I had the opportunity this past week to speak to a group of graduates from the Nursing Assistant program through the Albany Community Action Partnership. Thanks to Blake Kush for making this happen.
Blake asked that I share my experience and background with this group and to talk about two critical elements they need to prepare for in seeking a job with their new found skill & education:
Understanding what employers look for in job applicants
How to present yourself, and …
What employers are look in for in job applicants.
I know I opened a few eyes and mind with what I presented; it isn’t something they heard before with such a strong emphasis.
So I thought I would summarize here – for those in the midst of a job search, thinking about finding a new job or considering a career change.
What employers look for – and how to present yourself …
It isn’t just education, skills or training – it is the “soft-skills” that are most important and I hear this from employers all the time. They also tell me fair amount of “interview horror” stories.
Attitude – Go into an interview – via phone or face to face – with a negative attitude – you are dead – you will not be hired. If you are having a difficult time crawling out of negativity, seek help. Try reading Learned Optimism by Martin Siegleman – take action. People want to work with positive people – Debbie Downers are not welcomed or hired.
State of Mind – If you go into an interview and begin to tell how everything is wrong on your life or job, and complain about your boss, co-workers, spouse, etc. – again – DOA – dead on arrival. Check the baggage at the door; approach this as a new fresh start. I have seen this happen so many times.
Appearance – Yes first impressions count. Go into an interview dressed like you are hanging on the street, going to the gym or otherwise not sharp and professional, DOA. Dress to impress; you can never be overdressed; you can certainly be underdressed.
Interest – If you have an interest in the job or the company, say it and why you are interested. It might be the product, the people, the service – whatever, make it known. Employers hire those who have a genuine interest in their company, and show it. If you do not have an interest, don’t waste your time or the companies time – move on.
Connection – Employment is developing a relationship; so in an interview connect in whatever manner you feel best, to the interviewer. Show your true personality. Be engaged in the interview; ask questions. It goes a long way. Don’t wait to be interviewed – ask the first question – show interest and your style.
I hope these tips are helpful. You can win at anything you do if you focus on you – your attitude, state of mind, presentation and action. There is no ceiling for you – unless you put one there yourself.
And thank you for reading this. Thanks again to the Albany Community Action Partnership, Blake and the participants. You are on your way!
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