5 Skills EVERY Job Seeker Needs
By Tony Morrison
Ah, the skills section. It's on resumes, applications, and social media profiles. It's what most employers look to first when considering an employee. It sums up every job candidate's experience, expertise and career.
What's in your skills section? Everyone's different in some way. Your skills depend on your location, your age, both your personal and professional experiences, your industry, and you as a person. Each skill is important and will ultimately lead you to your ideal job.
However, there are skills that will never make it into your skills section, even though they are quite possibly the most important skills you'll ever need. These are the skills, sometimes called "soft skills," that every job seeker must have in order to get (and keep) their dream jobs.
A successful job seeker needs to have the ability to:
1. Introduce themselves
Whether it's in the middle of a crowded room or online, a successful job seeker needs to be able to introduce themselves. Today, 60 percent of jobs are filled through referrals. That means that job seekers who rely solely on job postings are out of luck. Put yourself out there: Introduce yourself, network and meet your next job lead.
2. Know and articulate their qualifications
It's one thing to have skills, goals or experience, but a successful job seeker owns them. To get that job, you need to know your qualifications and communicate them effectively to potential employers.
3. Shake hands properly
You might not have attended cotillion as a child, but good interpersonal communication and etiquette are common courtesy. A good handshake and sincere smile is an important display of respect and the foundation of any solid introduction. When your handshake is like a limp fish or the dreaded death grip, it almost subliminally tells a potential employer or networking contact about your character.
4. Be punctual or early (but not too early)
We all know someone who is habitually late (if you don't know that person, it's probably you). They layer on the excuses, usually summing up with a careless statement such as, "I just run on my own time." It's irritating to your friends and unacceptable to employers.
If you are habitually late, turn the clocks forward; add extra minutes to your commute -- do whatever you can do to break the late cycle. Plan to arrive early enough to get in the building and announce yourself for your meeting. A good rule is to arrive at your interview and all on-site meetings early, but not more than 10 to 15 minutes early, and you should be prepared with all the important material needed for your meeting.
5. Know how to dress
Whether you are looking for your first-ever job or your 15th, you need to evaluate your work attire. When interviewing, a good rule to follow is to dress slightly nicer than you would for the actual job. Invest in timeless, quality pieces so that you're not stuck with last year's fashions. It might be superficial, but dressing well is a skill that every successful job seeker has.
What do you think? What other skills should a job seeker have? Do you disagree with the need for these skills? Share your thoughts below in the comments!
Tony Morrison is the vice president at Cachinko, a unique professional community where social networking and job opportunities come together. His roles include sales, marketing and business development. He is passionate about building B2B and B2C client relationships and brings this passion to Cachinko where he focuses on helping job seekers to find their ideal job and employers to find, attract, and engage their next rock star candidates. Find him on Twitter and/or connect with Cachinko on Facebook or Twitter.
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