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When the time has come to begin the job hunt, you will need to be prepared with certain skills and characteristics in order to be successful. Of course, there are skills employers look for in desirable employment candidates. Qualities such as critical thinking and leadership are always advantageous to job seekers and in demand by employers.

However, there is also a particular skill set you should have in order to conduct an effective job search that leads to interviews and, ultimately, a job that fulfills you. Possessing these abilities will be beneficial on the job and throughout your life, as well. Don’t worry if you don’t consider yourself to be strong in each of these areas. With practice and purposeful attention, you can begin to add them to your arsenal of knowledge. Keep reading to learn more about the top seven skills you need to land a job.

1. Communication

Clear communication is essential in every aspect of life. It is especially useful when job hunting because the main goal of this process is to sell yourself to potential employers. In order to receive an interview, you must communicate clearly in writing the skills, education and personal characteristics that make you a well-qualified candidate. Your cover letter and resume are the sales tools you will utilize in order to move on to the next step of a personal meeting. Hiring personnel spend very little time on each resume. You must be able to communicate in a concise, scannable manner your most relevant and impressive attributes.

find ways to stand out

It’s also important that you be proactive in your communication. The key to acquiring a job in today’s competitive market is to find ways to stand out. Personal communication with company representatives is a strategic way to make yourself known. Call companies to inquire about specific positions, and always follow up after you’ve submitted application materials.

2. Networking

Your strong communication skills also play a role in networking. This practice involves interaction with your current contacts, as well as reaching out to gain new ones, in order to increase your odds of landing a great job. Networking is far more advantageous to your job search than going it alone.

looking for a new position

Tell everyone you know that you are currently looking for a new position. Let them know what kind of job you desire, the geographic area, the kind of company you wish to work for and your reasons for wanting to go in this career direction. This knowledge will allow those you know to be on the lookout for opportunities that might fit your needs. You never know who may be able to connect you to an opportunity such as a job opening, an industry introduction or resources in your city of interest.

3. Technology

social networking

Having an understanding of and feeling comfortable with the most common technology is necessary in today’s world. It can also advance your job search. Many jobs are posted online, and an increasing number of employers accept electronic application materials only. Thus, you will need to know your way around the internet, be able to use email and format documents. As noted earlier, social networking is also one of the best ways to expand your contacts. You can find industry experts and company representatives through services like Facebook, LinkedIn and online forums if you know how to navigate the sites. You should also be comfortable with presentation software and other commonly used computer programs, especially those relevant to your field.

4. Flexibility

utilize creative adaptability

The job search can be a very time consuming process. You’ll need to be flexible in order to incorporate it into your already busy life. If you’re currently working, going to school or managing family obligations, you’ll likely need to utilize some creative adaptability when it comes to giving adequate attention to finding a job. Making time to look for job openings, network, tailor resumes, send application materials, prepare for job interviews and attend those interviews is not an easy task. However, with an open mind, some organizational skills and focus, you’ll be better able to address issues as they arise.

5. Research

visit company website

Preparing for job interviews is absolutely essential to performing well. You’ll want to practice some of the more typical questions interviewers ask so that you’ll be able to answer them confidently and with ease. If you don’t know a great deal about what to expect at an interview, this is where research comes in. You can go online to locate career resources to aid you in your interview preparation. Another often overlooked aspect of being ready for the interview is knowing about the company. Research is needed once again. Visit the company’s website, do a Google search and read articles by or about the organization’s leaders. This research will prepare you to talk about why you want to work for this particular business, and you’ll be able to ask relevant questions. Interviewers are sure to be impressed.

6. Self-Improvement

staying up to date

Self-improvement can be in relation to personal or professional matters. It means learning new information and methods to improve your life and make you more knowledgeable. There are so many ways you can seek self-improvement. Staying up to date on the latest trends within your field will make you more attractive to employers, as well as will likely help you to rise in the ranks once hired. Attend industry conferences and read journals to stay in the know. Join a group like Toastmasters if you want to become a better public speaker. There’s no end to the possibilities for learning more.

7. Persistence

Sometimes the job search can seem endless. It can be discouraging. Be persistent and keep taking steps from this list each day in order to keep working toward your goal. Knowing that you are being proactive in your search will help you to remain persistent. In order to get the job you want, you have to keep moving forward. Persistence may be the most important skill of all when it comes to conducting a fruitful job search.

These are the top seven skills you need to land a job. If you want to learn more about finding a career that works for you, consider downloading the complimentary eBook, “How to Change Careers After 30” from Brighton College. Or contact us today at 1-800-354-1254.