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Posted June 30, 2016 by

Networking on college campuses builds relationships

Human resources photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Building a relationship with anyone requires time and effort. Once a relationship is established, both parties must work to maintain it. If recruiters and hiring managers want to really connect with college students, they should consider showing up on college campuses. These are networking opportunities not only for students but also for employers. Employers can create connections by personally interacting with college students, answering their questions, or by handing out business cards or other company information. Recruiters and hiring managers who spend time and energy on college campuses can not only network with students but also potentially build long-term relationships with schools. Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific, shares his thoughts on the importance of recruiters attending networking events on college campuses.

“It’s important for organizations with ongoing hiring needs at the college degree level to build and maintain excellent working relationships with their target institutions. Many times, it takes a year or two for given organizations to begin building strong brand reputations at colleges and universities that will attract the top caliber talent they (and other employers) desire.

Creating good recruiting relationships means you want college students talking to and talking up your organization to other students. Nothing is more powerful than trusted friends making a referral based on their own first-hand experience. Approved sponsorship opportunities with key student groups can also help cultivate student recognition of your organization.

Developing a strong partnership with the college’s career services operation is probably the most important thing an organization can do. Doing so can open all kinds of opportunities to engage students and even faculty potentially. In my 20 plus years doing this, I have seen time and again those employers who commit to long-term relationships with schools (i.e., don’t abandon the relationship even when employers are not hiring or there may be a market downturn) will be the most successful.”

Learn more on the importance of networking on the College Recruiter blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific

Tom Vecchione, Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific

Tom Vecchione is the Assistant Vice President and Executive Director for Career Development at University of the Pacific. Tom earned a Ph.D. in Counseling from Ohio University, specializing in college student career development. Tom has 22 years of progressively, responsible experience in career services/placement and university student affairs and works extensively with employers seeking to hire college students or alumni.

Posted June 28, 2016 by

Dispelling 4 networking myths

Have you ever read an article and wondered, halfway through, whether the tips and suggestions were genuine or intended to be funny and snarky? You don’t want this to happen when you’re trying to learn about networking, whether you’re trying to build your connections in the workplace, learning about professional networking events and how to feel more at ease while eating/drinking with coworkers, or understanding the ins and outs of networking in order to aid your job search.

Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, dispels four networking myths (jokes, really) laid out in a networking tips article by The Onion in this short video and offers entry-level candidates genuine networking tips instead.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

 

1. First impressions kind of do last forever… but you don’t need to use hand sanitizer after shaking someone’s hand.

Ignore The Onion’s advice on this one!

No better way to convince someone you’re going to be picky or odd to work with than to break out the hand sanitizer immediately after meeting them. If you have concerns about germs or cleanliness, try to hold your concerns in until you can get to a restroom, and then scrub your hands to your heart’s desire.

First impressions do matter, and they do last. This is true because of both the primacy effect and negativity bias. What you see, hear, and recognize first when you meet someone is what sticks with you. If those things you see, hear, and recognize are negative, that’s what sticks, unfortunately. Do your part to ensure that what people see, hear, and notice about you is positive. Dress professionally and look your best when attending networking events, job interviews, and other places when you might encounter employers or potential employers. Smile! Keep the topic of conversation light and polite. Be prepared to introduce yourself (prepare an elevator pitch).

Professional networking should occur during working hours/daytime; you should NOT confront employers at home at night as The Onion jokingly suggests. This is a surefire way to get yourself arrested.

2. Be respectful of employers’ personal lives and private space.

Even when texting or sending private messages/inboxing recruiters, try to limit one-on-one interaction to working hours or at least daytime hours. Keep in mind that when employers, recruiters, and hiring managers aren’t at work, they probably don’t want to interact with candidates. I know, it’s a blow to your ego to hear that. But it’s true.

3. You should ALWAYS ask people to tell their career stories.

The article by The Onion gests that people will share with you unhelpful, outdated ways to get jobs when you ask this question. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Instead, you’ll hear really interesting stories when you ask this question full of excellent job seeking and networking tips. If you’re listening carefully to someone who’s working in the career field you’re interested in, you might gain insights into how to start a business in your field, how to avoid common pitfalls in your industry, key names of important people you’ll need to connect with, and more.

Did you catch that?—if you’re LISTENING CAREFULLY you’ll gain lots of insight. If you zone out and think about whether you can make it to the cheese tray before the mozzarella cubes are gone (cheese does matter, but not more than finding a great job), you’ll miss all of it, and you will have wasted your night, aside from eating some snacks.

