What Employers Really Want


by Rachel Vilsack

It’s not often that a book about job search techniques grabs me from the first page, but that’s exactly want happened when I opened This is How to Get Your Next Job by Andrea Kay. From how to effectively tell and show an employer what skills you can bring to the job, to practical lists of job search do’s and don’ts, Kay brings a frank approach to how you can stand out in the job market.

resumeKay identifies that some employers have difficulty finding the right person to hire because of how people seem, not because they can’t find a person with the right skills, experience, or education. What a person says or doesn’t say or does or doesn’t do matters. An employer might pass on an otherwise qualified applicant based on how he or she acts, which is a predictor of on-the-job behavior. If you act careless, unprofessional, or annoyed during an interview, for instance, then you might act that way on the job.

To affirm that how you act is how you’ll perform on the job, Kay advises jobseekers to be clear on how you want to be seen by the employer and how you’re going to show them.  And you’ve got the opportunity before, during, and after the job interview to tell and show why you’re the right person for the job.

While Kay’s lists of the 15 things you should never do, talk about, or say might seem like common sense, her directives are important. One tip, don’t be humble, is a reminder that you can show confidence and initiative by talking about yourself, your skills and your experience. Another tip, don’t talk about things you can’t back up, is about making sure you illustrate examples of your skills and abilities in a way that’s relevant to the listener. Some other tips:

  • Don’t act unprepared.
  • Don’t thinks it’s over when the interview ends.
  • Don’t ignore or fabriate references.
  • Don’t talk about too much personal information
  • Don’t say “I just wnat to learn.”

Ultimately, Kay concludes that “[a] successful career is not about what you know or who you know. It’s about how you are.”

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