Patty Prosser, chair of OI Partners, a coaching and leadership development firm, says, "People will be more successful in their jobs and job searches by validating that they are the best fit."
Here are answers to questions OI Partners asked their career consultants:
- What have you learned lately? "Employers are seeking workers who have made a commitment to continuous learning. Relate what you are learning to how this can make you a better employee or a great hire," Prosser said.
- Value to employer. Companies want to know how, specifically, can you or are you adding value to them.
- Outstanding communications skills: Employers are becoming more dissatisfied with the communications skills of their employees and job candidates and are placing a higher priority on both written and verbal skills. Sharpen both your presentation skills and your writing.
- Teamwork. Being a team player is the No. 1 quality employers said they are looking for among applicants and workers, according to an OI Partners survey.
- Excitement and enthusiasm. "Be able to articulate what about the company's product or service inspires you and how you can demonstrate that in your daily work," Prosser said.
- Flexibility. Employers appreciate workers who keep focused on meeting the organization's goals, especially when resources are stretched.
- Anticipate. "Companies reward people who see that there will be a resource gap, bring it to management's attention and propose some possible solutions. If you are interviewing for a position, share a story about a time that you did this in your career or explain how you would do this if hired," Prosser said.
- Persuasiveness. Ability to win over others, including customers and colleagues, is in demand. Persuasive employees know how to craft their messages to meet others' needs and, at the same time, accomplish their objectives.
- Leadership. Management wants to hear potential leaders say how things can be done, and how problems can be solved, not why things won't work," Prosser said.
- Authenticity. It is essential to demonstrate who you are and what makes you unique as a person and employee. Be clear about what your special talents, skills, and contributions are and how you believe those things make you more effective.
Do what others fail to do!
Marvin Walberg is a job-search coach based in Birmingham, Ala. For contact information, see marvin-walberg.com.