Last week we looked at critical skills employers seek. Today, let’s examine the personal values employers want in employees. Again, I draw upon lists compiled by Drs. Randall S. and Katharine Hansen from numerous studies.
Values, personality traits and personal characteristics are just as important as skills to employers. When writing résumés, cover letters and answering interview questions, look for ways to weave examples of these characteristics into them.
Here is the Hansen List of the 10 most important categories of values.
» Honesty/Integrity/Morality. In light of the many recent corporate scandals, employers probably respect personal integrity more than any other value. So emphasize that you are a seasoned pro whose honesty and integrity support effective leadership and optimize business relationships.
» Adaptability/Flexibility. Show that you are open to new concepts and ideas and can work either independently or as part of a team. Stress that you are capable of handling multiple tasks or projects. Use words like highly adaptable, positive, resilient, mobile, patient risk-taker open to new ideas.
» Dedication/Hard-Working/Work Ethic/Tenacity. Employers want job-seekers who love what they do and will stick with it until they solve the problem and get the job done. Use words like: I am a productive worker with a solid work ethic who maximizes my effort to successfully complete tasks.
» Dependability/Reliability/Responsibility. These are extremely important to employers. They want to know that they can count on you to show up on time and take responsibility for your actions. Emphasize that you are a dependable, responsible contributor committed to success and excellence.
» Loyalty. Even when the company is not necessarily loyal to its employees, employers want workers who will have a strong devotion to the company. Include words on your résumé or in conversation, such as I am a loyal and dedicated manager with an excellent work record.
» Positive/Motivated/Passionate/Energetic. The job-seekers who get hired and the employees who get promoted are the ones with drive and passion — and who demonstrate this enthusiasm through their words and actions. Use words that convey you are an energetic performer with a passion for work. Show that you have a positive, upbeat attitude.
» Professionalism. Show that you act in a responsible and fair manner in both your personal and work life. This is a sign of maturity and self-confidence; avoid being petty. You can illustrate that you are a conscientious go-getter who is dedicated, organized and committed to professionalism.
» Self-Confidence. If you believe in yourself, in your unique mix of skills, education and abilities, your prospective employer will also feel the same. Show confidence in what you can offer employers. State outright that you are a confident, hard-working employee committed to excellence.
» Self-Motivated/Independent Worker Needing Little or No Supervision. Teamwork is always important to employers as is the ability to work independently, with minimal supervision. Tell the prospective employer that you are a highly motivated self-starter who takes initiative with little supervision.
» Willingness to Learn. No matter what your age, no matter how much experience you have, you should always be willing to learn a new skill or technique. Jobs are constantly changing and evolving, and you must show an openness to grow and learn with that change. Say that you are an enthusiastic, knowledge-hungry learner, eager to meet challenges and assimilate new concepts.
While your skills are critical tools, don’t forget that your personal values are necessary to your success at work. Once you have assessed the necessary skills and values you need to win a job or advance in it, don’t forget to document them and market yourself, in both your job search (résumé, cover letter and interview answers) and during your efforts for career advancement.
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How can you match your personal qualities to the job?
— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or get information on Thursday night classes in Santa Barbara. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjr. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.