4. There’s no such thing as “selfish networking.” Period.

The article by The Onion states, “No matter how insincere you are, try the best you can to hide the fact that you’re only talking to someone because you want to use them.” Although the article is sarcastic, this is actually true.

People don’t want to be used because of their connections or titles or impressive possessions. People want to be appreciated for who they are.

Networking is about building and maintaining relationships. It is about give and take. Networking, for the job seeker, is about utilizing those relationships you’ve ALREADY built and maintained to help aid you in your job search.

The time to begin networking is not when you begin searching for jobs. It’s when you begin college or while you’re in high school. You build relationships with people throughout life. If you never stop building and maintaining relationships, networking is a natural part of life. When you need assistance with something—like searching for a job—you have nothing to worry about. You simply ask, and because you’ve been sharing and helping and giving to your connections for years, they’re more than happy to give back to you.

For more networking tips, continue reading our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted June 24, 2016 by

Using social media to network in college

Social media photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

While college students may use social media for personal reasons, they can also use it for their careers. Social media allows students to find the right contacts and engage with them, which helps students build a professional network. This network can be an asset connecting college students to internships or entry-level job opportunities. Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, discusses building a network and how to use social media effectively to do so.

“The best time to build your network is before you need it. College students need a strong network when searching for jobs or internships.

It can be very difficult for college students to connect with established professionals because usually those requests are for “one-way relationships” from which ONLY the students stand to gain. That means there are no reasons or motivation for professionals to accept the requests.

LinkedIn is, by far, the best professional research tool in social media. Students can use LinkedIn’s “Advanced Search” feature to identify top networking prospects in their fields.

Unfortunately, LinkedIn is NOT a great engagement tool. Connection requests are easy to deny, and meaningful conversations are rarely on LinkedIn Groups. Twitter conversations, on the other hand, are much more natural and organic. That’s why a multi modal approach utilizing Twitter is so effective.

After identifying prospects on LinkedIn, find and follow their Twitter accounts. Wait until they tweet about an area of mutual interest to respond with a tweet meant to catch their attention. The conversation doesn’t even need to be about a professional topic. A shared interest in sports, movies, etc., can be a great entree into a conversation!

Responding to a targeted Tweet provides the opportunity to build a genuine two-way relationship. After engaging your target and building credibility, take it to the personal level and invite them to meet for coffee to introduce yourself and demonstrate your professionalism in person.”

Need more networking advice? Come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College & award-winning social media consultant

Chaim Shapiro, Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College & award-winning social media consultant

Chaim Shapiro, M.Ed. is the Assistant Director of Career Services at Touro College, a freelance writer, public speaker and social media consultant specializing in LinkedIn. He has presented his popular LinkedIn Workshop at National Conferences, Universities, Public Libraries and for communal organizations across the country. Chaim earned a Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Loyola University, Chicago, and also studied in the Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside Graduate School of Education. He has more than 12 years of experience working in college administration.

Posted June 21, 2016 by

8 networking tips for college students

It’s easy to believe networking is something you can wait to worry about when you begin your job search. This is a classic mistake college students make, though, and one you can’t really afford. For one thing, you’re really building relationships and making impressions people already, whether you intend to or not. You might as well mindfully build positive relationships, make good impressions, and consciously network with people right now. You never know—the connections you make as a sophomore in college could be the connections you need to land an amazing internship your junior year or an even better entry-level management position after college.

Soak in these eight networking tips in this quick video by Bethany Wallace, Content Manager for College Recruiter, and you’ll be networking like a pro when you return to campus this fall.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1.Look around you.

It’s easy as a college student to stay in your own zone and to focus on studying, dating, and obsessing about your own life. Get out of that zone and smile, greet those around you, and make an effort to meet at least two or three new people on campus per week. On college campuses, you have access to hundreds or thousands of helpful people who you could network with—faculty members, staff members, career services employees, advisors, classmates, and many more. Even if you choose to live off campus, you can make the most of your time on campus before and after class—and even during class when working on team projects—by building great relationships with people.

2. Get off campus regularly and out of the campus bubble.

If you want to secure a part-time job or internship while you’re in college, this is key. Visit the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, and other local professional organizations. You’ll not only learn about the community by joining or attending community functions and meetings, but you’ll have the chance to network with local professionals and leaders, too.

