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The #1 Soft Skill That Will Get You Ahead During This Time

The #1 Soft Skill That Will Get You Ahead During This Time

You probably know by now that soft skills are crucial to gaining traction in your career. Traits like communication, honesty, and leadership will undoubtedly help boost your marketability and resume. However, there is one soft skill, in particular, that will get you ahead of your competition: GRIT.

Why Grit Is Important

Grit is so essential that psychologist Angela Duckworth has built a career on preaching it’s importance. Through her studies and experiences, she has found this soft skill to be a significant predictor for success. Angela shares in her TED Talk that, “Grit is passion and perseverance for very long-term goals. It is having stamina. Grit is sticking with your future, day in, day out, not just for the week, not just for the month, but for years, and working really hard to make that future a reality. Grit is living life like it’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

How To Put It To Use

Carol Dweck, a pioneering researcher in the field of motivation, developed the idea of a “growth mindset,” which is believing that the ability to learn is not fixed, though can change with your effort. In other words, challenges should push you to grow and persevere, rather than slow you down and lead to failure. If you feel burdened by obstacles in your way, implement a little grit to grind through it and come out the other side a better professional.

For example, let’s say you’re interested in coding and know that it would help you earn a pay bump. However, it seems daunting to learn, and you don’t have the experience, so you’d be starting from scratch. Guess what? Your current talent and skills don’t matter. You have to start somewhere, and long-term effort and commitment will get you surprisingly far! So just start. Take an online course or enroll in your local community college.

One Important Caveat

Now, it must be noted that the soft skill of grit isn’t always the only answer. Yes, committing to a goal and putting in the consistent effort will get you far. Nevertheless, you must choose your goal wisely. As James Clear explains in his book Atomic Habits, “The secret to maximizing your odds of success is to choose the right field of competition.” He goes on to describe Michael Phelps and his incredible physical predisposition for swimming. Phelps demonstrates a fantastic example of grit and how it can be used to succeed; however, he is also genetically primed for that sport. He could put the same effort into becoming a distance runner, and because of his genetic makeup, he likely wouldn’t develop into an Olympic-worthy competitor.

In reference to your career, you are predisposed to excel in certain areas. Don’t choose a skill or career that you are not passionate about. If you do, the development process will be slow, arduous, and you likely won’t excel into a master no matter how much grit you deploy. “Habits are easier to do and more satisfying to stick with when they align with your natural inclinations and abilities,” notes Clear.

During uncertain economic times, career transitions, and personal development phases, grit is a soft skill that will continue to persevere. Wondering what other soft skills you should add to your arsenal? Read more about the most in-demand soft skills this year.

How To Improve Your Communication Skills

How To Improve Your Communication Skills

You often hear that one of the best soft skills you can have is “communication.” But what does this entail? What exactly does it mean to be a great communicator in the workplace? These three facets of communication will help you gain confidence and get ahead in your career.

Listening

While listening is often considered a separate soft skill in and of itself, it’s essential for being a great communicator. In order to communicate effectively, you must practice active listening. You need to show physical cues throughout conversations. Leaning in, nodding, and other positive body languages will build trust and establish rapport. Additionally, proper listening will allow you to respond appropriately and keep the conversation moving forward. To work on being a better listener in professional situations, practice in your personal life. Commit to listening actively as your spouse tells you about their day or when your kid tells a wild tale about recess. Not only will it help hone your skills in the workplace, but you’ll also simultaneously polish your relationships at home!

Authority

This is where confidence comes into play. If you don’t speak with authority, how can you expect others to take you seriously? Again, non-verbal cues are crucial to speaking with authority. Maintain eye contact, pay attention to your posture, and keep from fidgeting. Additionally, avoid verbal cues that will take away from your authority, such as filler words, vocal fry, and rambling. To practice, watch historically great speakers such as Martin Luther King Jr., Barack Obama, and Brené Brown.

