10 Attributes for a Successful Job Search

A woman standing behind a table with pamphlets shaking hands with another woman

Hunting for a new job does not have to be stressful. If you think about it, you already have skills that translate to just about any job that you could apply for. All you have to do is identify those skills, highlight them on your resume and communicate them during an interview.

Transferable skills


up and show off — professionally.

Here is a list of 10 transferable skills that you can showcase to make landing that new job a breeze:

1. Flexibility — No employer wants to hear the words, "That's not in my job description." In today's market, it's important to show that you will do whatever it takes to get the job done, because the general rule of thumb is, if you aren't willing to do it, someone else will be. During your interview, you'll want to highlight times when you've gone above and beyond in previous jobs.

2. Technical literacy — These days, most jobs require some knowledge of Microsoft Office. You don't have to be a tech whiz, but knowing how to put together a spreadsheet or a quick presentation will do wonders for your resume. If you feel like you need to bring your Office skills up to speed, you may be able to take basic courses at your community college. You can also take advantage of free online training from MySECO.

Be sure to communicate any experience you have with other software programs just in case the job you're applying for uses something similar.

3. Communication skills — When you are trying to land a new job, it is essential that you speak and write effectively. You wouldn't email a potential employer the way you would text a friend. Instead, you would go out of your way to avoid spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Likewise, your communication during an interview is equally important. Proofread all of your documents, dress appropriately, show up early, be prepared for questions, and most importantly, listen attentively to your interviewer.

4. Multitasking abilities — Employers use keywords like "fast-paced" and "deadline-driven" because they are looking for employees who can multitask with ease. You'll want to demonstrate to an employer that you can manage a variety of tasks at the same time, with limited supervision.

5. Creativity — Even if the job you're after is not in a creative field, remember that an employer wants to hire someone who offers a fresh perspective. The creative solution that you bring to a job could potentially expedite an employer's process, improve a service offered, and in general make you a more appealing potential employee. As always, provide examples of your past creative solutions.

6. Problem-solving skills — Every company has problems that need to be solved, and that's where an employee like you comes in. Perhaps you can improve their customer service, efficiency, sales or public relations. You'll need to be able to analyze a problem and then use critical thinking to solve it. A fantastic way to highlight your skills during a job interview is to provide examples of problems you have creatively solved.

7. Interpersonal abilities — Almost every job out there requires you to work with people in some way or another. Employers want to be sure that you can play nicely with others. During an interview, highlight your excellent teamwork skills, perhaps by relaying a time when you helped to alleviate a team conflict.

8. Strong work ethic — Employers love employees who show up on time-or even early. They appreciate those who are willing to go the extra mile. If you do excellent work and consider yourself productive, highlight that fact, especially if you have examples of times when you went above and beyond what was expected of you.

9. Organizational skills — You'll want to convey your organizational skills in your resume and cover letter, but there's simply no better time to demonstrate these skills than during a job interview. Come with extra copies of your resume, cover letter, job application, portfolio of past work and business cards. Show up early and come prepared with answers to common interview questions. But don't stop there; do a little research and come up with a few questions for your potential employer. You'll usually get the chance to ask questions at the end of an interview, so demonstrate your interest and professional mindset by having a few pointed questions on hand.

10. Self-confidence — When it comes down to it, a job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself. Dress well, show up early, make eye contact, and in general, be professional but personable. The best way to make an employer believe in you is to believe in yourself first.

As you search for employment, it is crucial for you to identify your transferable skills, incorporate them into your resume and highlight them in your job interview. You have all the skills on this list already; you just have to remind yourself that you have them, then demonstrate them to a future employer.


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