Extracurriculars That Look Awesome On Literally Any Resume
Universal Necessary Skills
If you’re reading this, you’re probably in the stage of life most commonly referred to as “adulting.” Besides having to make your own meals, schedule your own doctor’s appointments, and do your own laundry, there’s something else that you have to face: applying for jobs.
Before you call your mom freaking out, hear us out on this — it doesn’t have to be that bad, especially if you possess the right skill set. While it’s self-explanatory that an editor needs to be knowledgeable in copyediting, a computer programmer needs to be proficient in coding and a nurse needs to know how to administer shots, there are skills that people applying to all of these jobs should have.
We’ve consulted two experts — Susmita Gautam, a former Peer Career Adviser at George Mason University’s Career Services, and Sean McIntosh, President of Society for Human Resource Management at George Mason University — to see what skills can make you a better employee, no matter what your job.
In every job, you will have to communicate effectively with other people, whether it’s your co-workers, boss or customers. It’s important to be able to listen, speak and write clearly.
Gautam explains, “As far as communication goes, it is one of the most important soft skills that an employee can possess. Nowadays especially, employers are looking for well-rounded individuals that not only possess the technical skills, but interpersonal skills to be able to work in any environment. It does not matter what job or position it is for because in any situation, an employee will come across various instances of human interaction that they need to be capable of handling and handling it well.”
According to McIntosh, practicing effective communication skills can come as simply as maintaining effective correspondence with your fellow co-workers. This can range from responding to emails in a timely manner, following up with individuals and having the confidence to ask questions.
Analytical and problem-solving skills
As ingenuity and independence are highly valued in the workplace, any employee should be able to think of creative ways to solve problems from different angles.
In Gautam’s experience, employers look for individuals with these skills so they could not only have the sharpest minds on their teams, but also to ensure that these employees don’t need as much guidance to accomplish their tasks.
But how exactly can students practice analytical and problem-solving skills? An important aspect of problem-solving is to focus on the solution rather than the problem. Doing this will prevent any negative “emotional blocks” from getting in the way of finding a solution. Additionally, it’s important to be open-minded, especially knowing that there can be more than one solution to a given problem.
Flexibility and adaptability
Not everything in your workday will always go as planned. For example, a meeting may get canceled at the last minute or your boss may ask you to rush a report to his or her desk. Being flexible and able to adapt to such changes shows that you are prepared and reliable.
When it comes to flexibility and adaptability, McIntosh says, “No matter what type of work environment you are involved in, there will be times when things will change suddenly and abruptly, and truthfully in many situations it’s impossible to ever be fully prepared to tackle these unforeseen obstacles. However, employees who have confidence in their skills, their team and most importantly themselves to make the right decisions are more likely to succeed within their organization.”
Now that you know what will make you a better employee in any job, you can get to working on these skills before you turn in your next application or go to your next interview. May the odds be in your favor in your job hunts and show employers how much of a girl boss you really are!
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