With Wisconsin unemployment rates hovering at nine percent, putting your best foot forward in your current work environment is an absolute requirement. If you’re employed or in search of employment, no matter the arena, consider branding yourself a complete and invaluable total package. In short, become an asset.
Lets take a moment to explore the importance of soft skills. Essentially, soft skills are your people skills or your ability to interact well with others. Are you assertive? Persuasive? A team player? Do you offer positive suggestions that advance your company’s agenda? Make a conscious decision to be impactful. When seeking to fill positions, employers typically list the hard or technical skill requirements for a particular requisition. If you possess the technical skills necessary, congratulations, you’ve just placed your foot in the door of employment. My next question, is can you close the deal? A survey by two Massachusetts economists found that eighty six percent of employers found soft skills to be among their most important hiring criteria. Employees who excel in leadership, display positive attitudes, demonstrate flexibility and a dedication to their jobs are most valuable and often the first up for promotional opportunities. Revamp yourself!
Walking into an interview is like walking into a new land of opportunity. Establishing a positive first impression with an employer will always work in your favor. It is said that it takes as little as 7 seconds for someone to form an opinion about you and 60 seconds to solidify it, so let’s radiate the positives! Be mindful of your facial expressions. Check any bothersome issues or emotions at the door. You want to appear prepared and confident. Maintaining eye contact is very important. It is a nonverbal action that speaks volumes. Eye contact shows you are honest and sincere. Failing to maintain it may cause you to appear untruthful. If making direct eye contact makes you uncomfortable, you may look in the “T-zone” which is the area between the eyebrows. Your audience will be none the wiser.
Lastly, be prepared. Being prepared for an interview or a first meeting will equip you with the necessary esteem to be assertive and proactive, two characteristics employers are most impressed with. Walk into the room as if it’s your destiny. Remember you wouldn’t be there if you didn’t qualify. The ball is in your court, as long as you remember the power of you.