertiveness and leadership. Have a firm handshake – not too hard, as having too firm of a handshake can make you come across as dominant and overbearing. Avoid a limp handshake also, as this signals low confidence and self-esteem. Be confident and confortable with your handshake, applying the correct amount of pressure.

- Dress well! First impressions really do count. Make sure you look professional and keep accessories to a minimum, as too much can looked cluttered and be a distraction. Dress as if you are already working in the organization – this will make you easier for the interviewer to imagine you as a fit for their company.

Remember these tips next time you prepare for an interview. Having good nonverbal communication creates a positive environment and allows interaction to come at ease.

Why branding yourself is important

Why Branding Yourself is Important

In today’s world, the old-fashioned method of writing up a resume, printing it off and handing it to your desired employer will not likely result in a job. Likewise, neither does sitting on your computer all day filling out applications through a large job search engine. Today, it takes an extra level of competitiveness – and in order to keep up with some of the most marketable employees, it means being well branded.

What exactly do we mean by being branded?  Well, think of yourself as a product for a minute – let’ say, cereal. You are the cereal sitting on the bottom shelf in a plain beige cardboard box, your name on the front in plain bold letters. Your competition, however, – they are sitting at eye-level sporting a rainbow colored box with funky lettering and even the promise of a toy inside.

Now imagine a child takes a turn down your aisle. Do you think he or she is more likely to pick up your cereal box, or your competition’s? It’s not looking too promising for the plain cardboard box with little detail.

Being well branded means making yourself desirable in the marketplace and targeting the right audience. It means having that eye-level position on the shelf and a rainbow colored box. And an employer, like the child, is more likely to pick you because you stand out.

So you can see that in a world with thousands of other “products” just like you, it is important to make yourself well branded.

How can you brand yourself, you might ask? Well, it’s as simple as having a professional social media account, creating your own blog that showcases a special skill that you have, or being active on Twitter. Having a presence online will brand you; your Twitter account and LinkedIn are the rainbow colors and funky lettering on that cereal box – the personal promotion that will grab the attention of potential employers.