• Communication Ranks #1 With Employers!

    Posted by Elizabeth Barrett on 9/24/2014 8:00:00 PM



    Communication skills are ranked FIRST among a job candidate’s “must have” skills and qualities, according to a 2010 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Communication skills are important to everyone - they are how we give and receive information and convey our ideas and opinions with those around us.

    Communication comes in many forms:

    • verbal (sounds, language, and tone of voice)


    • aural (listening and hearing)


    • non-verbal (facial expressions, body language, and posture)


    • written (journals, emails, blogs, and text messages)


    • visual (signs, symbols, and pictures)


    It is important to develop a variety of skills for both communicating TO others and learning how to interpret the information received FROM others. Knowing our audience and understanding how they need to receive information is equally important as knowing ourselves. To an employer, good communication skills are essential. In fact, employers consistently rank good communication skills at the top of the list for potential employees. During an interview, for example, employers are impressed by a job candidate who answers questions with more than one-word answers (such as yeah…nah…dunno), demonstrates that he or she is listening, and shares information and ideas (by asking questions for clarification and/or follow-up). The interview can be an indication to employers of how the candidate or employee will interact with supervisors, co-workers, and customers or resolve conflicts when they arise. Remember, non-verbal communication is also critical in an interview. Employers expect good eye contact, good posture, and “active” listening.

     One of the challenges in the workplace is learning the specific communication styles of others and how and when to share your ideas or concerns. Though some supervisors may specifically ask for your opinion, others may assume if there is something important they need to know, you will bring it to their attention – or if there is something you are unsure about, you will ask. Knowing how to listen carefully and when to ask for help is important. If an employee and a supervisor learn to communicate well (in whatever method that works), there is a greater likelihood of job retention and promotion.

    Adapted from http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/youth/softskills/softskills.pdf

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  • Enthusiasm and Attitude

    Posted by Elizabeth Barrett on 9/15/2014 9:00:00 PM
    Enthusiasm and Attitude
    What is the difference between “You’re hired!” and “Thank 
    you for your interest, but…”? In a word: enthusiasm. 
    Enthusiasm can mean the difference in not just getting a 
    job, but succeeding in a job and even advancing in your 
    career. A positive and enthusiastic attitude is a critical 
    component of workplace success. 
    When employers look at prospective candidates, beyond skills, experience, and training, they look for those who demonstrate enthusiasm - those that they believe will complete assigned tasks in an upbeat and cooperative manner. All other things being equal, a candidate who can demonstrate a positive attitude and eagerness to tackle the job will have an advantage over one who displays an attitude viewed by the employer as negative or disinterested. In fact, many employers would rather provide job skills training to an enthusiastic but inexperienced worker than hire someone with perfect qualifications but a less-than-positive attitude. Managers sometimes worry that this type of person will not get along with supervisors and co-workers, treat customers disrespectfully, and not put much effort into his or her work. On the other hand, employees who are viewed as enthusiastic are known to provide good customer service, resolve interpersonal conflict effectively, and work productively with others.
    There are many way in which an indiviual might demonstrate enthusiasm in the workplace. For example, in a job interview, he or she might smile, sit up straight, make eye contact, and discuss training and work experiences in an upbeat manner. Once hired into a position, an enthusiastic employee will show up on time, show an interest in her or his job, and demonstrate a willingness to listen, learn, and try new things. In customer service settings, an enthusiastic employee will approach customers proactively and offer assistance or seek out tasks and projects when there is down time. This positive attitude helps employees go above and beyond to get along with co-workers and managers- even difficult ones- and respond to constructive criticism with maturity and willingness to improve. Overall, an employee with enthusiasm comes across as someone who wants to be at work and who is willing to do what it takes to get the job done.  
    Adapted from http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/youth/softskills/softskills.pdf
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