We know how it goes. You studied hard and got your degree, took part-time jobs and internships (and not necessarily glamorous ones at that!) that helped you learn your trade, made connections with leaders in your industry. But still, you struggle to make your resume stand out in the crowd and to deliver that “wow” factor during interviews.
What’s a job seeker to do?
First things first, if you’re already prepping for the 2018 Multicultural Career Expo – scheduled for Monday, March 19 from 2-7 p.m. at Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridge Lake Boulevard – you’re on the right track. This year’s Expo is bigger than ever, so you’ll meet many of the Mid-South’s top employers in a variety of industries – and a new targeted approach will get in you front of those HR professionals who are looking for candidates with precisely the skills you bring to the table.
Still, you need to hit the right notes to stand out.
We did some research to uncover what skills employers are looking for in 2018, and here’s what we found.
Embracing new technology and communication is vital. Social media has changed the landscape for how today’s companies reach out to and interact with their customers, and candidates who know how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. effectively are getting more and more attention. The key is to show that you know how to use social media productively: to project a positive image, market your brand, build an effective community, etc. Highlight your technology and social media skills, and make it clear you can use them to help your employer grow.
Companies also want employees who are problem-solvers. No matter how well a workplace runs, problems are going to arise, and it’s almost impossible to predict their nature. Therefore, employers are looking to build a team that can tackle hiccups independently. Share examples of times you found a creative way to get through something difficult before it reached your supervisor’s desk – remember, every boss is looking for employees who make their life easier.
Another good rule of thumb is to prove that you can make yourself valuable to a company as a whole, not just your specific department or division. If you’re willing to learn and tend to pick up new skills easily, say it! Employees who are able to not only do their own job well but are willing and able to pitch in when someone else needs help are crucial to a thriving workplace. Life happens: people get sick, huge projects come in at the last minute, supervisors realize they need to shift manpower from point A to point B. If you’re the type of employee who is always on top of industry trends and makes a point of learning new skills, you can make yourself essential by being the first to raise a hand to offer help.
Workplaces change fast these days. What a company looks like now may not be what it looks like five years from now. But if you can show that you’re resilient and adaptable enough to go along for the ride – and be a top contributor along the way – you’ll rise to the top of the heap.