When looking for a job, many people would wish to have the extra time and money that help them acquire a certification that gives them an edge in a competitive job market.
Unfortunately, getting more education, training or experience may not be on the cards, and that doesn’t make getting a job any easier. Without underestimating the importance of these factors, there are many other areas that you boost without much time or money, which can help you position yourself in as preferred candidate. These are the areas that can make you appear as someone with a great potential, even if you’re lacking the exact experience or education required for the job.
One of the points that many jobseekers miss about what hiring managers are looking for is that they value future potential as much as background and experience. Of course someone who combines both will be a perfect candidate, but still, you can get a much better shot as a job if you make up for an lack of experience or education by having the following five characteristics:
Many hiring managers don’t just want someone who can do the job. They look eagerly for someone who can become a team member – a person who is generally enthusiastic about learning the job and taking on new projects when the time is right. When you present yourself as this type of a proactive team member, you may be able to make up for some points that are lacking in experience and knowledge. To do so, however, you need more than just promises. You can point out past situations when you went above and beyond to take contribute to a project or took a proactive role that wasn’t initially expected.
Literally, try to get physically fit. This is not to say that you need to work out extensively, go through a make-over diet or look like a rock star. All you need to do is to take some physical exercise that helps your stay in shape, develop a good posture and a healthy look. While employers are not expected to discriminate against potential hires based on their physical appearance, let’s face it: people often make a better impression when they look healthy and fit. If you’re unemployed, you may have the time on your hands to fit some workout, and research a healthy diet that works for you and reflects nicely on your complexion and attitude.
Employers need to be sure that their hires will do their best always and keep the job’s best interest at heart. Between someone who always tries to excel and strives to deliver and someone with a record of education and experience but a sketchy ability to meet deadlines and commit, expect employers to go with the first every time. Of course many candidates can combine both, but you always want to make sure that you position yourself at the best level you can get. Line up your reference to vouch for you as a trustworthy dependable employee.
No one can stop you from pursuing your professional development in any way or form you envision. Still, employers often look to have their staff stick with the job for a good number of years so that they can reap a return on the investment that goes in getting a new hire up to speed initially. Keep in mind that the more stable and committed you appear, the more likely you will be picked for the job. If you’ve had a lot of job hopping in the past, be prepared to clarify the reasons and demonstrate why you’re ready and planning to stay with the next job for a long haul. Don’t lie to get the job, if you’re not planning to do so, however.
You can never agree with or share interests of everyone in the office. But having a generally pleasant attitude can help you navigate the hiring process as someone who is unlikely to get into office politics, who will keep good, professional relationships and who is a good face for the employer. Don’t try to go overboard, however. There is a thin line between being pleasant and getting personal. During a job interview, just being positive, having the right body language and a sincere smile can go a long way. Although many recognize that starting a new job is stressful, your hiring manager will appreciate seeing you relaxed and able to keep your composure under pressure.
Rania Oteify, a former Gulf News’ Business Features Editor, is a Seattle-based editor.