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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 July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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