What are employers really looking for?
Despite there being a large number of candidates for every vacancy advertised employers are struggling to find candidates who have everything they need. On paper you might have the right experience but what makes you the right person for the job? Often it’s not what you have done in the past or the technical expertise that you can bring to a role that will get you a job. Here are some areas you may want to improve so you become to whole package:
It is important that you are able to recover quickly after any setback. How well do you cope with stressful situations or when something goes wrong? How do you react to unexpected changes or problems that occur when you are doing something? Naturally you are going to be affected by these events, but it’s how you react to them that is important. An employer wants people who react positively when things go wrong and are able to develop strategies to deal with difficult situations.
Gaining commercial awareness
This is also known as business acumen, this is all about understanding how an industry or particular organisation works, where it sits in the market and who its competitors are. If you show this type of commercial awareness in an interview it will show you’ve done your research on the company and the sector it sits in.
Demonstrating good communication
This means being able to clearly put across your ideas and your ability to listen to others. In an interview employers will be keen to see how you build rapport, persuade and impress. Your CV is also a good medium to demonstrate your communication skills. .Good English, no spellos are a must on a CV. You can also list any public speaking you may have done in the past or writing for a student newspaper, this always impresses an employer.
Showing leadership qualities
Even if you are not applying for a management position you’ll still need to demonstrate to employers that you have the potential to motivate and lead others in order to achieve common objectives. It’s also important to provide evidence of self-management by demonstrating a situation where you’ve managed your own time successfully. On your CV detail situations where you’ve had the opportunity to plan and co-ordinate tasks in your last role or when you were in education. The ability to solve problems and conflicts is always valued by employers.
Demonstrating planning and research skills
In the workplace to accomplish tasks you may need to come up with a suitable strategy and plan of action. This could involve seeking out relevant information from a variety of sources. How you research this information is really important as is how you analyse, interpret and report your findings. On your CV highlight any research or planning you have had to do in previous roles. At the very least demonstrate how you have planned for your interview by researching the employer, show your knowledge of work the Company do, you will impress them.
A good organisation will want to be competitive so they need a workforce that can support this. As an employee it’s essential that you show employers that you’re able to adapt to new situations and learn new skills in the workplace. Demonstrating your adaptability will also tell employers that your a good leader who handles challenge well. Adaptability is easily shown on a CV by giving examples of when you have had to learn new skills or adapt to a new role in previous jobs.
Being a team player
Most of us have had a chance to work in a team at some point in our career. Employers are seeking people who will work well with others towards achieving common goals. Being an effective team member and being able to follow instructions and directions are essential skills that employers are looking for. Employers also like people who contribute in ateam environment that are likeable and able to relate to others and these are definitely skills which can be demonstrated in an interview.
Showing relevant work experience
I am sure you are not applying for jobs that you have no relevant experience for. There must be a reason why you applied for the position you are being interviewed and generally the reason is because you feel that your skills and experience are suitable for the position. What’s more important is the employer thinks this too otherwise they would not have invited you for an interview. What you need to do in an interview is to demonstrate this and relate what you have done with the role you are applying to do.
Demonstrating the fact you are likeable
It may not be the most obvious way to think about your job search, but we all have to sell ourselves. Whilst your skills and experience will get you an interview being likeable will get you the job. No-one likes a miserable person, someone who doesn’t smile, who answers question using one word answers. Employers want someone who will fit in, who will bring something to the company and contribute to the overall success of the organisation. It’s easy to show you are likeable even if you are the shyest person in the world – just smile. Everyone relates to a smile they generally smile back and that forms a connection. If you are nervous in an interview and feel you are not showing off to the best of your ability then tell the interviewer. By admitting you are nervous you are creating a rapport with the interview and this will make them like you.
So there you have it, employers are looking for hidden skills, traits, qualities and characteristics when they are interviewing. They know you have the ability to do their job, what they want to find out in an interview is if you are right for their company, if you are going to fit in their organisation and if you are someone who will progress with them. So don’t rely on your CV to get you a job, you need to demonstrate more than experience – you need to be the whole package.