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How to Get Any Job You Want Even If You Are Not as Experienced as Others

How to Get Any Job You Want Even If You Are Not as Experienced as Others

Making the right impression in your resume and subsequent job interview can be a minefield sometimes when it comes to presenting the relevant skills to your future employer.

But did you know there are two types of skills that you can get across that show your suitability for the job? And not everyone gets both across effectively in order to make the best impression.

The Two Types of Skills That Determine Your Suitability for a Job

The skills we have can be categorised into hard skills and soft skills. But what is the difference?

Hard skills are those that show our specific abilities and knowledge through education and previous work experience. Soft skills focus more on our behaviours and personality including how we communicate, our attitude and how we approach certain problems.

While hard skills are what we tend to focus more on (both us and the interviewer), soft skills are equally important in showing our suitability to the job. A CareerBuilder’s study[1] conducted in 2014 looked at data collected from over 2000 Human Resources specialists and found that 77% of those surveyed believed conveying soft skills were just as important as hard skills with 16% believing they’re, in fact, more important.

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Why is this? While hard skills show your basic competency for a job, soft skills matter more in the long term. They indicate to the employer how well you’ll fit in with the company environment, how well you cooperate with others and your ability to overcome problems and challenges.

You Can Easily Outperform Other Candidates When You Include Your Soft Skills in the Resume

Most people will focus on their hard skills for a job especially in their resume and this is where you can hold an advantage by putting more emphasis on your soft skills before you even enter the interview room.

Resumes have been routinely structured to focus on our hard skills – our experience, our education and most commonly listing out our job duties all of which show we can technically do the job but doesn’t convey our personal traits and abilities. Therefore, the benefit of including more of your soft skills within your resume will mean you have an even higher chance of landing that all-important interview.

It Is Not About What Soft Skills You Have But How You Present Them

The tricky thing with soft skills is how to present them effectively. It can be restricting and hard to convey on a resume without using cliché and general terms such as ‘strong leadership skills’ or ‘strong communication skills’.

Interviews can be especially difficult because you aren’t in control of how the questions will be structured and the most common structure tends to centre around hard skills. Time in interviews is also limited so it can be difficult to find a suitable opportunity to present your soft skills in a natural and effective way plus the possible answers vary immensely but this can be used to help you stand out from other interviewees.

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How To Land Your Dream Job by Showing Your Soft Skills Skillfullly

So at this point you may be considering tailoring your resume to include more of your personality traits and ability to handle problems. This is an important stage to include your soft skills and will help you stand out to the employer when selecting possible candidates. And of course, presenting your soft skills well in the interview will show your mindset and long-term fit within the company.

Presenting Soft Skills in Your Resume

When it comes to your resume, it’s all about wording your experience that also reflects your ability to communicate in a positive way, show your flexibility, multitasking skills and your approach to problems and challenges.

According to CareerBuilder, the top soft skills employers are looking for are: a strong work ethic, dependability, positivity, self-motivation, team-working skills, organisational skills and multitasking, working well under pressure, communication, flexibility and confidence.

Include Soft Skills in Job Duties

It’s all too easy to list what duties our previous roles involved but the secret is to word it in a way that shows off your soft skills at the same time.

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For example:

  • Worked with a variety clients building long-term, positive relationships (shows you’re personable and a good communicator)
  • Headed several successful projects within a big team (shows team-work ability, dependability and communication)
  • Was a point of call for relaying and explaining complicated processes to other members of the team (shows flexibility, willingness to help, team-work)
  • Sought out by managers to edit and streamline training guides for new starters (shows reliability, multitasking skills and dependability)

When it comes to relaying your soft skills within your resume, you’re essentially looking to convey the impact that you have had in previous roles.

Presenting Soft Skills in Your Interview

When it comes to the interview, you have little control over what you’re asked. Believe it or not, not all interviewers are good or ask questions in the right way in order to allow you to show off your soft skills in particular.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t mould your answer to what seems like a ‘hard-skill’ question.

For example, the interviewer may ask you something like “how would you define good team-work?” While this comes across as a fairly closed question, don’t be afraid to rephrase the question in your head to “tell me about a time you worked well in a team.” In other words, don’t feel restricted to just tell them your opinion on what makes a good team – give good examples of why this is so from your own experience.

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For example:

“Good team work involves effective communication at all levels and the ability to listen and understand each others needs and roles within the team. I know this because good teamwork was paramount in the major, successful projects I worked on with our biggest clients. I was part of a large team working under pressure and to quick deadlines which meant communication with each other resulted in a much smoother operation.”

Just Get in the Soft Skill Mindset

When it comes to your interview or your resume for that matter, don’t be afraid to inject your personality traits where possible. Don’t always be restricted by the interviewer’s vocabulary or stick to what you think they want to hear. Allow yourself to stand out by telling your story rather than your philosophy – not only will you convey your soft skills effectively but also shape the interview to your advantage by showing them your positive way of dealing with situations.

So remember, while your hard skills are showing your ability to do the job, getting your positive mindset across and showing how you can fit in well to the new job, team and company to promote long-term suitability to the role will more likely land you the job. Not only will the recruiters see this important side of you, but it will inject more of a human and personable level that is just as important to the role as your hard skill abilities.

Reference

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on March 30, 2020

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

What to Do in Free Time? 20 Productive Ways to Use the Time

If you’ve got a big block of free time, the best way to put that to use is to relax, have fun, decompress from a stressful day, or spend time with a loved one. But if you’ve just got a little chunk — say 5 or 10 minutes — there’s no time to do any of the fun stuff.