3. Get involved on campus.

Select at least two campus organizations to join as a college student. Try to join organizations with a mission or purpose which matches your lifelong goals or career pursuits. While hanging out with your friends is beneficial to your social life, it’s even better to hang out with friends who share a common career goal while you accomplish something together.

4. Take advantage of your parents’ friends and your friends’ parents.

Old people can be pretty helpful in connecting you to people who know lots of other people, own companies, manage teams, etc. Never show up at your friend’s house and breeze by his parents on the way to the pool. Always be polite and conversational. If your friend’s parents ask you what you’re doing in school, what you’re majoring in, and what your goals are, stop and have that conversation. It might be the most important conversation you have all summer.

5. Take advantage of career services on campus.

Never in your life will you have access to the myriad of free career services and events as you do as a college student. After graduation, you’ll most likely have to pay for these services via career coaches. Career services offices host helpful events year-round like career fairs, etiquette dinners, and mock interviews. Career services professionals typically have great connections to employers and can help you find internships and entry-level job opportunities. You should also take advantage of free online services like the chance to register to search for jobs at CollegeRecruiter.com.

6. Use social media strategically.

The time to begin building your reputation online through online branding is as a college student. 94% of employers admit to searching for candidates online before inviting them for face-to-face interviews. Unless you never plan on searching for jobs in your life, it’s too risky to post ridiculous, inappropriate content on social media throughout your college years and then suddenly hope that recruiters won’t find it or won’t care. They will.

7. Connect with alumni.

Alumni make great connections because they already have great jobs and typically care about helping students from their alma mater. Your institutional advancement office on campus can help you connect with alumni. Most colleges host events for alumni and often encourage students to attend, too. These events are great networking opportunities for college students. You can also reach out to alumni on social media.

8. Do good work.

Finally, the best way to ensure that your contacts will say good things about you and think of you when they hear of great job leads is to consistently do good work. Make great grades, earn awards, and excel in as many areas as you can. Treat people with courtesy, kindness, and consistency, and people will think of you when asked, “Do you know anyone who’s looking?”

Keep coming back for more networking tips, and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted June 17, 2016 by

2 ways to build a professional network in college

College students hanging around campus photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Going to college not only gives you the opportunity to further your education but also to meet new people. As you are pursuing your college degree, focus on making quality contacts. For example, developing relationships with other college students is smart in case you forget a homework assignment or need a study buddy. Those relationships can become friendships, and when it’s time to find an internship or an entry-level job, your new friends may know someone in their networks who can help you.

College is also a great opportunity to build a professional network. Getting to know other college students, and faculty and staff helps you establish relationships that can be beneficial for your job search. Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, offers two tips for building a professional network in college.

1-Read the alumni newsletter or magazine, and contact graduates you read about. Many colleges have a magazine or newsletter that shares alumni news. Practice reading the publication and contact graduates you read about to ask about their businesses and careers. For example, the Ohio State Alumni magazine is published six times per year. Take two hours on a quiet afternoon to read previous issues.

2-Make the most of campus events. Many colleges and universities invite authors, business leaders, and others to visit and give presentations. Make the most of these events by sitting in the front row (or as close as you can get), taking notes, and then asking a question during the Q&A session. This is a great way to make connections.”

Want more advice about how to build your professional network? Visit the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham is the Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, a career development resource, and freelance writer. Bruce’s writing has appeared in CIO, InfoWorld, CSO, ProjectManagement.com, and other publications. Bruce lives in Toronto, Canada.

Posted June 16, 2016 by

Networking tips for college students and recent grads

Businessman and businesswoman chatting in the office pantry photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

To improve their chances of landing entry-level jobs, college students and recent graduates should engage in networking. Professional networking often includes but is not limited to talking to and building relationships with the right people who can advance their careers. Students and recent grads also have to think about branding themselves personally and professionally. Networking is a long process, and students should begin early. So how can job seekers network successfully? Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, shares two networking tips for college students and recent graduates.

Join a professional association to explore a career interest. For example, the Project Management Institute is great if you are interested in project management or the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute if you are interested in finance. For the best results, attend an event and then ask to meet one-on-one with an association leader. Many professional associations have free or low cost fees for students. Spending three to four hours per month attending networking events and talking with an industry leader is worth 10 hours of online job search.

Prepare for coffee networking meetings. Come prepared with three to five specific questions written in a notebook to ask professionals about their careers. Make sure none of the questions are answerable with a two minute Google search. Putting 15 minutes of preparation time into developing good questions means you will gather better information and create more effective relationships. I still follow this practice today and it regularly impresses the people I meet.”

