Whether you’re looking for graduate jobs, or non-graduate jobs, there are 4 components that you cannot go without when approaching employers. Recruiters are always thinking about priorities, and top of that list is what you can bring to them. Not what they can do for you. Employment grows the economy and with that comes new business opportunity. The more you can add value to a business, the better your employability prospects increase. Do that by disciplining yourself to grow your skills in the following four areas.
Listening skills are the vitally important contribution that makes for a successful team player. Being able to listen to individual input from different members, and avoiding being judgmental, but using even the worst of ideas to contribute to something better.
No idea is wrong.
If you’ve ever gone through a mega brainstorming session, either yourself or as a team, you’ll no doubt have experienced some ridiculous ideas from some people. Maybe even yourself.
However – out of disorganisation, can come an organised creative thought, which can be used towards achieving the end goal. You can develop your listening skills from outside of the workplace. In a group of friends, you’re sure to experience topics of conversations that you don’t agree upon.
You can use those discussions to understand the thoughts of each of your friends, and why it is they take their point of view on a particular subject. Same with your relationships. You won’t agree with everything your partner, or either parent has to say, but you can improve your efforts to understand where they’re coming from. The better you can listen, the more of a deeper understanding you get on people, and that will help you work together, creating a more positive experience, in both your work and personal life. Understanding people better is how you build your team working capabilities.
No employer wants to recruit someone into their business when they know they’ll need to hire or increase the workload on a supervisor. Employees who can demonstrate they can work on their own initiatives are relied on, and trusted more. That’s the importance of it, and you can demonstrate that by improving your problem-solving capabilities.
Of all the problems faced within a business structure, the one thing that’s going to a decrease productivity and efficiency is someone on the staff roster who isn’t contributing to the success of the team.
The best way to build your problem solving abilities is by capitalising on areas that interest you in your personal life. Ever notice employers asking you what you like to do in your spare time? That’s an evaluation of both your personality, and if your hobbies can contribute towards your leadership qualities. Remember, leadership is working on your own initiative and doesn’t require you to be an out of the box creative thinker.
A DIY enthusiast will encounter a number of problems. The same for a car repair enthusiast. The same for a saltwater fish keeper. To continue enjoying something that interests you, you must find a way around the barriers that come from problems arising. In a business, those problem-solving capabilities can be a major attribution to your team working abilities.
Most job openings don’t actively advertise the fact that they’re looking for project management skills, unless it’s a direct requirement of the job itself. For those who don’t and see this quality in a CV, you’ll be immediately put on the short list. (Provided you can back up your claims with documented evidence to support it.)
The reason being that being able to manage a project, shows that you can work to requirements. Statements such as “working to tight budgets” always attract attention, but if you don’t have project management experience, that’s not going to cut it.
“Time management” is also a characteristic of project management, and that’s something anyone (provided you are good at managing your time effectively), can use on a CV, to attract the same level of attention.
If you’re entering a job that doesn’t require management skills, it at least gives the recruiter the idea that if the opportunity arises, they have someone within their organisation with the skills to help them when the need arises. Otherwise, you’re a valuable asset to the company in the position you apply for, as they can call on you when any problem arises and they require you to take on a different role, if even for a couple of days. The more valuable you are, the more employable you become.
To get this credibility – Volunteer your services, or set your own project for whatever goal you want to accomplish. Fancy raising cash for a local charity? Go do that. What about organising an event? Local fair, community evening, organise a charity auction? Any project you can think of, go make it happen.
For graduates, this may have been part of your formal training. Where you’re given a specific project to achieve results. You can call on that experience to define what the project was, how you went about achieving your goals, discussing everything that project involved, and how you overcame any problems that arose during the project. The same can be used to describe projects of a personal nature that you organise and achieve outside of your professional working life.
Even an Avon ladies night is project management. So too is a being being a party planner in your spare time. Perhaps operating your own business part-time. That’s how open it is for anyone to display management qualities to employers.
Organisation is a factor that every employer looks for. The ability to present information in a concise format that is easily digested and understood. That organisation aspect will present itself numerous times in your working career.
From taking telephone messages, and passing it to the appropriate recipient, or department, right through to presenting data in spreadsheets, MS word documents, or even a presentation for a sales demonstration. From the lowest level employee, all the way to upper management, organisation is a critical skill to develop, maintain, and sustain. It’s the easiest thing to display as well as it’s your very first introduction to potential employers. (CV and cover letter).
The way you organise the information to them, demonstrates this ability. That’s why your work history is listed chronologically, as it’s the most relevant first. You have your summary with (hopefully) the buzz words to state your proficient in time management, experienced with deadlines etc. Hit that opening up with the four buzz words listed here.
Those four buzz words used on your cover letter, and your summary on your CV will encapsulate the attention of any recruiter, and lead to a higher success rate with you landing a job, when you can demonstrate through examples of each at your interview.