Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Top 5 Most Employable Skills for Today's Job Market

The holiday season is upon us and if you do not already have a job, you will be looking for one, and if you have a job already, you may be looking to pick up a part time job. Believe me, employers want to hire you but they also want to make their businesses more productive!

I am looking for a position that will eventually be a career but while I am in school, it is more practical for me to look for a position that is part-time or that has a flexible scheduling, that limits my options.

Here's the big question we are all searching for the answer to....

How does one stand out among such a huge pool of jobseekers?

The top five most employable skills a jobseeker can have today may surprise you!

Top Five Most Employable Skills for Success

1. Communication - 
Written and verbal communication is highly important to employers, that's why I have it listed as numero uno! A company wants to make sure you will represent them well whether you are writing an email, on the telephone or addressing others in person. I suggest a course or a group dedicated to public speaking, I am attending my first Toastmasters meeting this Thursday to hone my skills. For written communication, I would suggest becoming friends with a local professor in your field and asking them for small written assignments that will allow you to practice writing concisely.

Toastmasters International

2. Basic Accounting - 

Every company has a bottom line! It is important that you are able to comprehend how the company works to achieve it's bottom line and if you can suggest ways to help them improve on it, they will love you for sure! One of the first courses you are required to take in most MBA programs is an Accounting course. Of course, there's a catch: Not every position will put you in front of the CFO, so use the same approach and apply it in theory if you are applying for an entry level position. You should be able to walk into any department at any level and give them one suggestion as to how they can improve on what they're doing.

3. Problem Solving - 
An employer is not looking to hire you if you are going to create problems for them, they want you to solve the ones that they already have! It is refreshing for an employer to hire someone who can think through an issue and find a way to resolve it effectively and efficiently. Being able to quickly identify the problem and use the information at hand to put forth a solution is what will separate those that want to be there from those that do not.

I know that I am trying to become more efficient in conducting a SWOT Analysis which identifies the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of anything. You can perform a SWOT Analysis on yourself or on a business/organization.
Here is a link from of a SWOT Template: SWOT Worksheet

4. Research and Critical Thinking - 
With the new internet savvy generation, research has become a lost art. Most of the resources that have been available in the hardcover books in the library are now available online. Knowing how to use the resources of the internet and the physical library to conduct accurate research is priceless to any employer, no matter what the position is. What makes research priceless is when it is applied to real situations that the company is experiencing. The keys are to separate relevant information from trivial, determine it's accuracy and relate it to other information that will ultimately result in Problem Solving.

5. Self-Management and Relaxation -
How you manage yourself implies how you will handle whatever position you are in and the responsibilities associated with it. A structured and disciplined lifestyle is attractive to most employers because it insinuates that you manage time well, that you make the most of the time you do allot for a task and that you are well organized.

Striking a good balance is what everyone would like to do in life and everyone's work-life balance is unique. I believe that it is most important to carve out time in your schedule to unwind and relax. You are the most important factor in the equation of success. Relaxation should act as a "reboot" for your week and refresh you so that you can continue to operate at the same level of excellence!

Question to the Reader:

What are some ways you work to improve yourselves and become more competitive jobseekers?

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