Tag Archives: 24seventalent

3 Ways to Use Soft Skills to Get the Job of Your Dreams

soft skillsSo you don’t have the 2 years of work experience the job you’re applying to recommends? Don’t give up just yet! 24 Seven’s recruiters have actually found that more and more companies are beginning to assess candidates based on the soft skills they possess, not just their past work experience. Some of the most valued soft skills include the ability to learn quickly, a desire to work with others, and a clear communication style. So how can you show your hiring manager that you have these skills without simply stating the obvious?

Know what a soft skill is

I’m sure you can guess how important “soft skills” are in the workplace. But first let’s discuss what “soft skills” actually are…

Wikipedia describes soft skills as a term often associated with a person’s EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient), the cluster of personality traits, social graces, communication, language, personal habits, interpersonal skills, managing people, leadership, etc. that characterize relationships with other people.”

Basically, when a hiring manager is assessing you for your soft skills, they are seeing if you are someone that can adapt, learn and fit into the corporate culture of the company. In fact, if you fail to display your soft skills you may not get the job, even if you are the most qualified. Some examples of said soft skills are:

  • Time Management
  • Communication
  • Team Player
  • Leadership
  • Positive attitude
  • Work ethic
  • Adaptability
  • Problem Solving
  • Fast Learner
  • Personable
  • Responsible

Now let’s dive in to 3 ways to use soft skills to get the job of your dreams.

#1 Tell a story

People are more likely to connect to a story that’s personal, and you have a number of chances to accurately tell your story to your hiring manager through your cover letter, your resume, and your interview.

Your cover letter is the first thing your hiring manager will read about you. When you are writing, imagine this as your first conversation. Use your past experiences to create a story that highlight your soft skills. For an example of this, our friends at The Muse used:

“I not only executed all updates on schedule, but I also took on the responsibility to train and mentor two new employees.” [1] The key soft skill here is this person’s ability to train and mentor new employees.

#2 Highlight your soft skills unconventionally

You may not have the traditional work experience your employer is looking for, but that doesn’t mean you should neglect showing any soft skills you do have. Once again be sure to include specific examples of where your soft skills came into play on your cover letter or resume.

If you managed a team, organized a project timeline, or effectively communicated goals be sure it’s on your resume. Instead of simply stating what you did in your past employment, use adjectives to elaborate (ie: independent, detail-oriented etc). This will weave a story, but still keep it short and sweet.

soft skills for your dream job

#3 Create a killer conversational interview

Conversational interviews are the most successful because it’s not the standard Q&A. You’re speaking on an engaging yet professional level where you have the best opportunity to convey your soft skills. Come prepared with examples of past successes that again highlight skills beyond the functional nature of the position.

Let’s not forget the importance of the way you non-verbally communicate the second you enter the building. When you first arrive, thank your interviewer for having you and express how excited you are to be there. This shows you’re personable, which is a key soft skill.

When the interview begins be an active, not passive listener. Self-confidence is an important trait. If you are a person that is shy, fake it ’til you make it. Practice your answers at home, but be sure not to sound too rehearsed. And finally, be sure to ask questions that show you’ve been listening and done your research which shows your communication and adaptability skills.

Good luck!

 

We want to hear from you. What are your soft skills? Drop us a line in the comments. And don’t forget to download our Training Position Paper!

[1] https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-nonboring-way-to-show-off-your-soft-skills-in-your-job-search

Written by: Annie Gardner (24 Seven Demand Generation Coordinator)  & Brittany Johnston (24 Seven Marketing Assistant)

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5 Reasons We Should Be Taking Culture Fit Seriously

culture imageAt 24 Seven we ensure our clients and candidates will have lasting partnerships. We’ve outlined the five key characteristics to look for in a company. Finding the right culture fit takes time, but it’s the greatest investment you’ll make.

  1. Low Turnover:

When it comes to your interview, don’t be afraid to ask how long the previous person worked in that role. Ideally, you want to learn and grow in a position for at least two years. Joining a company with happy co-workers who are passionate about what they do will make you want to work harder.

