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Ask Dr. Tom

Career Management: May 2011 Archives

Now that college graduations are over, it's time to focus full-time on the job search. Students often ask me, "What do employers want in new hires?" Most companies have a core set of skills and personal characteristics they desire in candidates. Here is my list that can help you move forward with your career development:

Communication Skills
Can you speak clearly and articulately in front of small and large groups? Can you convey your message in writing in a concise and persuasive style?

Work Experience
Do you have relevant experience that they can use? Do you have transferable skills from the various jobs you have held?

Motivation/Initiative
Can you set and obtain goals? Can you meet each day with energy and enthusiasm to accomplish the tasks at hand? Are you excited about the work to be done? Can you think ahead to what needs get done without being asked?

Teamwork
Can you get along easily with diverse types of people to complete a common project successfully? Can you share responsibility and credit for a project?

Leadership Abilities
Can you assess a situation, identify possible options and then implement solutions? Can you easily adapt to changing situations and priorities? Can you lead a work group to meet stated objectives?

GPA/Academic Credentials
Do you have the academic preparation to be successful at the company? For most employers, grades are less important than other qualities.

Technical Skills
What types of computer skills do you bring to the table? Will they need to spend valuable time training you or are you ready to jump in and produce?

Interpersonal Skills
Can you relate well to your co-workers, supervisor and clients? Can you respect, understand and connect to other people's perspectives and opinions?

Analytical Skills
Can think outside the box? Can you evaluate problems based on the facts? Can you handle the numbers aspect of the job?

Ethics
Are you straightforward, honest and truthful at all times? Can you make decisions that are fair and right?

Most companies are consistently looking for strong academic credentials, however, most say they can teach you the specific job. What they really want are the "soft skills" including reliability, dedication, determination, results-orientation and self-awareness. In an interview you will want to demonstrate, by example, that you have developed these qualities. Use the information contained on your resume as a guide to profile your accomplishments.

Whether you need help with your resume, cover letter, interview skills or your job or graduate school search, I invite you to contact me (518-366-8451) for a free 20 minute phone consultation. I look forward to helping you.

Keep Climbing,
Dr. Tom


Copyright 2011, Dr. Thomas J. Denham, Careers In Transition LLC - Posted May 27, 2011


Dr. Thomas J. Denham

Dr. Tom Denham is the founder of Careers In Transition LLC, a private practice which focuses on career counseling for individuals and consulting services for institutional clients. Dr. Tom has over twenty years of career services experience at Siena and Union Colleges as well as Harvard, St. Lawrence and Boston Universities.

Dr. Tom founded Northeast Public Radio's award winning talk show, The Career Forum and speaks extensively on career management issues. He earned his bachelors from St. Lawrence University, his masters from Boston University and his doctorate from Nova Southeastern University.

He has climbed over 180 mountains including the Adirondack 46, Oregon's Mt. Hood and The Grand Teton. In 2009, he survived a huge crevasse fall on Mt. Rainier by ice climbing his way out. Tom lives where he grew up in Albany where he would rather be ice and rock climbing and raising his 11 year old daughter, Rachel.

Dr. Tom Denham has been a professional career counselor for over 20 years. He helps people explore their options with career testing, make job changes and write resumes and prepare for interviews.

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