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Job Hunting? Mend Your Ways

Updated on March 26, 2011

The process of getting a job in the 21st century is not as clear cut as it used to. With the world figuratively getting smaller through means of cheaper airfare and people wanting to travel and live abroad, competition for jobs have never been stiffer. The sad but honest fact is this: you are not guaranteed a job even if you are armed with a degree of a diploma. Plenty of others have paper qualifications too, some maybe even better than yours.

More often than not, companies who are recruiting are spoiled for choice since they have plenty of potential candidates to decide from. So what makes you different from the rest?


Salary Package
Salary Package

Often a cliché, but this is very true in the process of job-hunting: you have to stand out from the rest of the crowd. This does not mean dressing radically for your job interview or remembering and spewing some jokes at your desired employer to get a few laughs at the beginning of the interview. This means the quality of your resume, beefing up your resume with workshops and seminars you have attended and improving your skill-set. Frequently during an interview, employers will ask a few off-handed questions about your interests and hobbies. What seems like a question to merely strike up conversation, is actually wanting to know the different skill-sets you have other than the discipline of study you have picked up in school.

Flaunting your diploma or degree in the faces of employers will no longer get you a job. With paper qualifications being a mere pre-requisite in getting the job, employers look for something different. During your interview, it is important and crucial for you to appear a lot more knowledgeable and having the skills required for the job you are hunting for. Hence, this means you have to prepare your application beforehand. Researching what the company specializes in and knowing full well the responsibilities of the job you are seeking will definitely win half of your battle.

Employers also look out for a factor called ‘soft-skills’. Soft skills relate to someone’s EQ (Emotional Quotient). Things like social grace, personality traits, personal habits and optimism characterizes behavior with other people. Complemented against hard skill, a person’s IQ (Intelligence Quotient), this shows the complete personality of an individual. These are almost intangible things that you do not pick up but others do so during your interview, it is crucial that you maintain an air of confidence (but not being overly-confident), friendly, optimistic and be proactive. It is also important that you try to influence the employers with your spoken words; this shows the ability to lead others and motivate colleagues during tough times.

Employers not only look for confident candidates that stand out from the rest but the candidate’s ability to work in diverse and often-different teams while having the ability to learn quickly on the job with very little supervision. Always remember, the lesser time and supervision they spend on you, the more money they save on training! So it is always important to drop terms like ‘proactive’, ‘team-player’, ‘problem solver’ and ‘active listener’ to the employer.

Lastly, while soft skills are the new paper qualification in the art of job-hunting, it is always good to remember that you may be up against a lot of competition for the job and chances are, one of them could have perfected his or her soft skills. While it is essential for employers to view yourself as having high emotional quotient (EQ), it is also important to just be honest. Remember honesty is always the best policy! Armed with your paper qualification, your research into the background of the company and job your are hunting, your impression of having outstanding soft skills to the employer and being honest during the interview, you are well on your way beating your other competition and getting the job of your dreams! Good luck!


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