Wanted: Valuable Skills

It probably comes as no surprise that your list of skills is a pivotal part of your resume. Your skills are what defines your working ability and, as you may have guessed, your potential employer is looking for specific skills that show you are the right person for the job. Many jobs require a list of technical skills, but other skills are universally sought after by employers. And while your Skills section on your resume looks amazing on paper, you also need to back them up and demonstrate your abilities for each.

Communication

Communication skills are universal; all employers want an employee who can effectively speak and, in most cases, write. Listening is also a large part of communication. So how do you demonstrate your communication skills?

The first step is your resume. Your resume should be efficiently written and free of spelling and grammatical errors.

The next step is being prepared for your interview. Before your interview, practice your responses to the typical interview questions; this helps you quickly and effectively answer the questions in a precise manner. Look your interviewer in the eye, answer quickly, and know what questions you want to ask.

Multi-tasking

Multi-tasking is a strong skill for anyone to have. Being able to handle different projects at one time helps the interviewer gauge your ability to work under deadlines and get things done.

To showcase your multi-tasking skill, make a mental list of times you were “under the gun” and got things done correctly. Put a large emphasis on difficult tasks you completed in previous jobs. Let your interviewer know how you prioritize tasks and can juggle multiple projects at one time.

Problem-solving

Problem-solving is another universally demanded skill. People with this skill are able to be in a difficult situation and come up with creative ways to overcome them. Problem-solving is an ideal skill for anyone who works in a customer service position, but it’s also imperative for other fields. Give examples of difficult situations you overcame and how you did so.

Conclusion

While these are only three examples of universally sought after skills, they are three of the most important. During your interview, ensure you are able to effectively communicate your skills and develop an action plan to show your interviewer why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Help Your Employees and Your Team Become Better Listeners

Communication is an important part of building a team, creating a thriving company culture, and increasing productivity and effectiveness. Studies have shown that a large percentage of people listen less effectively than they believe, however, listening is a skill that can set your team and company apart. It sets up the stage for creating a cohesive environment, in which individuals thrive, and actively take pride in their role.

To help your employees and team become better listeners follow these simple tips:

Encourage questions. Create an environment where individuals are encouraged to ask questions – whether to clarify direction, further understand an assignment, or out of simple curiosity. This means treating all questions as important and equal and never embarrassing a person for asking a question that may seem silly or out of context. If our minds can’t understand what is being said, it will generally block the flow of listening and distract the individual as they seek to figure it out internally.

Let people finish their thoughts. This applies to the listener and the speaker. People need a chance to work through their thoughts and express all the pieces for discussion. The majority of people are already thinking of a response before a person is finished speaking – instead, set the example that individuals should not be interrupted. Task your employees with writing down their thoughts while others are speaking so nothing is lost, their turn can be had once the other person’s thoughts are complete. This can decrease misunderstood communications between multiple parties.

Keep open communication. Foster an environment where individuals feel safe and comfortable asking questions, being inquisitive, and having an open line of communication. An open communication policy ensures that all of your team members will ask questions when needed, even if they find themselves in a situation that is uncomfortable.

Altogether, work to create a team of employees that listen and are actively participating in what’s happening around them. You can also keep meetings short and concise, give breaks during longer meetings, and provide healthier food choices to keep individuals more alert.

What to Look For When Hiring Your Next Team Member

Hiring your next key staff member is a critical decision for your business and something that shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, many company’s who don’t have a designated person for hiring often make some critical mistakes when searching through resumes and going through the interview process. Whenever in doubt, remember the saying “hire slow, fire fast.”

The first thing to assess BEFORE you begin the interview process is what qualities this new opening requires. Is this an admin role where you need an organized, consistent, and dedicated person or is this a sales role where being assertive, money-motivated, and outgoing are desirable traits?

While interviewing it’s important to assess if the person’s natural qualities and abilities match your desires for the position.

Second, remember that SKILLS are teachable, but willingness, openness to change, and capabilities are much harder to change in people. If someone has all the desirable traits, a willingness to learn, and a strong dedication to what they are doing they will be able to quickly pick up on the new type of work and will more often than not prove to be a great team member. On the other hand, a person who looks great on paper, has a lot of experience, but isn’t open to change and doing things the way of the new company will cause more grief than good.  In both situations the outcome will vary, so you have to apply some practical judgment to your decision.

It’s critical that your interviewee has PASSION for their work. While it may be difficult to administer a passion test during your interview, be sure to ask what the person enjoys both in life and in work. Often we hire the wrong person simply because they are good or experienced at something, but they may have lost their passion for it which can lead to an unhappy employee and an even unhappier you.

Overall, look at the total package a person has to offer. At times one strength can outweigh several weaknesses. During the interview process be sure to LISTEN a lot more than talk, you want to give the person a chance to talk you into hiring them, or even better to talk you out of it.