How to Be a Top-Level Job Candidate
May 11, 2013
May 11--Want a job in today's economy? You may need to think, talk and write
Hirers say communication and reasoning skills are sadly lacking in too many
applicants. And because it costs them time and money when they make hiring
mistakes, employers increasingly are giving skills and personality tests before
giving job offers.
At a recent meeting of Kansas City area job recruiters and hirers, I heard
several members emphasize the basic abilities they look for when they evaluate
job candidates. Attitude and communication, along with a basic work-ready
appearance, topped their wish lists.
Advisers at Johnson County Community College's Career Development Center -- who
want to prepare students to be hireable -- said the hirers' comments dovetailed
with survey findings from the National Association of Colleges and Employers. In
the association's new top-10 list of qualities sought in employees, technical
knowledge and software proficiency were ranked all the way down at No. 7 and No.
In top-to-bottom order, the other sought-after qualities all fell in either the
communication or "soft skill" categories. They were:
Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the
organization; ability to work in a team structure; ability to make decisions and
solve problems; ability to plan, organize and prioritize work; ability to obtain
and process information; ability to analyze quantitative data; ability to create
and/or edit written reports, and ability to sell or influence others.
These are the same skills that separate A and B students from the rest of the
pack. Top performers in the classroom "get" the assignment and do it better than
just OK. Top performers in the work world are expected to react equally well to
assignments but also to be smart, self-starting jugglers of their time and
duties, communicate clearly, and get along with co-workers and customers.
To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Follow her online at kansascity.com/workplace and twitter.com/kcstarstafford.
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