Need more networking tips for your job search? Go to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham, Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com

Bruce Harpham is the Founder of Projectmanagementhacks.com, a career development resource, and freelance writer. Bruce’s writing has appeared in CIO, InfoWorld, CSO, ProjectManagement.com, and other publications. Bruce lives in Toronto, Canada.

Posted June 06, 2016 by

Why employees should put extra effort into impressing the boss

Woman raising her hand to ask question photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

At the very beginning of your career, you may be faced with the fact that all the knowledge and the diplomas in the world will not be enough to save you if you are on your boss’s bad side. You will end up watching from your cubicle how other people are getting promoted, while you are sitting there and doing the same things you have done on your first day at work.

You see, when people graduate they are full of confidence and hope, and that is not a bad thing, but books and tests are just the basics that should be upgraded with experience and interpersonal relationships. One of the people who can affect your professional growth the most is your boss, and you should do your best to make that relationship productive and mutually beneficial.

Learning from your boss

One of the main reasons why you should have a good relationship your boss is the opportunity to learn from someone who is in a position you would love to be in the future. If you are constantly giving your maximum with work tasks and showing consistency and dedication, you will have the right to participate in some important conversations and find out many valuable things, not only about the company you are working in, but also about the road to success.

Self-improving

At first, your motivation may be just to impress your boss, but as time goes on, your dedication and efforts will grow to become habits and make your career success even more certain. Showing up to work early and taking initiative might seem like “sucking up” to your boss to other employees and to you yourself, but actually, when you think about it, there is nothing wrong with these actions. On the contrary, they showcase you as a well-educated and ambitious man/woman.

You are the image of your boss

… and vice versa. A good boss surrounds himself with competent people, and if you show to be anything other but that, you will not only make your boss look bad, but also create a negative image about yourself, which can impact your position in the firm, and even future employment opportunities. If you on the other hand, do your best to make your boss succeed, you will show that you are a great employee worthy of going up the corporate ladder.

Improving your current job

If you want to love the job you are doing, you have to make it a job you can love. The best, and possibly the only way to do so, is to make your boss fond of you. If you are consistently productive and assigning for the difficult tasks, you will have a more pleasant relationship with your boss, which will make your working hours less stressful. Beyond that, you will get better assignments and maybe become the right-hand-man/woman.

Getting promoted

The ultimate goal of every employee would never even be considered without a long process of impressing the boss. After all, your boss is the one handling the decisions about transfer of the employees to a better job. If you notice he is giving you some extra projects and work, accept it with enthusiasm, because this can be a part of grooming you for higher jobs, and eventually even his position. So, make sure you are on his radar by struggling to get new challenges and more recognition, instead of struggling to get your work done.

Some people would love to spend their days at work unnoticed to avoid conflicts and critiques, but by doing so, they are also avoiding praises and opportunities. Do not be one of those people and fight your way up to the top, in a struggle where impressing your boss is your best chance to succeed.

In search of more career advice? Come to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Nate Vickery, guest writer

Nate Vickery, guest writer

Nate Vickery is a marketing manager and a blogger. He is also the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog.

Posted May 27, 2016 by

Onboarding should focus on new hire experience

Job, new, time photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

When creating onboarding programs, employers should consider the interests of their new hires. This means focusing on what makes new hires comfortable and engaged with the onboarding process. Companies can take steps to create a smooth transition into the workplace for new employees. Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany, shares ways employers can build effective onboarding programs for new hires.

“A strong onboarding program is created with the new hire experience in mind. Many employers fail to make the first few days for employees exciting or fun. Bring people on and get them excited immediately.

Onboarding starts before new employees ever step foot in the office. So provide them with plenty of information about the company, who they’ll be meeting in the first few days, and what to expect from the entire process of getting oriented with their workspace, team, and tasks. Create an agenda before hiring employees.

Make employees feel comfortable with a clean, new space to work and introduce them to their colleagues. Encourage the staff to build casual relationships with new hires by taking them out to lunch; it establishes trust and respect. Essentially, employers are assigning mentors, employees the hires feel comfortable reaching out to.

Training should cover all of the protocols and procedures, but it needs to be engaging and can even be fun. Make it interactive; create games like scavenger hunts or other competitions to break the ice while also being informative. Technology is great for onboarding because it provides a convenient, easily accessible resource for new hires to find basic information including the dress code, benefits details, and the like, and to see how they fit within the company as a whole.

