Whether you are a new college graduate, a mother returning to the workforce after a stay at home stint, or someone who lost a job during the recession, getting out there and getting hired can be a challenge in today’s environment.
According to the BLS’s Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey, in June of this year there were an estimated six people for every one job opening available in the United States.
So what will make you stand out among the rest of those applying for the same position?
Certainly education and experience come to play, but these are not always the most important elements in finding a job,says Garrett Miller, a workplace productivity coach, trainer and author of Hire on a WHIM: The Four Qualities that Make for Great Employees.
The following four traits are what employers look for, he adds. Take these into a job interview to stand out among the rest.
- Work ethic, or values based on hard work and diligence. Show this by joining extracurricular work activities that will increase your skill range, such as classes, workshops, seminars, and clubs. Show the employer you work hard at self-improvement.
- Humility, or the ability to be taught. Show this, Miller says, by highlighting team and group working scenarios and showing that you can collaborate with others. “Don’t be shy about discussing an embarrassing moment or an incorrect choice,” he adds, “and emphasize what you learned from it.”
- Integrity, or the innate ability to do what is right even when influenced by others to do otherwise. Own your successes and failures. Discuss one thing you did wrong and what you learned by it. Show that you can take responsibility for these choices as well.
- Maturity, or giving seriousness and consciousness to your actions and thoughts. Talk about experiences that shaped who you were, and discuss in realistic expectations where you hope to be in five, 10, or 20 years.