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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.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on September 22, 2020

How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do

How to Wake Up Early: 6 Things Early Risers Do

You have probably heard the success stories about people who wake up early. Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oprah Winfrey, and Olympic medalist Caroline Burckle all talk about the positive impact of waking up early on their lives.

Even though many assign a portion of their success to waking up early, many find it difficult to make the switch. While most people know what needs to happen to change their life, they find then difficult to implement consistently. To understand how to wake up early, you need to tap into the wisdom of those already doing it.

Here are the 6 things early risers do:

1. Stop Procrastinating

The first thing you need to do when you want to learn how to wake up early is to go to sleep earlier. Stop procrastinating. You will find it much easier to wake up when you are getting the proper amount of sleep. Set a bedtime that allows you to get 8-hours of sleep and hold yourself accountable.

The problem most of you will have at first is how tired you will feel. If you are someone who goes to sleep after midnight, waking up by 6 a.m. will not be easy. The reason you need to push through that initial difficulty is that you are going to be very tired at the end of the day. Realistically, you probably would fall asleep at your desk or doze off on your lunch break. Either way, waking up early no matter how you feel will motivate you to go sleep at the proper time that night.

Think of it as someone who procrastinated until the night before their project was due. Having done this myself, you do what you need to do to complete the project, whether that means working all night or cutting some corners because you don’t have time to triple-check your work.

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After you turn in your project, you feel both exhaustion and jubilation. After you make it through the workday and crash at home, you promise yourself you’ll never wait until the last minute again. This same feeling will happen when you force yourself to wake up early no matter what time you went to sleep. You are going to promise yourself you will go to bed at the right time.

Most people don’t go to bed when they should because they know they will ultimately make it up in the morning.

2. Pace Yourself

If you want to start waking up a couple of hours earlier each day, you may not be able to make that change all at once. It stands to reason the more drastic the shift, the more difficult it will be.

So, instead of trying to adjust your sleep pattern by several hours, start in 15-minute or 30-minute intervals.[1] If you wake up 30 minutes earlier each week, you will be a morning person by the end of the month. This may feel like you are drawing out your goal but in reality, you are accomplishing it much quicker than most. Most people who are naturally night owls find it difficult to completely change their sleep habits overnight.

Think of it as someone who is trying to quit drinking coffee. Outside of the fact you may enjoy the taste of coffee, your body is used to operating with a certain amount of caffeine and sugar. Some will be able to quit overnight and their body will adjust accordingly. And if you are one of those people, then do what works for you.

However, if you were to take an incremental approach, then you may first start drinking your coffee black. Then, you could switch to decaf before slowly lowering the amount of coffee you drink each day. As you can see, this approach will help minimize the feeling of withdrawal while getting the results you want.

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3. Watch Your Lighting

Light reduces your body’s production of the sleep-inducing melatonin hormone. In practical terms, your body naturally wants to be awake when the sun is up and go to sleep when the sun is down. This is called your circadian rhythm.

In the technology-driven world we currently live in, you likely look at a screen or two before bed. Studies show television and phone screens trick your body into thinking the sun is up. As a result, your body starts producing less melatonin. To help you fall asleep, you should stop looking at screens at least an hour before bed.

This can also mean that if you want to wake up before the sun, looking at your screen when you wake up can help you to stay awake.

Peter Balyta, the President of Education Technology for Texas Instruments says he wakes up at 5:20 a.m. and scans his emails before starting his day. This is also true for M.I.T. president L. Rafael Rief. He wakes up around 5 or 5:30 a.m. and checks his phone for anything urgent.[2]

4. Make It Worth Your Time

Have you ever woken up early but went back to sleep because you didn’t have a reason to stay up? To put it another way, have you ever fallen asleep because you didn’t have anything better to do?

If you want to be excited about going to sleep and waking up early, then you need to give yourself a reason to be excited. You can accomplish this by listing the three things you want to accomplish the next morning. Notice I said “want” and not “need” to accomplish. You don’t want to be dragging yourself into the next morning kicking and screaming.

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Your list should not only include what you want to accomplish but also why you want to accomplish it. If you want to take it a step further, list the consequences of not waking up early.

People who have figured out how to wake up early are shown to be more successful, persistent, and proactive in their life. They tend to be happier and handle stress better. It is also shown that people who wake up early procrastinate less.[3] If you find any of these benefits something you want to add in your life, then waking up early is shown to help.

5. Avoid Binging

There is a difference between sleeping and getting a good night’s sleep. Sure, you can drink alcohol and fall asleep, but you will not be getting quality rest. You will wake up feeling as though you slept for only a couple hours.

It is best to stop drinking at least 4 hours before bedtime. Binge drinking is known to impact your sleep-inducing melatonin hormone levels for up to a week. The same holds true with eating a large meal right before bed. It is not that your body can’t process food and sleep at the same time. The main concern has more to do with the possibility of indigestion or heartburn than anything else.

If you find yourself dealing with either of these symptoms, then you may want to stop eating at least two hours before bed.

6. Get the Blood Flowing

Those who have mastered the technique of how to wake up early tend to start each morning with movement.

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Your first movement is to get out of bed. To help you get out of bed, have your alarm far enough away that you need to get up and turn it off. Before you allow yourself to contemplate going back to sleep, take a moment, and do 10 push-ups or 10 jumping jacks. Think of each exercise as you taking one step further from being able to go back to sleep.

Mellody Hobson, President of Ariel Investments wakes up at 4 a.m. each morning. She starts each day by exercising. Her exercises include running, weight lifting, swimming, and cycling.

You decide for yourself how you want to get your blood flowing. Whether you want to go on a walk, workout at the gym, or do something at home, make sure you are scheduling time to exercise.

Final Thoughts

The key to understanding how to wake up early is to recognize that it is heavily driven by the actions you take the night before. You will wake up early if you go to bed at a good time and get the proper amount of sleep.

By taking the time to prepare yourself both mentally and physically each night, you can ensure you are positioned for success the next morning. Once you have taken the proper actions the night before, make sure you use that momentum to start your day, on time.

The goal is to make the actions you want to take as easy as possible. The key to changing your life is to discover a way to have the wind at your back, going in the direction you want.

More Tips on How to Wake up Early

Featured photo credit: Laura Chouette via unsplash.com

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