Be clear about company expectations and invest in training new hires over several weeks. This makes it easier to offer feedback, and go over the first performance evaluation. Consistent feedback and constructive critiques will help them improve on concerns as they arise, resulting in better evaluations and improving the company’s quality of hire.”

Need advice for creating an onboarding program? Get onboard our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie, CEO and Co-Founder of ClearCompany

Andre Lavoie is the CEO of ClearCompany, the first talent alignment platform that bridges the gap between talent management and business strategy by contextualizing employees’ work around a company’s vision and goals. You can connect with him and the ClearCompany team on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Posted May 24, 2016 by

How to have a great first day at work, Part 2

Starting your first full-time, entry-level job can be intimidating. Don’t let your nerves overcome you on your first day at work. If you missed it, be sure to check out Part 1 of this series.

This video, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, offers five more tips to help you shake off the first day jitters and prepare for your first day of work with confidence.


If the video is not playing or displaying properly click here.

1. Observe.

On your first day at work—or even within the first few weeks or months of a new position—spend more of your time observing and listening than you do talking, saying yes, and volunteering for every opportunity that comes your way. You will learn a lot about company culture, your coworkers, your supervisors, and your new position by observing. You can figure out which circle of work friends you want to align yourself with and which group of friends to join for happy hour. You’ll figure out how to fit in and how to avoid major communication pitfalls. And you’ll avoid getting in over your head by overfilling your plate with unnecessary commitments, too.

2. Say yes to lunch.

On your first day and within the first week of work, you may be invited to lunch by coworkers who are trying to make you feel welcome. In general, it’s a good idea to say yes. Going to lunch isn’t a huge commitment. It gives you an opportunity to network and to learn about the workplace in a less threatening and less formal environment. If you go to lunch with someone and determine you don’t necessarily click as friends outside of work, you haven’t lost anything or made a commitment to joining that person for lunch every day of the week. No harm, no foul.

3. Silence your cell phone.

You have to be responsible enough to remember to do this yourself; chances are, no one’s going to remind you, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than your phone buzzing or ringing during a team meeting, onboarding training session, or worse yet, an all-company meeting. Take it a step further and implement a personal policy of avoiding carrying your phone around with you during work. Sure, everyone needs to send an occasional personal text message or personal email. But for the most part, work while you’re at work, and tend to personal business when you’re not at work. This helps you to stay focused on doing a great job and learning the ropes of your new position, and it demonstrates respect for your coworkers when you’re communicating with them (rather than gazing at the screen on your phone).

4. Use names.

Referring to people by their names is a great idea throughout life for several reasons, but it’s particularly helpful when you start a new job. When you refer to coworkers by name, you make them feel more important. This is a basic networking tip. In addition, referring to people by name often softens the blow when you’re making requests, giving orders, sharing information, and sending emails which otherwise seem cold and impersonal. And lastly, referring to people by name helps you to remember who you’re talking to.

5. Say thank you.

When coworkers, supervisors, and others at your new company treat you with kindness and courtesy during the onboarding process, respond with gratitude. Say thank you if someone opens the door for you, gathers office supplies for you, sets up your computer, or invites you to lunch. You might even consider writing thank you cards or at least emails to individuals who go above and beyond to make you feel welcome during your first few weeks of work. Remember, you’re establishing long-term working relationships with people within your company, and what better way to do that than to demonstrate gratitude for their help and kindness.

For more onboarding tips, check out our onboarding YouTube playlist and follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

 

Posted May 12, 2016 by

10 soft skills employers expect of recent graduates

Background concept wordcloud illustration of soft skills glowing light courtesy of Shutterstock.com

Kheng Guan Toh/Shutterstock.com

Are you ready to find your dream job as soon as you graduate? Then, it’s high time to draw a detailed plan with soft skills required for the workplace. This will help you stand out from other candidates and be a perfect fit for the position of your choice.

To successfully accomplish the task, college graduates can analyze requirements for current vacancy announcements, make use of LinkedIn or Branded.me profiles of people with a great experience, and study analytical articles on the labor market to always stay updated.