Gregariousness

Gregarious is defined as “fond of the company of others; sociable.” Showing gregariousness during a conversation more or less translates to enthusiasm. People desire to feel like you want to be talking to them! To be gregarious in conversation (even if it’s not your natural inclination), focus on bringing positive energy, engaging back and forth, and making the other person feel valued. The best way to be more gregarious is just to rip the band-aid off and do it! Try reaching out to people you admire on LinkedIn and set up a Zoom call. You will naturally be excited, so it will be easy for your inner-socialite to shine.

Excellent communication is a learned skill that we all must practice and improve upon daily. By purposefully trying to strengthen these pillars of communication, you will be investing in yourself and your future.

Once you’ve mastered communication, which soft skill will you work on improving next?

second half of 2020

What Will the Second Half of 2020 Look Like?

The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed the landscape of the labor market. In the first two months of 2020, the year started where 2019 left off – a red hot job market and record low unemployment rate. Fast forward to today, and there are now over 40 million U.S. jobless claims in the first week of June. Despite this horrendous downfall, things are starting to look up. States are opening back up, virus numbers are declining, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3% as people are finally returning to work. So, now that we are over the hill, what will the rest of the year entail regarding the labor market? Here is what the second half of 2020 will look like for our workforce.

Where are the jobs at?

Employers across the country are still hiring during the pandemic. And as things continue to simmer down as far as COVID-19 cases go, more employers will restart their hiring efforts. Some industries are actually doing well, and even going on hiring spurts right now. For example, hardware stores have been going through a growth spurt over the last couple of months. Have you tried to go to Home Depot or Lowes lately? If you haven’t, there is usually a line to get it inside. Ace Hardware will be hiring roughly 30,000 workers over the upcoming weeks. This is just one of many industries that experienced a boost in hiring thanks to the pandemic.

As more states open back up, these numbers will continue to grow. According to the Business Insider, only seven states are in a partial lockdown, with Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico the only U.S. territories with a complete lockdown. That means the vast majority of the country is either completely reopened or working hard to get to that point.

And if you are in one of the few states still in a lockdown period, don’t panic. You can always secure a remote position from a company located elsewhere. At the peak of the outbreak, 62% of Americans were working from home. And this trend will not be going away, even after we overcome this crisis. Many employers, such as Twitter, are allowing workers to work from home permanently. As a result, this will open the door for new work opportunities in the second half of 2020.

The key thing to remember is that companies are still hiring; however, you may have to work a little harder to find them.

The skills that employers need most right now

If you’re one of the millions of Americans looking for new employment opportunities in the second half of 2020, there are a handful of skills you will want to demonstrate to hiring managers.

Adaptability and flexibility

These skills have and always will be crucial. Now more than ever, employers need workers capable of adapting to new environments, workloads, and pretty much everything else around them. We are in unchartered waters, and depending on the industry you work in, every day may be a little different. Try and use examples in an interview to convey this to employers or use specific points on your resume that illustrate your ability to be flexible in the most challenging environments.

Creative and innovative

Employers want to see that you are not afraid to think outside the box. These are tough times, and a little innovation goes a long way. There are dozens of examples of employees showing innovation during these challenging times. One excellent example is automakers shifting their efforts from making vehicles to respiratory equipment. You can find a creative way to solve a problem, save the company money, or improve efficiency; these are things hiring managers will want to see.

Problem-solving

Day to day tasks may be more difficult now with social distancing in the workplace or while part of your team is working remotely. Simple activities may need new solutions to make them more efficient in the post-pandemic workplace. Make sure you are illustrating to your prospective employers your accomplishments and clearly define what issues they resolved.

Recruiters will be your best friends

Whether you’re a hiring manager struggling to find talented workers or a job seeker looking for their next opportunity, partnering with a recruiter will be a must. Hiring managers won’t have to sift through hundreds of resumes and hire the workers they need, fast. And as a job seeker, you can rest assured that you have a professional in your back pocket, walking you through every step of the hiring process. At Johnson Search Group, we work hard, we work together, and we work for you. Reach out to us today!

Do You Have The Most In-Demand Soft Skills of 2020?

Do You Have The Most In-Demand Soft Skills of 2020?

