Standing Out from the Crowd in this Age of Emerging Technologies

As technology changes, so too does the job market, and the working world of today isn’t the same one our grandparents stepped into. As employers look to robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and other emerging tech-based solutions to meet industry demands, it is more imperative than ever for candidates to know what employers are looking for in potential employees, and how to best present themselves and their qualifications when approaching a potential job opening.

Culture is as important as ever.


In fact, it’s the first thing on many employers’ minds. As marketing becomes more critical to businesses’ success, so too does self-branding. It is critical as a newcomer to a company that you understand that company’s culture and are able to align yourself with that culture. When employers’ use the term “a good fit” they’re often not talking about qualifications, but the ability of an employee to fit the image or atmosphere said company is cultivating. But what is culture? It can be as simple as image: the way you dress and speak, but it can also be represented in less tangible things. When a company asks you what your values are, or what you do during your spare time, chances are they are at least as concerned with how you will fit into the existing culture of the workplace as they are about probing for hidden skills or talents. While lying to an employer is never a great idea, researching the company before an interview is. This way, you can speak effectively to which qualities you possess that will align best with the potential employer. Check the company’s about page. They will often tell you outright what their values are. Pay special attention to their mission statement and consider how it aligns with your own. Not only will taking this approach improve your chance of being hired, but you’ll also have a better understanding of whether or not the company in question is one you’d genuinely want to work for in the first place.

Don’t be Afraid to Tout your Soft Skills

“Soft Skills” is a business term that refers to the less tangible aspects of a person’s skill set that may not show up as well on a resume, like selling ability, good verbal communication, and the ability to follow directions. While they may not be as easily qualified as so called “hard” skills, these skills are still valuable, especially as the effect of social media-based communication leads these skills to become rarer among new employees entering the workforce. While anyone can put soft skills down on a resume, not everyone can show them when it comes time to interview. Being able to illustrate your communication or listening skills before a hiring manager in real time can go a long way in putting you above other candidates who have similar hard qualifications on their resumes.

Flexibility is as important to Employers as it is to employees


Everyone would prefer a job where the hours are flexible, and that adapts to their schedule, but that’s a two-way street. Employers are also very interested in employees who show a willingness to take on odd hours or weekend work or be available on call as necessary. Some employers will go so far as to make this a mandatory aspect of the job, but even among those who don’t, showing your willingness to be flexible when it comes to hours can go a long way to not only get you into a position, but to keep that job secure. Even an employee that needs extra coaching may be considered valuable if they are willing to work undesirable shifts or cover for coworkers.

As technology changes, so too does the job market, and the working world of today isn’t the same one our grandparents stepped into. As employers look to robotics, 3D printing, artificial intelligence and other emerging tech-based solutions to meet industry demands, it is more imperative than ever for candidates to know what employers are looking for in potential employees, and how to best present themselves and their qualifications when approaching a potential job opening.

Stress Stability


Turnover rates across the job market at are at all-time highs, due in no small part to the unemployment rate being at record lows. This in turn has led employers to focus on retention. In other words, employers aren’t just looking for qualified candidates, they’re looking for candidates that they think will stick around. Employees these days tend to spend less time at one job than in previous generations, but that doesn’t make stability any less desirable for employers. Employers are likely to arch an eye at an overqualified candidate, since it’s an employee’s market, and such a candidate is likely to get a better offer if they spend any reasonable amount of time looking. Likewise, employer’s may be skeptical of candidates that show a significant tendency to job hop. If you have a stable work history, make sure to highlight that during the interview. Or, if you’ve jumped around a bit (spending anything less than two years at your last few jobs), be prepared to explain, and emphasize that your intention is to stick around for the long haul.

In an age where technology is constantly innovating and changing the way they operate, people will need to be retrained regularly, so it is just as important to stress who you are as what skills you have. So next time you have an interview, speak to your strengths, but don’t forget the ones that don’t fit neatly on the resume.

Article by Cody Barnette, People Plus Solutions

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