It’s not a secret, though, that plenty of online sources post about top soft skills potential employers want in their candidates’ CVs or resumes. So, why not focus on them to make your preparation for obtaining a good entry-level job a bit easier? Here’s what is highly demanded by most of the recruiters:

1 – Lifelong learners

Recent grads can hardly boast of knowing everything about the work they will perform daily. It’s quite natural when something is learned along the way. Sometimes employers prefer young, enthusiastic graduates over highly experienced professionals, since the former tend to learn and absorb new information more eagerly and are ready to develop a learning habit. The latter instead are quite often more stubborn and unlikely to reach a compromise, which can hinder team effectiveness. Additionally, lifelong learners are supposed to know how to obtain and process information to solve the problems they haven’t faced before.

2 – Team players

Teamwork is not only about collective responsibility for every team player’s actions. It’s also about communicating your message to others and achieving that goal with the help of knowledge and each employee’s efforts. Effective team performance depends much on the correct management and delegation of tasks. In contrast to past expectations for team players, modern employers are looking for those who will be proactive and suggest creative solutions. Initiative is strongly encouraged.

3 – Effective time managers and schedulers

Chaos brings no positive effect. To show high productivity and performance, it’s crucial to hone time management and prioritization skills. These two skills rank high on most employers’ lists of soft skills. For that, managers and schedulers need to negotiate deadlines and schedule tasks appropriately. Should tasks be equally urgent, they’d better discuss which one to take first together with their reporters. When using electronic or paper planners, think of short breaks that need to be made between tasks, divide time-consuming tasks into several subtasks, and leave about 10 or 15% of time for coping with emergencies and contingencies. Set reminders well in advance, and review to-do lists daily.

4 – Good listeners and masters of convincing people

Being a good listener doesn’t mean you should keep silent while somebody else is expressing his or her thoughts, so that you can further move on to your statements. The point is to really listen and hear other team players and choose the best solutions working together. Another important thing is to know how to make everyone understand what you mean. In other words, you should learn to use simple and concise statements, speaking with confidence to all people in the company regardless of their seniority.

Problem solver words on business cards courtesy of Shutterstock.com

iQoncept/Shutterstock.com

5 – Problem solvers

At the top of most top list of soft skills is “problem solving skills.” The first step to successful problem solving is to clearly understand what the problem is and what caused it. The next step is to carefully consider interests of others and list all suitable solutions. The final step is to evaluate suggested options by listing their advantages and disadvantages, and then choose the one that has the most pluses. To be an efficient problem solver, you need to get rid of fear. By focusing more on tackling the problem, you will be able to do it with ease.

6 – Company fan

Being a company fan means to be knowledgeable about your employer’s industry. Understanding what key benefits the company gives to its customers or clients, how the process of decision-making is organized, what main competitors the company has, etc. are among the things job seekers should learn before a job interview.

7 – Data analyzer

If you work with people with analytical mindsets, you are a lucky person. This allows you to quickly gather, assess, and analyze new information, selecting only the things you will need at work. This soft skill is highly required for making future plans or prognoses, and creating recommendations for others to follow. This skill is also helpful when you need to analyze your successes or failures, which is very important for your progress.

8 – Tech-savvy person

This means not only knowing how to create, delete, or remove presentations or surf the Internet proficiently. Being tech-savvy means knowing what tools and programs are used by the specialist you want to become. For example, if you want to become a web designer, you will need to master such programs as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, or Indesign.

9 – Critical thinker

If you have a chance to join a series of workshops on how to become a good critical thinker, jump at the chance! These practical lessons will teach you how to criticize somebody else wisely by finding a strong argument and how to accept criticism of your work. Being a critical thinker is essential for improving your communication skills and professional growth too. Critical thinking ranks high on the list of soft skills regardless of your job title or position.

10 – Curious mind

Being curious means to never be afraid of asking questions. Though, it doesn’t mean you should behave like a chattering box, annoying other employees with your never-ending questions. You should ask questions when you don’t know the answers so your work won’t be done slowly. You must use proper discernment to ask questions of the right person (your manager or mentors) at the right time (one on one and in quiet settings, and preferably not during the last five minutes of meetings).

A few final tips

Taking an active part in extra-curricular activities and voluntary projects can also help job seekers develop a set of useful skills for their future jobs. By establishing friendly relationships with people, you increase your chances of getting what you need. Who knows, maybe some of your peers or instructors will recommend you as a highly promising hire one day.

Need more help with your job search? Head over to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Nancy Lin, guest writer

Nancy Lin, guest writer

Nancy Lin is a student of Rockhurst University and enthusiastic freelance writer who enthuses about rock music, writing, and classic English literature. Feel free to contact her at Twitter or Google+.