  1. Great Training:

It’s also important to ask what kind of training programs the company offers. Learning a new skill not only raises your worth in the eyes of corporate America, but can give you a personal boost of self-confidence. If your company doesn’t offer the training that you are interested in don’t be discouraged, a quick Google search will lead you to online classes that you can take on your own.

  1. No Egos:

Remember, you’re interviewing a company as much as they’re interviewing you. Come to that meeting with a plan of action on how you could grow the position by working with others. You want to be in a culture where employees get praised and rewarded on a job well done. Steer clear of environments where workers are pitted against each other. You’ll find the best work you do will come from the help of others.

  1. Feedback’s a must! 

Ask: does this company stage reviews regularly? Or, possibly even more importantly, do these reviews allow the employee to give their advice on the pros and cons of the process? Always make sure when you’re giving feedback to your boss, to start with what’s working first. As for what’s not working, come with a thoughtful solution for making things better. Never finger point or cast blame on co-workers.

  1. Work-Life Balance:

One of the key components to work-life balance is management. Great managers know how to delegate, train and hire the best talent. Work-life balance means 8-9 hour days with a lunch break, two weeks plus paid vacation and PTO days. The occasional late night or weekend work is okay, and should be expected. Come to work focused and stay on task. If you find yourself in the office late every night, never be afraid to ask for help, especially if it’s known you’re taking on a lot!

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The Perfect Match

 

conversationheartsWith Valentine’s Day fast approaching it seems everywhere you look there are ads for dating sites geared towards finding the perfect relationship. It’s the season of love and over at 24 Seven, we recommend taking a closer look at another very important relationship, the relationship you have with your career. I saw an ad for a popular dating website that talks about finding the right match with compatibility testing. This led me to the question, is finding a corporate match like finding a romantic match? When we spend on average 50 or so hours a week in the office, should we apply the practices we use to finding a partner, to finding a job?

A quick Google search can let us know almost everything about a person without actually meeting them. Details about someone’s personal and professional life are both readily available. Researching someone before a first date is a way of determining right off the bat what you have in common and if the possibility for a meaningful connection (the ultimate goal) is there.

The cultural fit or compatibility that we are looking for in our partners, we need to look for from our jobs too. The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health recently stated that, “In the current research, we test the idea that emotional fit with culture (EFC) is linked to psychological well-being – i.e., being satisfied with oneself, having positive feelings, accepting one’s body and having no symptoms of depression.” Emotions impact how well people perform tasks, how engaged, creative, and how committed they are to the project at hand. The job hunt falls along these lines, both for candidates and managers alike. When you get your first interview, do as much research as possible, as you would before a first date.

It’s important to determine whether or not this new company is going to make you feel at home. Go to the company’s website and read their “About Us” section. Learn about their core values, how they were founded and what cultural ideals they uphold. After a scan of the company page, check out reviews on websites like Glassdoor. Of course these reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, but keep an eye out for any common themes that run throughout.

Another important outlet to check out is the company’s social media presence. Much like vetting a potential date, vet the company. Check out their LinkedIn and the types of employees that work there. Also look at their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. This should give you a sense of the types of communities and trends that are important to organization.

When you get to the interview remember it’s a two-way street, while the interviewer is trying to determine if you’re the right person for the role, it’s also an opportunity for you to figure out if the company’s culture is right for you. To determine if you’ve made a match ask questions such as:

  • What will my average day look like?
  • What is your favorite part about working here?
  • What is your least favorite part about working here?
  • How long have you been working here?
  • What is the attire?
  • Will I be part of a team or working primarily on my own?
  • Do I report to you consistently or will I have scheduled meetings to check in?
  • Are there training and/orprofessional development programs or incentives.

Also, while you are in the office make sure you take note of the environment around you. How are the desks laid out, is it an open office plan or will you be sitting alone? Is it silent and everyone has headphones on or is it noisy and everyone is working and chatting?

At the end of the interview go home and think about everything you’ve learned about the job and company. Is this a place where you could be happy and productive? Will you grow with this company, much like you would grow and mature in a relationship? These are all important facts to consider before you accept their offer of “going steady”.