LinkedIn has released its list of the most in-demand skills for 2020. This is a comprehensive list created by “identifying the skills listed on the LinkedIn profiles of people who are getting hired at the highest rates.” So if you want to secure a new role in 2020, you’re going to want to highlight your soft skills just as much as your other qualifications. However, you’ll want to do more than simply list these essentials on your resume. Here are the top 5 soft skills you’ll need to tout this year, and how to best demonstrate them to a hiring manager.

1. Creativity

Creativity is best explained through examples. It’s one thing to say you’re creative, but it makes much more of an impact to show it. Throughout the hiring process, take the opportunity to tell a story about a time when you used creativity to solve a problem at work. Or, if appropriate with your field of work, include a portfolio with your application that showcases your creative works.

2. Persuasion

The best way to show off your persuasion skills during your job search is by selling yourself! From the moment you apply to when you have that offer letter in hand, you need to be persuading the hiring manager that you’re the right person for the job. One of our favorite ways to do this is through your post-interview thank-you note. Use this opportunity to recap your interview and reiterate why you’re a great candidate.

3. Collaboration

Collaboration is so important to employers because they want to ensure you are capable of working on a team. List collaborative team projects on your resume to highlight your teamwork skills. Even better, include people you have collaborated with on your references list so they can speak directly to your abilities!

4. Adaptability

Adaptability can be tricky to demonstrate during the application process. Many employers are using behavioral interview questions to determine if candidates have the soft skills they’re looking for. Wait for a question like “tell us about a time when things didn’t go as planned and how you handled it.” This is your chance to show your adaptability!

5. Emotional Intelligence

This is the only new soft skill to appear on the list this year. Emotional intelligence is a rather complicated skill, comprised of a mix of “self-awareness, self-regulation, social skills, empathy, and motivation.” There will be multiple times throughout a hiring process for you to highlight this subtle art. Take every chance you can to show your emotional intelligence. Most importantly, actively listen and don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. Employers value honesty!

Now that you’ve mastered the top soft-skills of 2020, check out our post on the top hard-skills of the year!

soft skills, interviewing, hiring

3 Soft Skills You Need To Hire For

soft skills, interviewing, hiring

When you’re hiring your next team member, you will most likely scour their resume for hard skills. Do they have the experience and skills to perform the job? However, we recommend you take it one step further. Think of a list of necessary soft skills that will contribute to your team’s productivity and culture fit. While every company and hiring manager will want to look for different traits, we’ve listed 3 of our top soft skills to look for below. Additionally, you’ll find a behavioral interview question that will help you determine if a candidate has them.

Listening Skills

First and foremost, you want your employees to have excellent listening skills. But make sure you think beyond just absorbing information. Try to find people who will listen to feedback, take direction, and utilize that information in the future. Your best employees will use everything they learn to form their future strategy.

Question to ask in an interview: Tell me about a time when you took something you learned at a company and applied it directly to your job.

Ability To Take Criticism

Being receptive to feedback is what will make a good employee a great employee. You want to build a team that is not only open to constructive criticism from leaders throughout the company but also fellow teammates. As a bonus, look for someone who will not only accept the feedback but grow beyond exactly what they’re told and look for opportunities for self-improvement.

Question to ask in an interview: Tell me about a time when you received constructive criticism and used it to improve.

Grit

Every year, we pick a theme here at Johnson Search Group to guide our strategy. This year, we chose to focus on grit. By definition, grit means “firmness of mind or spirit; unyielding courage in the face of hardship or danger.” Your dream employees will be able to power through any trials or tribulations that come their way. They will take obstacles in stride and become better having gone through them.

Question to ask in an interview: Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult situation at work and how you overcame it.

soft skills

In Today’s Job Market, Soft Skills Are Just as Valuable as Hard Skills

soft skills

Before you apply to a new job, you’re most likely thinking about the hard skills you have that make you qualified. In other words, the exact experience you’ve had that pertains to this certain position. But do you also think about your soft skills that make you even more valuable?

