5 Tips to Make You Stand Out in the Job Market

September 1, 2015

In a competitive marketplace, it’s like a military arms race for recent graduates: Students focus on adding work experiences, campus organizations, honors and technological talents to their résumés, building an arsenal of bullet points. This is also the case for many new professionals or mid-career counselors. 

While these are still important, more employers are looking for soft skills. Ensuring that yours are finely honed can make a significant difference in your current or future job search.

Soft skills often equate with “emotional intelligence” and include personality, social graces, interpersonal skills, leadership and work ethic. Here are some simple tips to stand out:

1. Exercise your soft skills. Look for daily opportunities to listen to others, express your ideas and understand what others are trying to communicate.

2. Be mindful of your actions. Make eye contact while conversing, showing interest with your body language, and leaving your phone in your pocket or purse.

3. Treat problems as opportunities. This can increase your flexibility and critical thinking skills.

4. Collaborate. At home, work, school or while volunteering, find ways to include others in the decision-making process.

5. Take stock of your strengths. Highlight them within the skills section on your résumé in addition to the technical skills that you have. 

Debbie Davis, Ed.D., ABC, APR, Fellow PRSA

Debbie Davis, Ed.D., APR, Fellow PRSA, is an award-winning educator, communications practitioner and former TV-news producer. As an assistant professor of practice at Texas Tech University, she brings extensive communications experience from health care and Fortune 500 corporations to the classroom. Contact her at Debbie.Davis@ttu.edu.


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