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Hiring managers and employers are looking at a variety of factors when they review resumes. Everything from education to work history, plus quite a bit in between, including soft skills.

Soft skills are quality that help make an employee well-rounded. You can convey these skills throughout the hiring process whether it be in the resume, cover letter or something you discuss in an interview. Basically, you want to convey you offer more to the position than just the technical skills, you’re more than just your resume.

Based on the job you’re applying to, you will find different soft skills may be more relevant to highlight. However, there are a few that are universal and can help you stand out from other candidates.

5 Soft Skills That Can Differentiate You From Other Candidates

  • Leadership

This soft skill is actually easy to include on a resume. Some people even have a designated “Leadership” section. Listing different roles and examples of your leadership will definitely grab the attention of the hiring manager.

A leader is good at collaboration, listening to others and admits mistakes to become better. They are honest and accountable, and employers are always looking for a leader in any position because these qualities are always helpful.

  • Respect

Being polite with basic manners and using a respectful tone of voice throughout the interview are great ways to show you possess this sought-after soft skill.

  • Enthusiasm

Every company wants their new hire to want to work there, so show it! You can demonstrate your enthusiasm, naturally, in a lot of different ways.

The easiest way is to tell your interviewer you are excited for the chance to work at the company. You can also show your enthusiasm by preparing for the interview with questions about the company and position. Another time to convey your interest and excitement is in the follow-up thank-you note for the interview. These simple ways of showing enthusiasm will definitely make you stand out, in a good way, to the interviewer and hiring managers.

  • Confidence

An employee that is confident in their ability to do their work well, or learn new skills quickly, is very attractive to a company. Your confidence is contagious, and therefore, the company will be confident in your ability to fill the position well. The only word of caution is to be sure your confidence in yourself doesn’t come across as arrogance.

  • Work Ethic

This soft skill is obviously important and thankfully, it can be highlighted throughout the hiring process. When talking about past jobs, use bullet points to demonstrate your work ethic, backed up by statistics or hard numbers. In the interview, you can discuss how your work ethic allowed you to succeed and taught you lessons for your future employment as well.

Worth ethic is the self-created drive and focus to get a job done well. Any employer is thrilled to talk more to a candidate who can demonstrate work ethic in the hiring process.

Make Your Resume Stand Out

For expert review and guidance on making your resume stand out, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging.

The job interview can be a stressful, yet exciting event in any professional’s career. And even though the majority of the time will be spent with the you answering questions and talking about why you are qualified for the job, it’s also an important time to show your interviewer how interested you are in the job and company with asking the proper questions.

Do Your Homework

There is no list of absolute questions you must ask your interviewer. These questions should be unique for a few reasons: the company, the position, your genuine interest.

Knowing this, take time to research the company on their website, social media profiles and news articles to learn as much as you can about the company. During your research, you may have a few points you find intriguing and want to know more about. Make a note to ask these questions during your job interview. Showing a genuine interest in the company is a great way to set yourself apart from other candidates.

Imagine Yourself in That Position

Another technique to come up with questions is to imagine that you’re already working in job. What kind of questions might you have?

  • Can you describe a typical workweek for this position?
  • What are some challenges this position entails?
  • How do you measure success or performance for this position?
  • What type of growth opportunities are there for this position in your company?

These questions are just a few that will not only give you valuable information about the job, they also demonstrate to your interviewer you are very interested in this opportunity.

Get Expert Advice on Every Step of the Hiring Process

From resume review to interview coaching, let the professionals at MS-IL Staffing & Packaging help you secure your next job.

There is so much preparation during your job search, especially when you are getting ready for an interview. With so much to prepare, from your outfit to rehearsing answers to possible questions, it’s easy to forget a few rules.

Follow These 3 Rules in Your Next Interview

While you are reviewing your job history and relevant skills, remember to be mindful of things you shouldn’t say in a job interview (and one thing you definitely should say).

  • DON’T ask how much the job pays

If this information isn’t presented in the job description or in the interview, don’t ask your interviewer. Consider the interview a time to learn more about the job, responsibilities and whether or not you would enjoy working at the company. Assuming you are right for the job, there will be plenty of time to discuss money later, when it won’t send the message you are only about money.

  • DON’T say you don’t have any weaknesses

Yes, you do have weaknesses because everybody has some! So during your preparation, brainstorm what professional weaknesses you have so you are ready to discuss them during your interview. One way you can do this is to think of a time at your previous job when you needed to improve, then talk about how you are becoming better in that area. Another option is to discuss how you didn’t have training in a particular skill, but you are learning that skill to become a more well-rounded professional.

  • DO ask at least one question at the end

It’s almost guaranteed you will have an opportunity to ask your interviewer any questions. During your interview, take notes as you might want to ask any follow-up questions to previous topics. You should also come prepared with at least one question. Asking questions demonstrates you are interested in the company, the employees and the open position. A good default question could be asking your interviewer about their experience working at the company or how they got started at the company.

Find Your Next Job Opportunity

Do you need help finding a good job to take you to the next step in your career? Contact the recruitment and staffing professionals at MS-IL Staffing & Packaging.

Depending on the industry, gaps in work history can be normal, even seasonal. The length of the absence in employment will determine how to best talk about it during an interview. Let’s break it down.

