Tag Archives: AmericaEmployed

The Three Best Hard Skills to Have

HardSkills_August2013_webWhile soft skills, including dependability, motivation, and communication, were cited recently in a report from Express Employment Professionals as the most important skills employees possess, hard skills still play a vital role in today’s job market. In fact, one could argue that even if your soft skills are perfect, at the end of the day, there are certain critical hard skills needed to succeed. Because Express hires and employs more than 376,000 people per year, we have great insight into what is important in landing the job. Let’s take a look at the top hard skills ranked by Express franchises as important to employers.

  1. Experience
    Work experience ranked highest on the list of hard skills. Education is great, but there’s still the need to prove that you can do the job. And if you have trouble getting a job in your career field, find a job within the industry, even if it isn’t your ideal role. Being able to list a related industry on your resume can show correlated work experience. Check out this recent post on unemployment versus underemployment supported the value of getting work experience to your overall career.
  2. Technical ability
    To best showcase your technical abilities on your resume or LinkedIn profile, use specific versions of software you have experience with or qualifying descriptions. Be specific about your ability, not just that you have skill, but how fast or at what level you can do the job. Understand the numbers in your job and be able to market yourself with specific results.
  3. Training
    Whether it’s conflict resolution, goal-setting training, or a continuing education event, keep a record of the training you’ve received and what you’ve learned from it. Be able to explain what you’ve taken away and how you’ve applied it. Additionally, have a plan of your own on how you’re going to stay informed on changes and advancements in your industry to stay on top of your game.

    What hard skills have been your biggest asset in your job search? Share with us in the comments section below.

Top 3 Interview Sins

InterviewSins_Second_August2013_webLanding an interview can thrill and chill you at the same time. It’s your gateway to landing the job and moving forward with your employment goals. But there is no doubt that the high pressure of the situation can cause stress and bring out some unsightly behavior.

Express Employment Professionals employs more than 365,000 people annually, and interviews people regularly. In a recent survey, Express investigated the biggest faux pas about interviewing and uncovered the top interview misgivings. Here are the three biggest interview sins:

  1. Lying about your experience.
    Naturally, you want to present yourself as the best and most qualified candidate for the job. But are you really? Lying about your experience is dangerous for many reasons. Employers are looking for ethical and trustworthy employees. Once your lie is discovered, your character will be damaged, not only for that job opportunity, but word can spread among reference networks for future job opportunities. More than that, your safety, or those of your co-workers, could be at risk. If for some reason you are able to land a job and you don’t actually have the knowledge you proclaimed to have, your mistakes could result in injuries or create serious shortcomings within the business.Be honest about your qualifications and experience. If you’re asked to detail the experiences, tell the truth. You can also ask for examples from the interviewer on what the expectations are for the position. By asking questions and gaining a better understanding of the job description, you’ll be able to determine if your qualifications are a match.
  2. Arriving late.
    If a company is interviewing, they’ve got a talent shortage and business is busy. Interviewing is one more thing on a packed to-do list and being late can be unforgivable. Obviously, there can be circumstances beyond your control that can make you late, but try to think of everything and prepare to be on time. You may even want to make a trip to your interview destination the day before to estimate exactly how long it will take to get there. This allows you to determine what bus or train to take, or even where you’ll need to park. You’ll be stressed enough the day of your interview, so eliminate worrying about these matters by easily addressing them in advance.Just like being late is a frustration, being early can be seen as annoying. The interviewer probably can’t see you until your appointment time and there may not be a good place for you to wait. With full schedules, and possibly back-to-back interviews, the best advice is to get there 10 to 15 minutes early. If you find yourself earlier than that just hang back and don’t check in until closer to your set time.
  3. Answering a phone call.
    Your interview is important, and it’s crucial that you treat that time with respect. This means not answering your phone during your interview, which was number three on our list. Beyond answering the phone, the sixth interview faux pas on our list was checking your phone. If there is someone who may need to reach you, let them know about your interview. Give them the name of the person you are meeting with, the company name, and the phone number, as well as the date and time of the interview. If there is a true emergency, they can contact the company you are interviewing with, this way you won’t feel the need to answer or check your phone.And even if you don’t plan to answer it, make sure you’ve turned it on silent and off vibrate, you don’t need the noise distracting you. You can even leave your phone in your car or keep it out of reach during the interview so you aren’t tempted to pick it up.

Check out our post on the 7 Must Do’s Before Interviews to help prepare you to do your very best. Be honest, be on time, and keep that phone turned off, and you’ll be well on your way to impressing your interviewer.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in an interview? Share your story in the comments section below.

Lack of Job Offers is Biggest Frustration to Job Seekers

JobSeeker-PollResults_250X300_ExpressAug2013This summer, Express Employment Professionals asked job seekers what the biggest frustration is in the job search via a poll on our Movin’ On Up blog, which received over 1,000 responses.

While not receiving job offers is notably the largest frustration, lack of feedback during the application process and struggling with online applications systems were the largest majority of responses within the “Other” category. 15% of respondents found the pay inadequate or unexpected and another 10% cited that the positions available weren’t jobs they wanted.

This survey corresponds with a deeper look at the employment situation by Express in a series of reports titled, America Employed.