There is no doubt that while different jobs all require different talents and capabilities, there are some general traits that all employers are looking for.
We see these over and over again in the requests that employers make to us. It is interesting that skills are rarely at the top of the list; experience and culture fit always dominate. Here are some of the key requests:
- Just want someone who has a happy demeanour and an easy going personality; someone who will fit in with the team;
- Want someone who will NOT bring their personal problems to work – who is professional and just gets on with the job;
- Want someone who understands what attention to detail means and works with good attention to the little nuances in their work at all times;
- Looking for someone who is not limited by their job description; someone who will go above and beyond and NOT someone who says ‘that’s not in my position description’;
- Keen to find a person who takes ownership of their role, someone who loves what they do and will love working with us;
- Want someone who has done this role before or very similar, so they can bring their experience and knowledge to the business;
- Need a person who can hit the ground running; knows what the job is and once they understand our business model, can be productive straight away;
- Need someone yesterday!
Now the challenge for someone looking for a new role is how you impart that you have these qualities in your resume, cover letter and interview.
Certainly experience, skills and knowledge are best demonstrated in your documents, through showing your length of tenure in certain roles; the duties you undertook in those roles and your achievements in those roles.
Matching the words from the job advert into your documents can help highlight that you have the relevant skills and attributes while emphasising particular detailed work you have undertaken can also point to your capacity to work with attention to specificity.
However it is in your interview, that you will have the most opportunity to show off your qualities:
- Happy demeanour and an easy going personality – eye contact; smile; easy talker; be open and honest; demonstrate humour.
- NOT bring their personal problems to work – don’t get into talking about your personal life in an interview – what happens at home or in your last job stays there! You would be surprised how many people go into details about their current personal difficulties … no no no!
- Someone who will go above and beyond – give examples of things you have done in past jobs where you have gone above and beyond – actual examples, saying ‘when I was at ….’
- Takes ownership of their role – openly express how much you loved aspects of previous roles you have had and what they meant to you personally.
- Need a person who can hit the ground running – even if not asked about this, offer the information that you feel that once you understand how they do things, because of your previous experience, you will be able to hit the ground running – like a gift from heaven to an employer!
- Need someone yesterday – well here I am!
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