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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

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

How to Stop Information Overload

How to Stop Information Overload

Information overload is a creature that has been growing on the Internet’s back since its beginnings. The bigger the Internet gets, the more information there is. The more quality information we see, the more we want to consume it. The more we want to consume it, the more overloaded we feel.

This has to stop somewhere. And it can.

As the year comes to a close, there’s no time like the present to make the overloading stop.

But before I explain exactly what I mean, let’s discuss information overload in general.

How Serious Is Information Overload?

The sole fact that there’s more and more information published online every single day is not the actual problem. Only the quality information becomes the problem.

This sounds kind of strange…but bear with me.

When we see some half-baked blog posts we don’t even consider reading, we just skip to the next thing. But when we see something truly interesting — maybe even epic — we want to consume it.

We even feel like we have to consume it. And that’s the real problem.

No matter what topic we’re interested in, there are always hundreds of quality blogs publishing entries every single day (or every other day). Not to mention all the forums, message boards, social news sites, and so on.

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The amount of epic content on the Internet these days is so big that it’s virtually impossible for us to digest it all. But we try anyway.

That’s when we feel overloaded. If you’re not careful, one day you’ll find yourself reading the 15th blog post in a row on some nice WordPress tweaking techniques because you feel that for some reason, “you need to know this.”

Information overload is a plague. There’s no vaccine, there’s no cure. The only thing you have is self-control.

Luckily, you’re not on your own. There are some tips you can follow to protect yourself from information overload and, ultimately, fight it.

But first, admit that information overload is really bad for you.

Why Information Overload Is Bad for You

Information overload stops you from taking action. That’s the biggest problem here.

When you try to consume more and more information every day, you start to notice that even though you’ve been reading tons of articles, watching tons of videos and listening to tons of podcasts, the stream of incoming information seems to be infinite.

Therefore, you convince yourself that you need to be on a constant lookout for new information if you want to be able to accomplish anything in your life, work and/or passion. The final result is that you are consuming way too much information, and taking way too little action because you don’t have enough time for it.

The belief that you need to be on this constant lookout for information is just not true.

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You don’t need every piece of advice possible to live your life, do your work or enjoy your passion.

How to Stop Information Overload (And Start to Achieve More)

So how to recognize the portion of information that you really need? Start with setting goals.

1. Set Your Goals

If you don’t have your goals put in place, you’ll be just running around grabbing every possible advice and thinking that it’s “just what you’ve been looking for.”

Setting goals is a much more profound task than just a way to get rid of information overload. Now by “goals” I don’t mean things like “get rich, have kids, and live a good life”. I mean something much more within your immediate grasp. Something that can be achieved in the near future — like within a month (or a year) at most.

Basically, something that you want to attract to your life, and you already have some plan on how you’re going to make it happen. So no hopes and dreams, just actionable, precise goals.

Then once you have your goals, they become a set of strategies and tactics you need to act upon.

2. Know What to Skip When Facing New Information

Once you have your goals, plans, strategies and tasks, you can use them to decide what information is really crucial.

First of all, if the information you’re about to read has nothing to do with your current goals and plans, then skip it. You don’t need it.

If it does, then ask yourself these questions:

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  • Will you be able to put this information into action immediately?
  • Does it have the potential to maybe alter your nearest actions/tasks?
  • Is it so incredible that you absolutely need to take action on it right away?

If the information is not actionable in a day or two, then skip it.

(You’ll forget about it anyway.)

And that’s basically it. Digest only what can be used immediately. If you have a task that you need to do, consume only the information necessary for getting this one task done, nothing more.

You need to be focused in order to have clear judgment, and be able to decide whether some piece of information is mandatory or redundant.

Self-control comes handy too. It’s quite easy to convince yourself that you really need something just because of poor self-control. Try to fight this temptation, and be as ruthless about it as possible – if the information is not matching your goals and plans, and you can’t take action on it in the near future, then SKIP IT.

3. Be Aware of the Minimal Effective Dose

There’s a thing called the MED – Minimal Effective Dose. I was first introduced to this idea by Tim Ferriss. In his book The 4-Hour BodyTim illustrates the minimal effective dose by talking about medical drugs.

Everybody knows that every pill has a MED, and after that specific dose, no other positive effects occur, only some negative side effects if you overdose big.

Consuming information is somewhat similar. You need just a precise amount of it to help you to achieve your goals and put your plans into life.

Everything more than that amount won’t improve your results any further. And if you try to consume too much of it, it will eventually stop you from taking any action altogether.

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4. Don’t Procrastinate by Consuming More Information

Probably one of the most common causes of consuming ridiculous amounts of information is the need to procrastinate. By reading yet another article, we often feel that we are indeed working, and that we’re doing something good – we’re learning, which in result will make us a more complete and educated person.

This is just self-deception. The truth is we’re simply procrastinating. We don’t feel like doing what really needs to be done – the important stuff – so instead we find something else, and convince ourselves that “that thing” is equally important. Which is just not true.

Don’t consume information just for the sake of it. It gets you nowhere.

The focus of this article is not on how to stop procrastinating, but if you’re having such issue, I recommend you read this:

Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

Summing It Up

As you can see, information overload can be a real problem and it can have a sever impact on your productivity and overall performance.

I know I have had my share of problems with it (and probably still have from time to time). But creating this simple set of rules helps me to fight it, and to keep my lizard brain from taking over.

I hope it helps you too, especially as we head into a new year with a new chance at setting ourselves up for success.

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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