A job isn’t just about the schooling, experience, and the things you know how to do. It encompasses a lot more than that. Having good personal skills are what makes you a great employee. So, instead of just focusing on your hard skills while looking for a job, here’s how to also quantify your soft skills as being just as valuable.

Stress your soft skills

When it comes to interviews it’s important to remember both your hard skills and soft ones. They make you the employee you are, and companies want to know about them. If you only focus on one or the other, you’ll lose a tremendous opportunity to show your full value and what you can offer to their team.

Stressing your soft skills in today’s job market will help you get the job. Great talent is hard to find. If you have a solid foundation of the hard skills they need, and great soft skills that they want, they’ll want to grab you in a hurry before someone else does. It all comes down to selling yourself and your skills. All of your skills.

You may not have the experience, but you have the foundation

You may have applied for a position where you don’t have all the experience or the background in every part of the job description they’re looking for. But that doesn’t mean you’re not qualified!

Your soft skills can get you over that hurdle, to where the team you’re interviewing with doesn’t focus on your lack of hard skills but realizes your valuable soft skills. Anyone can learn a new skill, especially if they have skills in that field already. Teaching someone soft skills is almost impossible, and if you leverage that, you never know what might happen in your career!

Today’s job Market allows your soft skills to stand out

Companies are struggling to find great candidates to fill their critical roles because there is a talent shortage. The best candidates are the ones with jobs nowadays. Which means companies are having to reach out to those who already have good jobs to see if they’re willing to transition.

So, when they find a candidate who may not have all the experience they’re wanting but has great soft skills, they will jump! No one is wanting to miss out on a great candidate who will help their company grow for something that can be taught. And if you are an employer that does miss out on great candidates, you could suffer by leaving your critical roles vacant.

In the end, use your soft skills to your advantage. Focus on them and try to improve them just like you do with your hard skills. You’ll be surprised to see the impact not only on your current position but your future roles as well.

And remember, if you’re looking to partner with great recruiters, reach out to Johnson Search Group today!

applying for a job

Are You Considering Applying For A Job On Our Website?

applying for a job

First things first, I’m excited you found our website and are looking at our job openings. While you’re here, take some time and look at all the great candidate resources available to you. From CV letters to interviewing tips, we have you covered.

But for now, if I am lucky enough to have you apply for one of my mining or heavy industrial jobs, there will be certain things I want to see on your resume, as well as certain things I need to hear when talking with you on the phone.

On your resume

Experience

I want to see in your background that you’re qualified for this position. Ideally, that you’re currently in a similar role or the role that you’re applying for is the next natural progression in your career path.

Results

In today’s candidate-driven market, clients want to see measurable results. Whatever the result (decreased downtime by x%, x number of days without a safety incident, increased production by x%, increased revenue by x%), make sure it’s on your resume.

Job specific certifications

Regardless of the role you’re applying for, there are job-specific certifications, especially in the mining industry, that help me show my clients that you’re the right person for the job.

On the phone

Motivation

When we talk on the phone, I’m really going to dig in on why you’re looking to make a move. Why have you applied for this specific opportunity? What are you looking for in your next employer? There are many reasons and motivating factors for why people change companies, and my clients want to understand this before interviewing candidates.

Soft skills

I invest a great deal of my time with my clients, and therefore, understand what their organization wants and needs very well. With many of my clients, a candidate’s soft skills are just as important as the hard skills. You and I might not specifically talk about your soft skills, but I can guarantee I’m actively listening for them during our conversations.

Consistency

Anybody can read a resume and I certainly will read yours before we talk. I want to hear from you about your previous work experience and day-to-day activity. I need to ensure it’s consistent with what I’m looking at on your resume. If I’m going to represent you to my client, we need to always be consistent.

Good luck with your job search, and I hope we can work together!

soft skills

Healthcare’s Top 3 Soft Skills

soft skills

Sure, your education and certifications are first and foremost with a career in Healthcare, as well as in any industry. Technical expertise is extremely important. Afterall, you are responsible for saving lives! However, to many hiring managers and HR team members, soft skills are just as important.

