Sunday, March 27, 2011

It isn’t just being smart. It’s Being your Best – On All Levels that Counts

“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can, and I mean to keep on doing so until the end” – Abraham Lincoln

I was asked to speak before city-wide professional development program of secondary level teachers in the Troy School District, and I am thrilled to do so and would do so in any school district. The subject I was asked to speak on is “Preparing Students for the Workplace”. The educators want to help prepare students for the business community and they have reached out to get opinion and ideas for us in the field. That is great!

In putting my presentation together which was presented March 25th (Friday), I thought I would pose this question to the community so I posted discussion items to the various groups I am in.

The response – astonishing. So many chimed in with their ideas, comments and experiences. I was blown away. And if you are reading this blog and did chime in – thanks again!

What I took from the comments is the key attributes employers look for in job applicants – and it isn’t experience, education and technical skills always. I was asking about preparing students and I got this – and more. Employers communicated what they look for not just in students, but those they hire and the advice is so valuable.

What is most critical that employers look for?

It’s the soft skills that really count.

They yearn for:

• Well Rounded individuals who can be coached.
• Low drama people – those who check their baggage at the door
• Those who get the basics – writing, grammar
• Those who are respectful – lots of comments on this
• The right attitude – this was cross the board. “Give me a person with the right attitude and I can teach him or her the technical skills”.
• Strong work ethic – and can demonstrate it from school or prior experience
• Being on time, prepared, ready to work and willing to go beyond and do their best
• Ability to communicate – in a clear and concise manner
• The ability to listen – really listen

And ..

They look for an hire people they like and want to work with every day.

There are plenty of suggestions and ideas here – to help you move on or up in your career or job, or in your business. Sadly, many of those who commented also said that they have been disappointed with those applying for employment who do not have the soft skills – or didn’t communicate them.

It isn’t just the reading, writing and arithmetic employers want – they want to whole person. Be the whole person. Understand what is critical and important, and excel. Thank you to Linda Seymour and the folks at Troy High School for inviting me.

And thank you for reading this. - Dan

Dan Moran
President & Founder
Career Management & Transition Specialists
125 Wolf Road, Suite #128
Albany, NY 12205
Office: 518-261-4212
Cell: 518-641-8968
eFax: 586-279-4212

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