- Category: Work
- Published: October 27, 2014
- Written by Jennifer Winget
Punctuality, commitment, relevant qualifications, positive attitude… the list of necessary attributes for the aspiring applicant is a wide-ranging one. But other, less obvious skills and assets can sometimes make the difference in a close race between candidates who have applied for roles at jobstoday.co.uk. Here are three underrated and unexpected skills which could push you to the top of the pile
1) Enhanced technical skills
Everyone knows how to send emails, use word processors and spreadsheets, and perhaps even edit photographs. Most young applicants certainly should be proficient with social media.
The better applicants will know just that little bit more. For example, one will almost certainly know how to record video on a mobile phone, but what about editing, and lighting, and strong audio? Could you conduct an interview online?
If an interviewer asked you to how you would promote their company on the internet, how would you do it? Do you have a blog?
Simply put, we are now in a digital world, and you need to know your stuff. Do research. Learn a little about how search engines and Google+ work. Investigate the ‘other’ social media – Snapchat, Vine, Reddit, and particularly LinkedIn, which you could use as a tool to convince a would-be boss that connections and influence could be gained.
2) Telephone manners
It’s believed that as many as 2.5m people in the UK have some form of phone phobia, which might seem quite strange for an invention dating back to the late 19th century.
It’s a form of social anxiety for many, and usually seems to only occur when they speak to someone they don’t really know. Therefore, the subject has no idea of the facial expressions or movements of their fellow participant. They do not know what questions are coming next, and fear getting tongue-tied, or embarrassed. The situation is exacerbated when the person is making the call themselves, and therefore presumably muscling themselves into their recipient’s day.
The main psychological method for dealing with phone phobia is via cognitive behavioural therapy, but for many young people it is simply a fear of the unknown. Such is the power of the internet that their communication has nearly all been achieved through text or social media.
Break the habit. Start small if you have to, by perhaps ringing a shop and asking about a product, or calling a relative to whom you don’t often speak. If you need a list of questions or information, prepare it beforehand – here are ten tips to take it further still and actually seek jobs on the phone, courtesy of Careerealism.
Supplement your burgeoning skills with face-to-face conversation with new people.
3) Knowing the world
A fairly wide-ranging piece of advice, but it will stand you in good stead. The naturally inquisitive applicant should have extensive knowledge of the company to which they are applying. So at the least, use a search analytics site such as Topsy to find out what is being said about the company and its competitors, and dig out news stories.
But here’s the killer: the world doesn’t start and end at the front door of work. Many would-be employers report meeting young people who spend their spare time disengaged from the world, seemingly locked in their bedroom locked to their games console.
Learn about business, and the environment, and science, and show that you like learning. Keep abreast of current affairs at a local and international level. If you can establish a rapport with potential customers/clients and engage with them on a personal level, talking about everything from their football team to TV programmes to share prices, then they will remember you. And that will impress bosses.