Important Qualities to Highlight

While every position requires different experiences, strengths and skills, there are certain qualities that are beneficial to any professional. When writing your resume or speaking to a potential employer, highlighting these qualities and giving examples of how they have benefited you in the workplace will give you a leg up on the competition.

  • Initiative: Taking initiative outside the set responsibilities of your position is an ideal quality to have as an employee. Employers want to hire someone who can confidently complete their assignments, but they also want someone who will go above and beyond the call of duty.
  • Prioritizing: Being able to prioritize your responsibilities is another great quality to have in the workplace. An employer wants someone who can not only balance his or her many responsibilities, but also be able to recognize which ones are most important or time sensitive.
  • Communication: Strong communication skills will help you no matter what job you are applying for. Being able to speak professionally, clearly, and politely will take you far as a professional. Also, having good writing skills is equally important.
  • Reliability: A potential employer wants to know that he or she can count on you to be there when they need you. An ideal employee should be punctual and have a solid attendance record. When an employer needs extra help, a reliable employee will step in and pick up the slack without waiting for instruction.

Highlighting these key qualities on a resume or in an interview will definitely benefit you.

Three Ways to Avoid Wasting Your Time

When you’re unemployed, job searching can take up the majority of your free time, so it’s important you use that time wisely. Below we have included a few tips on how to make sure every second you spend on the job hunt is time well spent.

  1. Devote a time and place to job search:
    • Rather than casually browsing job sites all day while you eat, watch television or listen to the radio, set aside a certain amount of time each day to devote to your job search. If you allot a certain time period to job searching and nothing else, you will be more focused and productive.
    • You should also assign a particular area of your house or even the local coffee shop as your devoted job search destination. Job-hunting from your couch in front of the television could be a distracting waste of your time.
  2. Apply for jobs you are qualified for:
    • The most common way job seekers waste their time is by applying for jobs they are over or under qualified for. While it doesn’t hurt you to apply for a job you aren’t qualified for, it’s definitely a waste of time.
    • Most job seekers believe they have to submit their resume to as many opportunities as possible in order to increase their chances of landing an interview, but in the end, you are wasting your time applying for any job you aren’t qualified for.
    • The same thing goes for jobs you are overqualified for. With the job market still doing poorly, most job seekers are willing to take pay and responsibility cuts in order to land a position. While you might think that companies would want to hire someone with even more experience than they are looking for, the opposite is usually true. An employer does not want to bring on an employee that would be taking a huge pay cut for the position, because there is nothing to stop them from leaving as soon as they find a better (higher-paying) opportunity. This situation would leave them back where they started, looking for a qualified candidate to fill the opening. In a sense, hiring an overqualified employee could be a waste of their time, as well as yours.
  3. Research the companies and positions you are applying for:
    • Even if you apply for a position you are qualified for, you should still make sure the company is a place you would be comfortable working at. Spending a little extra time researching the company could end up saving you from wasting a lot more time further down the line.
    • For example, say you apply for a position with a company you haven’t researched and they bring you in for an interview. During that interview you realize that the company is not a place you would want to work for due to a disagreement in values, money, policy, etc. You will have wasted your time prepping for and going to the interview, and you will also have wasted the company and hiring manager’s time.


Follow these simple tips and you will be sure to increase your productivity while on the job search!

Advice for Recent College Grads

If you have recently graduated college and have not found permanent employment, you will find yourself associated with a large volume of your peers who are in the same boat. While the job market is still not what it used to be, there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself stand out amongst the crowd.