In some cases, these softer skills can mean the difference between life or death. According to Marco Coppola, the chief medical officer at Family ER + Urgent Care in Irving, Texas, these “softer skills including communication, and more specifically listening skills, can be the differentiator between an accurate diagnosis and misdiagnosis.”

Here are the top three soft skills that will ensure long-term success in your career in the healthcare industry.

Professionalism

Keeping a level of composure to maintain confidence in the patients’ care is vital. Maintaining professionalism and failing to be persuaded by emotional or personal ties is essential to help you make important choices. You must make your decisions based on training and experience. You don’t always have time to sit there and think “what now?”

Strong communication and interpersonal skills

Nurses, specialists, and doctors must be able to effectively communicate with other clinicians, doctors, and administrative staff. They also need to understand how to effectively communicate with their patients and their families.

Whether it’s needing to understand the non-verbal five-year-old patient, having a consultation with a patient’s parents, or working with other team members, strong communications skills are a must. And they are constantly being tested.

Emotional intelligence

Healthcare professionals are on the front line of communicating with members of the family or other personnel. A positive attitude and pleasant demeanor are imperative to establishing mutual trust, so this must be established quickly. The ability to demonstrate the empathy, showing compassion, and counsel in the wake of bad news or complication is part of the everyday job.

If you cannot illustrate these soft skills during the interview process, it will be difficult for the hiring manager to move forward with you, regardless of your education or certifications.

Is Your Hiring Process on Autopilot?

Is Your Hiring Process On Autopilot?

Is Your Hiring Process on Autopilot?

Have you ever been driving home after work with your mind wandering and not paying attention to anything around you and you suddenly end up in your driveway. It’s a scary feeling when you snap back to reality, realizing that your subconscious was on autopilot making every turn you’ve made so many times without having to think about it. There are so many different scenarios that could have disrupted my autopilot, turning this routine drive home into a complete disaster. A mind on autopilot can be a dangerous thing when operating a car, heavy equipment, or even an aircraft, and yet we are continually overtaken by the mundane repetitiveness and we allow it to happen.

Autopilot extends into many facets of our lives. We get set in a process that works and just coast. As I talk with clients about their hiring processes, I am shocked with how many companies rely on an automated hiring process to get candidates in their doors. Did you know that it is now taking US businesses an average of 29.3 working days to fill a job opening?

While there are a couple different explanations as to why the job vacancy duration is so high, when you boil it down it comes back to one thing: an autopilot hiring process. Also known as the common (but despised) phrase, “Well we’ve always done it this way.”

Is Your Hiring Process on Autopilot?

There are many factors that affect how you search for and hire a candidate, and they are constantly changing, pushing you to get off autopilot. Here are the ones that are currently affecting the time to fill and the difficulty that companies are facing in hiring qualified people:

Candidate-Driven Market

The concept of a candidate-driven market has been reiterated across the internet this year, yet many companies choose to ignore it and lose out on top candidates. In 2016, candidates are receiving multiple offers in a short period of time, and they are not waiting 15 to 30 days for a job offer.

Succession Planning

The baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age and leaving the workforce in droves. This movement has been deemed “The Silver Tsunami.” A vast majority of companies did not examine the long-term and have not planned for the proper succession of their workforce. This combined with the job-hopping habits of young Millennials has left organization scrambling to rebuild their teams.

Downsizing

Downsizing is occurring across the country in many different industries. Whether due to poor market performance, automation technology, or new government regulations, companies are trimming the fat across all departments. When employees hear even the hint of a rumor regarding downsizing, they jump ship to ensure career stability. This can leave a critical gap in the company’s infrastructure.

“Check the Box” Recruiting

When your HR team is considering candidates, do they simply examine their resume to make sure they “check the boxes” on the job requirements? If so, you’re missing a huge opportunity to asses candidates for soft skills and culture fit up front rather than getting through two rounds of interview only to find that this candidate is not ideal for this position or team.

Leaving your hiring process on autopilot will cause you to FAIL when faced with these hiring obstacles. In order to land the A+ talent that your team so critically needs, replace autopilot with an agile recruiting process. Or better yet, let JSG take the helm!