Monthly Archives: January 2015

Skills You May Have That Recruiters Say Are Hard To Find

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Statistics show that the job market is improving, so why are some people still having difficulty finding sales and marketing jobs?

Well there seems to be a disconnect between what skills employers say they value most and what entry-level marketing job candidates showcase on their resumes and in interviews.

Interesting enough… as a recent grad, you just might have these skills. Here’s what they are and how to let the recruiters know that you’re the right candidate for the gig:

What employers want.

Today’s employers believe that qualified candidates for outside sales jobs should have strong “soft skills” (interacting with people well, etc.). However, many agree that finding candidates with these skill sets can be quite difficult to foresee and find.

While many candidates may actually have the right skills for a job in sales, it can be difficult to show those skills when you don’t have much experience on your resume.

Understanding why these skills have become so important may help you relate real-life experiences to the skills employers are looking for.

What’s changed?

Rapid advancements in technology have made today’s companies more global than ever, and their day-to-day operations have become leaner and more efficient. While technology plays a big role in being able to do more with less, it increases the need for many of the soft skills everyone thought would become less important.

Effective communication has become a key focus for hiring managers, as the proliferation of computers, email, video conferencing and social media use means that every employee has become the face of the company.

Positive attitude, adaptability and teamwork are the next most important skills, and the most successful employees possess all three. As companies become more global, they look for synergies across locations and ways to become more efficient. This means employees will be expected to collaborate with their global counterparts and may be asked to travel or share job responsibilities.

What skills you already have

Some of your coursework and college activities may offer very relevant examples of your highly effective soft skills. Perhaps you held a leadership position for an on-campus organization or helped organize a community service project. Both of these types of activities could have given you valuable experience in the exact skills employers are seeking.

That means you’ve got what it takes.

So before you send off your job application, review your resume. Don’t miss the opportunity to appropriately highlight these “hard to find” skills. Who knows? It could make the difference between your resume landing in the “No” pile and a call for an interview!

The Best Way To Respond To Tough Interview Questions

tough interview questionsAlways be prepared.

It’s a lesson you’ve been learning since you were a child. If you forgot your lunchbox, you’d be pretty hungry when you got home from school. If you didn’t do your homework, you may get a bad grade or be embarrassed if the teacher called on you in class.

It’s a terrible feeling when you realize what you should’ve done but didn’t.

The same goes for a sales job interview — except this time the stakes are much higher. And like it or not, if you’re not prepared, the next candidate will be.

So how do you prepare for those tricky interview questions — the ones that seem designed to put you on the spot?

The truth is, they are meant to put you on the spot. Hiring managers want to see how you handle the unexpected; this gives them greater insight as to how you’d perform as a sales representative.

Technically, there is no right or wrong answer for most trick questions. But there are a few important factors to consider — the position you’re applying for, in example. An entry-level candidate wouldn’t be expected to answer at the same level as someone who’s had years of experience in multiple sale representative jobs.

You’ll want to be sure you answer questions in consideration of your own abilities and the company’s culture. But most importantly, make sure you’re honest, have concrete examples and convey measurable results.

Possible “trick” questions and the best way to answer

Q: Tell me about yourself.

A: Keep answers under two minutes, and stick to relevant topics such as education, career highlights, and a recent work-related event.

Q: What is your biggest weakness?

A: Choose a weakness that you’ve worked to overcome and explain the steps you’ve taken.

Q: How has your education prepared you for your career?

A: Focus on situations where you’ve been able to apply knowledge and skills acquired through your studies.

Q: Why should I hire you?

A: Review the job requirements and give concrete examples from past experiences that illustrate your qualifications.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

A: Be careful not to sound too eager to climb the corporate ladder here. While companies want employees with ambition, they also want to hire someone who will be happy in their newly acquired role for at least the short term. And be sure your answer relates to the hiring company, not leaving it before 5 years is up!

Tips For Keeping Your Cool In A Job Interview

jobinterview-keepcool-23386771_sWhether you’ve just graduated from college and are interviewing for an entry level sales position, or you’re further along in your career and are in search of a high paying sales jobs, it’s quite normal to be nervous about a job interview.

But how can you keep a bad case of the jitters from ruining your chances of landing a great job?

Understanding why your body reacts in the way it does is half the battle to keeping nerves in check. What’s likely the culprit? Fear.

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