Boost Your Resume

Take advantage of any time off to grow as a professional. Whether you take classes, do volunteer work or become part of a professional networking group, you will gain experience from every opportunity, and they can be listed on your resume. Plus, if it’s unplanned time off, you may find a real job possibility from these “extracurricular” activities.

Short Gaps in Employment

If you have short gaps in your career path, or seasonal breaks, you can list the years of each job on your resume, instead of specific starting and ending dates. Highlight your strengths and responsibilities to draw attention to your experience rather than the length of time at each job.

If you have a job that has regular breaks or seasonal low times, plan ahead to get involved in opportunities to grow in your trade or enhance your skill set. This will not only make you a better worker, it will make for positive conversation points during your interview.

Long Gaps in Employment

Unfortunately, there can be times when you may have a long gap in employment. Especially in these lapses, it’s important for you to stay with the times, and prove you’re not out of touch.

If you left the workforce for a reason like raising your family, caring for a loved one, recovering from an injury or continuing your education full-time, talk about that with confidence. Don’t be apologetic about your decision; instead, showcase how that decision makes you a strong and capable candidate for the job.

Keep it Positive

No matter what the reasons for your employment gaps, it’s beneficial for you to stay positive during your interview if they are a part of the conversation. Never talk badly about a previous employer, and recognize how you’ve grown during those gaps to become a better professional. If you feel you might need practice before talking about this during an interview, then definitely do so!

Employment Guidance and Resume Tips

If you are looking for more employment opportunities, or a different career path, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packing. We’ve helped many professionals find a path that works for them. If you want help making your resume stand out to hiring managers, we can help you there, too.

Almost every business or hiring manager has faced the dilemma of having several open positions at their company and needed help filling these positions with quality candidates. This can be extremely frustrating and costly to the company if open positions are slowing productivity. Thankfully, a staffing agency can be a helpful partner to solve this problem.

4 Ways a Staffing Agency Can Help Fill Open Positions

A recruitment agency can be an effective partner in employment solutions – whether you have to fill one position or 20 (or more). Here are four reasons you should ask your local staffing agency for help filling your open positions.

  • They are experts. Staffing agencies are dedicated to being experts in job trends, specific industries and recruitment practices. They stay ahead of trends, and a local agency is focused on your market – not an area of the country that doesn’t apply to you! They will know how to find qualified talent within a reasonable radius of your company.
  • They have a large network. Whether you are looking for temporary workers, full-time positions or seasonal employees, a local staffing agency has a network that can supply quality talent for your needs. Because this is their business, and not a department at a company, they spend their days building a network of professionals they are confident to recommend. Even if you have several open positions, they will be able to help you find workers for each position.
  • They help in all areas of hiring. From recruitment, to background checks, to payroll and/or benefits administration, they are there to help you. This will help you find the right job candidates quickly, so you can move on to your other work.
  • They will help minimize hiring chaos. One of the biggest risks when hiring in high volume is the sheer amount of paperwork to organize. A recruiting agency will keep everything organized, so you can focus on your other responsibilities and your days don’t spiral into chaos during a busy hiring season.

Start a Partnership & Never Look Back

If you are ready to have extra help during high-volume employment needs, contact MS-IL Staffing & Packaging. They’ll find qualified professionals to help your company fill any number of open positions.

Your online presence, or what you share on social platforms, matters. For many job seekers, they’ve been creating and sharing social content for at least a decade. However, maybe they’ve only been crafting resumes and cover letters for a few years, so there’s some disproportion when it comes to a professional reputation. While resumes and cover letters are definitely important material for hiring managers, so is your online presence since most will do a quick search of your name online.

How to Assess & Clean Up Your Online Presence

Don’t worry. While you may not be able to go back and redo some decisions in your college years, you can change what to publicize to the public, including your prospective employers. Here’s a simple guide for how to assess and clean up your online presence.

Do a Search for Yourself

Before you go through your social media profiles, do a search so you can see how much work you have to do. Be sure you see what a connection sees in addition to what a person who you are not connected with is able to view. Don’t assume that a hiring manager will not be a connection. If they request a connection on LinkedIn, you will want to accept it, so you’ll have to consider what content you want to share with your connections as well.

Content to Clean Up

Now that you’ve made notes about some things you want to clean up with your social accounts, plan to address these issues:

  • No bad-mouthing co-workers or employers, past or present.
  • No pictures or posts that clearly illustrate irresponsible behavior.
  • No dirty laundry rants or “TMI” posts.
  • No fanatical political content.

While these may seem like strict rules to follow, when you are looking for a job, it’s more important to be mature and professional than to express every emotion or thought that occurs during your day. A company will consider your professional experience first, but they also want to hire a person who fits within their culture.

Content to Enhance Your Talents

After all of the rules, you shouldn’t feel as though you can’t express anything. In fact, you can do a lot on your social platforms that can aid in your job search:

  • Create a personal website or blog to showcase your talent, knowledge or perspective.
  • Make all your social profile pictures the same for easy identification.
  • Add details of volunteer work, charity interests, hobbies, certifications or licenses, etc.

There are several ways to express yourself in a professional and mature way that will allow employers to see your qualifications and your personality without getting distracted by some irrelevant posts from the past.

Get Noticed for the Job You Want

Find the jobs you want and get help with your resume or other career questions by contacting MS-IL Staffing and Packaging.