Successful Employee Characteristics for Job Seekers
Today’s work environment is very competitive and demanding for both the employed and the unemployed. Many employees today are looking over their shoulder waiting for the next shoe to drop – theirs. They are looking for ways to enhance their professional profile and increase their value in the company.
Many of the same performance practices employees can use to enhance their professional profile should be utilized by the job seeker to increase their effectiveness in their career search. Five of the most successful techniques are:
Be positive - Maintaining a positive attitude will help to set you above other job seekers. We like to be around people who are optimistic. Employers are looking for individuals who can bring a positive change to the work environment. They have a problem, a job opening, and many would like to hire someone who has an encouraging, confident and constructive attitude. As a job seeker, maintaining a positive attitude is of supreme importance. It is very easy to be influenced by external negative stimulus. This can be a valuable “talking point” during the interview of how you sustain and cultivate your optimism during the demanding job search.
Be a self-promoter - One of the first tasks any job seeker completes should be a list of accomplishments, awards and recognition achievements. Employers are looking for these items on the resume not a list of job duties and responsibilities. Every job seeker should have one to three accomplishments for every position held for over a year. This even includes the time spent looking for a position. Providing one or two achievements, such as earning a degree or certificate, volunteering for a community project or learning a foreign language, demonstrates your professionalism and drive to a prospective employer. Keep a list of your accomplishments handy or be ready to summarize your skills and abilities on a moments notice. Learn to talk about yourself in a confident and calm manner, not boasting or bragging, but providing information on your skills and abilities.
Nurture and Expand Network – One of the most important influences on the job seeker’s ability to find a new position is the utilization of their network. As a professional it is important to give to others. Some do this through professional (CPA, NSBE, etc.) or community organizations (Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, local technical schools, etc.) or quietly as a mentor or advisor. As a job seeker, it is the time to ask for help as well as give help. Continue to nurture and expand your network, especially during this difficult time. On a positive note, individuals love to help others. Graciously allow others to help you and return the favor as soon as possible.
Develop New Competencies – As a job seeker, time is one of the most important and easily mishandled resources. Learn to invest some time in yourself. Spend a dedicated amount in developing a new skill or upgrading an old one. While it is important for each employee to perform the tasks listed on their job descriptions, many employers are looking for individuals who go beyond their job responsibilities to create a more dedicated, versatile or successful team. Developing this behavior during your job search highlights your motivation and professionalism to employers. Continue to invest in yourself and the company in your new position.
Creative Thinking – Most companies exist because they offer a solution to a problem. Employers are looking for employees who can solve problems. As a job seeker, search for new methods or techniques to help in your career search. Learn and implement different problem solving techniques in your quest for a new position. Discover which methods work best for you. Discuss how you have implemented creative problem solving in your career search during the interview. This will help to showcase your abilities to solve problems and find solutions.
Implementing the five characteristics above will help the job seeker create a meaningful and successful career search. Continuing these techniques as an employee will enhance your professionalism and value.
By Joy Jung