What do Employers Really Want in a Candidate?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Are you looking to gain a promotion or change career completely? If so, it’s essential to make yourself as attractive as possible to potential employers; with so much competition for job roles, you need to stand out from the crowd. Here are just a few ways you can go about it. 

Transferable skills

Having the right skills and education that are relevant to the job is crucial and something that will likely be the deciding factor in you getting a job. For example some jobs might require a masters or a doctorate degree. If the job is in an office, then knowledge of running an office, using compatible software, and using the skills that office workers need daily is crucial. But there are other skills that employers will look for which can be transferable. Writing, for example, is a great skill to have and will come in handy in just about all workplaces. Being a skilled writer will help you in just about any job role. Whether it’s creating content or just communicating with other employees, it’s a necessary skill and being able in this area can make life much easier for you at work. IT is another; pretty much everything we do these days is online, and even businesses that don’t sell online still need to have a presence on the internet. For this reason there’s no escaping it, and in almost any job you do, having some knowledge and understanding of IT is going to be advantageous. Marketing is another great skill to have. It’s something that every single company needs and relies on for their success. A marketing qualification could go hand in hand with content creation or graphic design for example, it gives you the edge if you have a background understanding of what angle will be best received by an audience. 

A driver’s license with access to a vehicle

Even if the job you’re applying for has nothing to do with driving, having a license with access to a car is always going to be a good thing for employers. This is especially true if you live a little further out, or if you’re required to work very early or late- even on some days. There are occasions when public transport won’t be running or will be delayed, and being able to drive generally means you tend to me more reliable as an employee when it comes to getting to work. If the job you’re applying for requires you to drive with your own car (for example, courier work or community care work) then without this you’ll be completely ruled out. 

Relevant or interesting hobbies 

It might seem a little unusual as to why employers are interested in your hobbies. After all, most of us are very different in our regular lives outside work- so why do they need to know? But actually, hobbies can give a massive insight as to who you are as a person, the kinds of skills you’re likely to have and even how well you work with others. If the job is very team focused for example, then having a team sport on your resume is going to help you stand out. But be wary, as sometimes hobbies could put employers off. For example, if the job you want requires you to be very level headed and make rational decisions, having a high impact sport on your resume might suggest you’re a bit of a risk taker. While you won’t want to lie, it’s essential to tailor your resume to what employers are looking for. Decode the job ad, try and work out the kinds of skills and personality they want for the role and then present yourself as this person.

Good communication and body language

The things we say only communicate a small message– the rest comes across in our non verbal cues such as body language, expression and more. When interviewing, most employers will be looking for candidates who are confident, open and comfortable and so be sure to stand (and sit) up straight. Control your nerves and go in with a relaxed peace of mind, and your expression and body language should convey this. 

Voluntary work or other experience

If you’re hoping to work in a brand new sector and have no experience at all, finding a job can be very difficult. The way you can get around this is by doing some voluntary work. If, for example, you want to work in the criminal justice sector, you could look for voluntary positions with the police, courts or probation. If you wanted to work in healthcare, you could volunteer at a hospital or clinic. Voluntary work shows that you’re serious about getting the skills you need to move up in your career, something employers will appreciate.

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