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First Job Out of College? 4 Tips for Nailing It from Day 1

Your first job can be a great learning experience and building block, but it’s all about what you put into it. Here are some tips that I’ve learned from my own experience in the office.

  1. Be on time: This is a simple tip, but it’s really important. Get to work on time or even 5 minutes early, every day. If your boss says be there by 9 AM, be there by 8:55. That’s it. Do it and don’t complain.
  2. Be Polite: Making a good impression is half the battle, especially because in a new job your work can’t speak for itself yet. No matter who you meet you should give off an air of friendliness and openness. So those manners your mom always bugged you about? It’s time to put them to use. Say hello, say please and thank you, and say excuse me not “What.” Make eye contact when someone is talking to you. This will show people that you are actually listening to what they are saying. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know anyone, take the initiative, hold out your hand and introduce yourself. Yes these may seem like small details that have little to nothing to do with your career but trust me, they do.
  3. Work Hard: Make it your personal goal to dispel all of the beliefs people have about Millennials. When someone asks you to do something extra that may not fall under your job description, it should be seen as an opportunity not a nuisance. Stepping up and accepting a challenge is the ideal way to get noticed in a new job. Yes, this may mean that you’re working late, or getting in early, but you have to work hard to get where you want to be.
  4. Believe in yourself: If you know you have a great attitude and work hard you’re allowed to ask for it to be acknowledged. However there is a time and a place for this. Most companies have a yearly review with your manager. During this time you can voice your thoughts, and you should. The point of the review is to get feedback on your work and to give feedback. Again, and I cannot stress this enough, say how you feel but in a polite, mature manner.

Learn everything you can, don’t engage in gossip, show up on time, and get to bed on time. Do not show up in any state other than ready to work. Take care of yourself so you can put your best foot forward. This is the beginning of the rest of your life. You get out of your career what you put into it. If you take your work seriously, you will be taken seriously. Simple as that.

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Black Friday is Coming!

coloredpresents_holidayNovember is here and the holiday season is officially underway. Lists of presents to buy are being made, Starbucks Holiday cups are back and the trends are in. The National Retail Federation reported that retail sales this holiday season are expected to rise 3.7% and consumers plan to spend an average of $805 on holiday merchandise, comparable to the $802 spent last year.  These numbers mean that retailers are optimistic to see holiday gains. With all of the steals and deals out there here are some tips to get the most bang for your buck.

According to The Center of Shopping, about 95% of Holiday Shoppers plan to make purchases in a physical store. Doing a little research online before venturing out there can help you ensure you don’t overpay for that perfect gift. If you are brave enough to fight off the masses this Black Friday, make sure you check out Blackfriday.com before you step foot in a store. This website compiles a list of all the Black Friday ads from various retailers and updates information as it becomes available.

If you’re planning to shop online, check price-comparison websites to guarantee you don’t spend more than you need to. Amazon is one of the best and continually turns up the lowest prices and the longest lists of results. Google Product Search is another option that provides a local shopping option to find stores near you. Price Grabber is our final recommendation that not only has a search option but will also show you weekly deals.

Once you find the product, before you purchase, do a quick online coupon search! We recommend checking out couponcabin.com, which has over 100,000 active coupons and deals. Retailmenot.com has coupon codes for 130,000 stores and a weekly email newsletter that features coupon codes from the site’s users considered to be the best.

Make sure you capitalize on free shipping! If it isn’t offered on the retailers website check out freeshipping.com which will help you with shipping but also give you cash back deals and the occasional coupon, what’s not to love about that?!

And if you’re like me and prefer to peruse the shops in pajamas from the comfort of your bed, then Cyber Monday is your favorite shopping day of the year! Cybermonday.com has deals not only on the day of, but also all year round with hourly updates.

General Tips:

  1. Make a list.
  2. Create a budget and stick to it!
  3. Research before you buy.
  4. Take advantage on any and all offers online and in-store!

Happy Shopping!

http://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/holidays/christmas/money-saving-holiday-shopping-tips/get-no-cost-holiday-shipping

http://www.neamb.com/shopping-discounts/10-best-ways-to-find-holiday-deals-online.htm

http://www.thecenterofshopping.com/news/holiday-shopping-patterns

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