It takes a lot more than luck to land a great job with a sweet compensation package. So what if you don’t have the greatest GPA or an awesome internship experience? Do you still have a chance of making the big bucks? Fortunately, many of the skills that employers think are most important are soft skills that can be learned and practiced.
So what skills do employers really want?
1. Verbal and written communication skills
Strong communication skills was listed as the top skill that employers are seeking. AND it is actually the skill they found to be most lacking in new hires! If you’re a Liberal Arts student, you certainly didn’t make the top paid majors, but you probably have a sound foundation in this most desired skill. Prove that you have strong communication skills in your cover letter, on your resume and in your interview, and you’re more likely to secure a big paycheck.
In recent years, the news has been swamped with unethical practices that span all industries—business, military, government, entertainment, sports, and even the church. So why do most business men and women still decide to act with honesty and integrity? Because the bottom line is, history has shown that it’s the BEST way to do business. Recruiting Directors know that integrity and character are essential to long-term career success. People often think they need to cheat or cut corners to get ahead, but in the long run, honesty and integrity in yourself and your work WILL pay off.
3. Interpersonal skills (relate well to others)
When you join a company, you’ll be interacting with people who are like you, people who aren’t like you, and people who REALLY aren’t like you. Diversity means gender, race, age, socioeconomic status, where you’re from, and even how you think. Recruiting Directors want to hire individuals who can relate well to their coworkers, bosses, and customers. If you have worked in diverse environments, and if you bring a unique perspective, that’s definitely a plus. Since you interact constantly with people at most jobs, show the Recruiting Director that you not only survive, but thrive in diverse, interpersonal environments.
4. Strong work ethic
Undoubtedly, employers want to hire individuals that want to do well. Bosses don’t want to spend all of their energy trying to make employees work. Micromanagement is not fun for anyone, and if you can show that you’re self-motivated, goal-oriented, and driven, you are more likely to get hired.
5. Teamwork skills (work well with others)
Teamwork: it’s essential. You’ll spend more time with your boss and your coworkers than you will with your spouse! You will work with countless people throughout your career, and none of them will have the same communication style and work habits. If you can work well with various personality types, a Recruiting Director will have you onboard in no time.
There is always on the job training, and the soft skills listed above are becoming more and more important in the workplace. So don’t worry if you weren’t President of your student body or a triple major, you can still secure a big paycheck if you have the soft skills that Recruiting Directors find most appealing.
Brad Karsh is President of JobBound (http://www.jobbound.com), a company dedicated to helping job seekers with resume writing, interviewing, career coaching and landing that dream job. Author of Confessions of a Recruiting Director: The Insider’s Guide to Landing Your First Job (Prentice Hall Press), Brad is considered one of the nation’s leading expert on the job search. Brad has been featured on CNN, FOXnews Chicago and CNBC and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Chicago Tribune and many others. Brad is also a regular advice columnist for Yahoo! and AdAge.