Where do your soft skills come from?

Job searching can be vexing experience if you do not have that much working background to support your CV. However, this should not be a reason to doubt about your skills! Know-how does not have just to come from traditional professional jobs. Many of your soft skills the recruiter will value come from many different tiny experiences you have done during your.

One example could be the participation in a student association during your university. Being part of an organization is useful to develop team working aptitude and leadership skills. Moreover, if you took part of a fundraising for sponsoring an event you are showing to recruiters an orientation for organization and practicality.

Volunteering helps establishing an interesting ground for conversation during the interview, as well. In this case, you can demonstrate your commitment to the cause, your social awareness and our adaptability to different situation and people.

Administrating a personal blog or public Facebook page on a particular topic show the recruiters your organization, your creativity, your compelling writing skills and the potential you have for the interaction with a vast audience. Be aware that the blog should relate somehow to the job position you are applying to, or at least it should not be a mere satirical blog.

These are just some examples on how non-working-related experiences can come in hand when facing the firsts job searches. All in all, it is always useful to demonstrate that your life outside the workspace contribute to your potential value for the company.

HOW TO RULE OUT THE COMPETITION WHEN APPLYING FOR A JOB POSITION: PROACTIVITY

When approaching to the job market there is little we know about: from the mechanisms of the screening process to the expectation recruiters have. Actually, it all depends on your education background, the features and priorities the company you are applying for has. All in all, though, one can say that there are some common expectations and traits recruiters look when interviewing a candidate. One of them is PROACTIVITY.

We here thousands of times this word, but do we know exactly what does it mean? Proactivity is the ability to foresee needs and changes and act accordingly, in order to prevent, cope or anticipate those events. It seems straightforward, right? Well, when it comes to take an action, especially when you are applying for junior position, people tend to doubt and to procrastinate or to leave the decision to someone else. Proactivity then is all about knowing the surrounding, knowing the firm’s priorities and knowing yourself and your way of being.

Knowing the surrounding allow you to have a global view on what is going on around your company, how the competitors usually react to changes and which changes are more likely to occur. Knowing the firm’s priority put the knowledge about the environment into perspective. In this way you know what is important to the company goals, what can be put in second place in terms of importance and which aspects of changes do not affect the firm’s priority. Finally, knowing yourself and how you react to changes, helps you decide what to do, whether to act promptly and how. All in all, proactivity comprises all of these.

Therefore, how can you practically show your way to be proactive during an interview? A perfect chance is when (and if) the recruiter asks you about the way you organize your work. In this scenario you can mention how you try to foresee the tasks you will have to take care of and start planning, in order to avoid more work down the road and be prepared for unexpected changes. Mentioning also that planning well for the future allows you to balance your priorities at work and home, make the recruiter perceive you as an organized person who is able to cope with unexpected changes or deadlines.

Proactivity goes also hand in hand with efficiency. This means that you are able to accomplish a task, saving unnecessary time wastes, going to the point of the problem and being focused on the goal.

In the case you do not have the chance to show your proactivity skills, be ready to ask related questions. How is the workday like and what will be my tasks and responsibilities? What are the firm’s priorities in the next three to five months?

In the end, in order to show your proactivity at best, you can start by arriving prepared to the interview!

5 WAYS YOUR ERASMUS WILL ROCK YOUR JOB INTERVIEW

Nowadays more and more employers seek candidates with at least one experience abroad. Besides the improved language skills, Erasmus Programs provide students with different soft skills, that will reveals extremely valuable to employers.

 Goal oriented: In order to be admitted to the Erasmus program, students usually have to demonstrate, through their academic records, that they are ready to face an experience abroad. During the interview you can exploit the “preparation time” in order to show your ability to work in a goal-oriented environment. By simply explaining your efforts in order to gain higher grades or your commitment to a cause related to the Country you wanted to go to, you are showing your commitment to your own goal (to go abroad) and what you are capable of when you have an aim.

 Time Management & Proactivity: After being admitted to the Erasmus program, students usually face several deadlines to present paperwork and document. In this phase you learn to cope with deadlines and to manage your time between university’s duties and all the bureaucratic iter. Moreover, you learn to forecast possible hitches along the way and prevent them, acting proactively.

 Team player: When a student starts the Erasmus, at the beginning he/she starts meeting people from different cultures, with different priorities and habits. Being able to work together during class’ group-works and living together demonstrate your team orientation and adaptability.

 Problem Solving: this is actually a skill every person who live alone learns, especially the expat. From the light of the fridge that does not light, to the visa and residence permit, or health insurance. Every problem that goes beyond the predictable may affect you much more when you are abroad and if you manage to solve it, you acquire a precious skill.

 Independence: Once you have lived alone and abroad for more than 3 months, you manage to be independent and not to rely on someone else help. This is a fundamental trait for modern employers and a valuable skill that will help you, not only in your career but mostly in your everyday life!

How to rule out the competition when applying for a job position: Adaptability

Following our file rouge about what the current job market requires to candidates in terms of personal and professional skills, here we would like to address the theme of willingness to learn and adaptability.

Especially junior professionals should not underestimate these two skills; instead, they should turn these into “weapons” in order to outrun the competition of the job market.

These traits are difficult to show at a first glance during your interview or throughout a résumé or even a cover letter. Anyway, these skills can be highlighted by information scattered around, like an aftertaste! Some major skills, in fact, imply the willingness to learn as a fundamental basis. Examples might be proactivity or passion for challenges.

Adaptability is fundamental for today mutable and dynamic market, especially for fast growing companies, because each employee has to follow, adapt to and forecast possible changes.

The perfect moment to show this trait is when asked about how you handle difficult situations. Here it is important the manner in which you tell about how you pushed over the limit in order to help your previous company achieving an important goal, and it is not only about the experience you chose to tell. It is also important how you chose to explain the details of the story, what you chose to highlight and how you link the occurrences to a particular propensity or ability you have. As suggested in the previous article, try to learn as much as possible about the company and the surrounding trends, and exploit that knowledge when answering the questions.

If you realize that you did not have any chance during the interview to highlight these traits, be ready to ask some questions yourself!

For example you may ask which important projects the company is carrying on lately, or which are the company’s priorities in the mid term and how they relate to the long term ones. In this way you can show your interest in learning more about the company than what is simply stated in Internet and that you want to understand the trends and how the company is evolving.

Adaptability and willingness to learn and to cope with the changes in the company environment is fundamental nowadays. Your personal contribution in the end will be part of the changes in the firm, and that’s something to be proud of!