  • If you completed any internships during school, you should consider contacting your former supervisors. It’s possible the company you interned with has new openings that you would not find by yourself. If you enjoyed your internship and left on a positive note, your former supervisor would probably be willing to consider you for any new or current openings with the company. Applying for positions with companies you interned for will give you an edge up on any competition. The hiring manager will already know what you’re capable of and you clearly have appropriate experience.
  • Friends or relatives might also know of positions you might not be able to find on your own. For example, if you have a family friend who works in the industry you are trying to break into, they might have advice based on their own experiences.
  • Professors can also be valuable resources in your job search. Professors are typically very involved and experienced in the fields they teach in, and are usually well connected. Any of the professors you had for your core classes could have connections to major players in the industry you seek to work in. Even if it has been a while since you graduated, it wouldn’t hurt to get in touch with some of your former professors and ask for any guidance or assistance they can give you.

Consider temping:

  • Temping is a great option for recent college grads, because it helps them gain knowledge and experience prior to joining the workforce full time. Temping would also help you pay your bills and occupy some of your free time while you pursue a permanent position.
  • Working as a temp is also ideal for any recent college grads that don’t have much office experience on their resume. If you are looking to work in a corporate or office environment permanently, it helps to be able to go into a job interview with visible experience on your resume.
  • Temping is also a great option because it prevents you from having large gaps on your resume. If you graduate in May and are still searching for permanent work in October, you can go into an interview and show a hiring manger that you have been consistently working since graduation. Employers would much rather see that you’ve been actively involved in the workforce than spending all your time at home applying for jobs.

Applying for jobs day in and day out may not be enough to help you land your dream job, so make sure you think outside the box. With such tough competition out there in the job market today, don’t leave any resource untapped. Differentiate yourself and your resume from the rest of the recent graduates you will be competing against, and you will be sure to come out on top.

How to Tell if You are Qualified for a Position

There are a lot of job seekers out there who apply for every job posting they find interesting, whether or not they think they are truly qualified. Avoid wasting your time applying for jobs you aren’t qualified for, so that you can spend more time working on applications for positions you could realistically acquire. Learn how to tell whether or not you are qualified for a job by reading the following advice.

First, most job postings include a specific job title. If you are looking to apply for a position as an Executive Assistant, but you do not have that title listed anywhere on your resume, you most likely will not be considered as a qualified candidate. The first thing hiring managers look for on a resume is relevant experience in a similar role.

Next, most job postings include a required number of years of experience. If the job description is asking for candidates with seven to ten years of experience and you only have two years, then the position is probably not a great fit for you.

Job postings often list a required amount of education, as well. If they say a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree is necessary, then it is not worth your time to apply if you do not have the required degree. The same goes for specific certifications or clearances.

Another qualification to keep an eye out would be required software skills or experience. If a job posting says that all applicants must have experience writing HTML code or working with QuickBooks software, then you should not apply unless you can demonstrate to a potential employer that you have worked with that software in the past.

Needless to say, these are not hard and fast rules – there are always exceptions for special circumstances. There are also definitely gray areas where postings do not specifically list the necessary qualifications. Simply use your best judgment to decipher whether or not you are truly qualified for each posting as you read it.

What Traits Are Hiring Managers Looking for?

When hiring managers search for the perfect candidate to fill a position, they look for a particular set of traits in their ideal candidate. These traits are what will set you apart from your competition and increase your chances of landing the job. Find out what they are in the list below:

  1. You met the minimum job criteria
  2. You have relevant experience
  3. You understand and support the mission of the organization
  4. You can site specific examples demonstrating your ability to do the job
  5. You demonstrate competent communication skills and are able to connect with your audience
  6. You interview well and confidently, and have strong responses to interview questions
  7. You build rapport in the interview including showing resourcefulness, intellect, and passion
  8. You ask questions to demonstrate interest in the organization (and to indicate that you did your homework on the company)
  9. You offer enthusiastic references
  10. You have potential for growth and development

At the end of the day, the real deciding factor boils down to one important quality: They like you. How you personally connect with the receptionist, hiring manager, and anyone else you meet during your interview is incredibly important. A less-qualified person might get the job over someone more qualified simply because they had better chemistry with the hiring manager. So it’s important to remember that being likeable is just one more trait hiring managers look for when interviewing candidates!