Sunday, June 23, 2013

It's not just experience that counts ...

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.

Employers evaluate:

AttitudeGo 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.

AppearanceYes 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.

InterestIf 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.

ConnectionEmployment 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!


Dan Moran
President & Founder
Next-Act, Division of DVG, Inc.
Career Management & Transition Specialists
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