I was reading a blogpost on essential computer skills to have for a job-seeker. This blog on career training institute – YTI’s website was an interesting one, and set me on a train of thought that led to this article. While computer skills are an absolutely vital part of success in today’s job market, they aren’t the be-all, end-all of the job procurement process either. I’ve known of several instances where people who aren’t necessarily tech-wizards but have a stronger array of skills and competencies in other aspects of the professional sphere have been picked to fill openings over and above a technically superior, but less rounded individual. So without further ado, here are the top qualities any prospect should arm themselves, (and their CVs with) before they go job hunting.
The job-seeker’s armory: 5 skill-sets to win you that dream job
- Network building. Network building, and by that I don’t mean a LAN setup, is one of the easiest ways to get a job. And one of the greatest places to build contacts and lay the groundwork for future employment is at your university. So when you’re in college, make sure you’re cordial will your fellow students, because you never know, the class nerd could have an uncle who owns the company that would be absolutely perfect for you. Also, jump at the opportunities to interact with industry professionals who come in for guest seminars etc. (as they often do). If you leave a favorable impression on them, internship and even job opportunities could materialize from this. Lastly, get on LinkedIn! It is a great resource for job acquisition and literally helps your network grow.
- The résumé. Before the prospective firm even meets with you, the company will form its first impression of you on the basis of your résumé so make it count. Your résumé should be clean to look at and easy to read. The content should be concise, relevant, straightforward, and most importantly, cannot contain any errors, grammar wise or information wise. On the other hand, your résumé shouldn’t lack in information either, and should reflect who you are. While we’re on the topic, it is advisable to have a copy of your résumé in your e-mail account’s drafts section, and one each in your cloud (Dropbox, Google Drive etc.) and one on your phone. This is so that you’re never without a copy of it, and can e-mail, WhatsApp, print or transfer your résumé via Bluetooth or NFC as and when the situation arises.
- Practice the sales pitch You never know when or how a chance meeting could turn into a job offer. This is why you need to be prepared to sell yourself to anyone at anytime – whether it’s the interviewer in a conference room or a CEO you run into at a hotel lobby. The idea is to practice what you would say to someone to convince them that you’re the man/woman for the job, so keep away from the jargon, don’t recite your resume, and let your individuality shine through. Also make eye-contact and have a confident hand shake, both these things will leave a positive impression in your opposite number’s subconscious, but don’t go overboard with either, because otherwise this confidence could be misinterpreted as intimidation.
- Prepare for standard interview questions Interviewers generally ask a list of usual questions. “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?” “Why are you the right person for this job?” “Where do you see yourself in X years?” and the all-important “tell me a little bit about yourself.”The latter is the opening gambit of most interviewers. If you come across as someone who is arrogant, then that could leave an unfavorable impression, on the other hand, be too humble and you’ll be interpreted as meek and shy. So highlight your strengths and achievements, but do it in an interesting, disarming and engaging fashion. The same goes for the “strengths” question too. Also, be honest about your weaknesses, and don’t use the old ‘make a strength your weakness’ trick by saying something like honesty or too hard-working, people see through it and are usually left distinctly unimpressed. Find the right balance, that’s the most important thing here.
- Social media pitfalls. Businesses will make it a point to look at your social media before hiring you. That’s just how it works these days, so make sure there aren’t pictures of you doing illegal or embarrassing stuff, your opinions aren’t offensive, and that your social media presence doesn’t in any way hamper your job prospects overall. Remember,‘Privacy Settings’ are your friends – use them diligently.
Job hunting can be a long a tedious affair, so don’t lose hope, and keep at it until you score that dream job. Nothing in life worth having comes easy, so keep at it, even when the prospects look bleak. Good luck!