Job searching can be a lonely process. Rejections, ignored applications and long days of scrolling online job boards will make you feel like you need a vacation before you’re even hired.
But, job seekers take heed, there are specific qualities all companies look for in their new hires. Maybe you already possess some of them, maybe not, but all can be learned before you land your next opportunity.
Let’s get this one out of the way first. While it is true that companies prefer to hire candidates currently employed elsewhere, you don’t necessarily need to hold official employment status to demonstrate this quality.
For example, if you’re currently unemployed and on the job hunt, consider taking an unpaid internship or volunteer position with a company. You’ll learn valuable skills and you can list it on your resume just like you would any other job. You’ll find that many hiring companies don’t care if you’re working for free; they may even applaud the go-getter initiative this displays.
Strong Work Ethic
It can be tempting to turn your resume into nothing more than a list of roles you’ve held. But companies want to know what you’ve accomplished, not just what seats you’ve occupied. Make sure you can demonstrate how your hard work has translated into tangible results and success for current/previous employers. If you can’t paint a picture in the employer’s mind of how hard you work, they’ll never know.
Are you looking for your next temporary landing spot, or a long and fruitful career? While the modern world has reshaped what is considered an acceptable tenure with an employer (the average person now changes jobs an average of 12 times during his or her career), hiring managers are still on the lookout for someone who wants to grow with the company long-term. Make sure you can demonstrate why you are looking for growth opportunities.
Do you play well with others? There are very few jobs in the world where being a team player is not a prerequisite. When job-seeking, you should demonstrate that any prior success was due in large part to the team around you. Employers want to know that you will not cause any team dysfunction if they are to bring you on board, so do not leave it as an unknown question mark in their minds.
While your strength as a candidate should depend first and foremost on your skill set, employers are also looking for certain cultural qualities to fit their company. Before getting too far along in the application process with any company, do your homework on what the culture is like there. A company’s website and their LinkedIn and Glassdoor pages are a great starting point to do a little reconnaissance. You don’t need to be a social butterfly, but companies want to know what type of person you are as a whole (you’ll be spending a lot of time together should they hire you), so share a little about what hobbies and interests pique your interest outside of work.
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