So, what to do in free time?

Put those little chunks of time to their most productive use.

Everyone works differently, so the best use of your free time really depends on you, your working style, and what’s on your to-do list. But it’s handy to have a list like this in order to quickly find a way to put that little spare time to work instantly, without any thought. Use the following list as a way to spark ideas for what you can do in a short amount of time.

1. Reading Files

Clip magazine articles or print out good articles or reports for reading later, and keep them in a folder marked “Reading File”. Take this wherever you go, and any time you have a little chunk of time, you can knock off items in your Reading File.

Keep a reading file on your computer (or in your bookmarks), for quick reading while at your desk (or on the road if you’ve got a laptop).

2. Clear out Inbox

Got a meeting in 5 minutes? Use it to get your physical or email inbox to empty.

If you’ve got a lot in your inbox, you’ll have to work quickly, and you may not get everything done; but reducing your pile can be a big help. And having an empty inbox is a wonderful feeling.

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3. Phone Calls

Keep a list of phone calls you need to make, with phone numbers, and carry it everywhere.

Whether you’re at your desk or on the road, you can knock a few calls off your list in a short amount of time.

4. Make Money

This is my favorite productive use of free time. I have a list of articles I need to write, and when I get some spare minutes, I’ll knock off half an article real quick.

If you get 5 to 10 chunks of free time a day, you can make a decent side income. Figure out how you can freelance your skills, and have work lined up that you can knock out quickly — break it up into little chunks, so those chunks can be done in short bursts.

5. File

No one likes to do this. If you’re on top of your game, you’re filing stuff immediately, so it doesn’t pile up.

But if you’ve just come off a really busy spurt, you may have a bunch of documents or files laying around.

Or maybe you have a big stack of stuff to file. Cut into that stack with every little bit of spare time you get, and soon you’ll be in filing Nirvana.

6. Network

Only have 2 minutes? Shoot off a quick email to a colleague. Even just a “touching bases” or follow-up email can do wonders for your working relationship. Or shoot off a quick question, and put it on your follow-up list for later.

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7. Clear out Feeds

If my email inbox is empty, and I have some spare time, I like to go to my Google Reader and clear out my feed inbox.

8. Goal Time

Take 10 minutes to think about your goals — personal and professional.

If you don’t have a list of goals, start on one. If you’ve got a list of goals, review them.

Write down a list of action steps you can take over the next couple of weeks to make these goals a reality. What action step can you do today? The more you focus on these goals, and review them, the more likely they will come true.

9. Update Finances

Many people fall behind with their finances, either in paying bills (they don’t have time), or entering transactions in their financial software, or clearing their checkbook, or reviewing their budget.

Take a few minutes to update these things. It just takes 10 to 15 minutes every now and then.

10. Brainstorm Ideas

Another favorite of mine if I just have 5 minutes — I’ll break out my pocket notebook, and start a brainstorming list for a project or article. Whatever you’ve got coming up in your work or personal life, it can benefit from a brainstorm. And that doesn’t take long.

11. Clear off Desk

Similar to the filing tip above, but this applies to whatever junk you’ve got cluttering up your desk. Or on the floor around your desk.

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Trash stuff, file stuff, put it in its place. A clear desk makes for a more productive you. And it’s oddly satisfying.

12. Exercise

Never have time to exercise? 10 minutes is enough to get off some pushups and crunches. Do that 2 to 3 times a day, and you’ve got a fit new you.

13. Take a Walk

This is another form of exercise that doesn’t take long, and you can do it anywhere. Even more important, it’s a good way to stretch your legs from sitting at your desk too long.

It also gets your creative juices flowing. If you’re ever stuck for ideas, taking a walk is a good way to get unstuck.

14. Follow up

Keep a follow-up list for everything you’re waiting on. Return calls, emails, memos — anything that someone owes you, put on the list.

When you’ve got a spare 10 minutes, do some follow-up calls or emails.

15. Meditate

You don’t need a yoga mat to do this. Just do it at your desk. Focus on your breathing. A quick 5 to 10 minutes of meditation (or even a nap) can be tremendously refreshing.

Take a look at this 5-Minute Guide to Meditation: Anywhere, Anytime

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16. Research

This is a daunting task for me. So I do it in little spurts.

If I’ve only got a few minutes, I’ll do some quick research and take some notes. Do this a few times, and I’m done!

17. Outline

Similar to brainstorming, but more formal. I like to do an outline of a complicated article, report or project, and it helps speed things along when I get to the actual writing. And it only takes a few minutes.

18. Get Prepped

Outlining is one way to prep for longer work, but there’s a lot of other ways you can prep for the next task on your list.

You may not have time to actually start on the task right now, but when you come back from your meeting or lunch, you’ll be all prepped and ready to go.

19. Be Early

Got some spare time before a meeting? Show up for the meeting early.

Sure, you might feel like a chump sitting there alone, but actually people respect those who show up early. It’s better than being late (unless you’re trying to play a power trip or something, but that’s not appreciated in many circles).

20. Log

If you keep a log of anything, a few spare minutes is the perfect time to update the log.

Actually, the perfect time to update the log is right after you do the activity (exercise, eat, crank a widget), but if you didn’t have time to do it before, your 5-minute break is as good a time as any.

More Inspirations on What To Do During Free Time

Featured photo credit: Lauren Mancke via unsplash.com

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