As a service member, you’ve already got a strong skill set to make you an asset in the workplace. Many of those same skills can be applied in finding the right job in the first place. Here are ten skills to master when searching and interviewing for a position.
1. Flexibility — In today’s market, it’s important to show that you are willing to adjust your schedule or expectations to the demands of a job and compromise to get a task done. During your interview, you’ll want to highlight times when you’ve gone above and beyond in previous roles.
2. Technical literacy — These days, most jobs require some basic computer and tech knowledge. Knowing how to put together a spreadsheet or quick presentation will do wonders for your resume. If you feel like you need to bring your skills up to speed, explore learning opportunities around you – for example, courses at your community college, online training from MySECO and resources at the MWR Digital Library. Be sure to communicate any experience you have with software programs.
3. Communication skills — It’s essential that you speak and write effectively in the workplace. Therefore, your communication during an interview is extremely important. Be prepared for questions, and most importantly, listen attentively to your interviewer.
4. Multitasking abilities — Employers use keywords like “fast-paced” and “deadline-driven” because they are looking for employees who can multitask with ease. You’ll want to demonstrate to an employer that you can manage a variety of tasks at the same time, with limited supervision.
5. Creativity — Even if the job you’re after is not in a creative field, remember that an employer wants to hire someone who offers a fresh perspective. The creative solution that you bring to a job could potentially expedite an employer’s process, improve a service offered, and make you a more appealing potential hire. Provide examples of your creative solutions.
6. Problem-solving skills — Every company has problems that need to be solved, and that’s where an employee like you comes in. Perhaps you can improve their customer service, efficiency, sales or public relations. You’ll need to be able to analyze a problem and then use critical thinking to solve it. A fantastic way to highlight your skills during a job interview is to provide examples of problems you’ve effectively solved.
7. Interpersonal abilities — Almost every job out there requires you to work with people so employers want to be sure that you can play nicely with others. During an interview, highlight your excellent teamwork skills, perhaps by relaying a time when you helped to alleviate a team conflict.
8. Strong work ethic — Employers love employees who show up on time or even early. They appreciate those who are willing to go the extra mile. If you do excellent work and consider yourself productive, highlight that fact, especially if you have examples of times when you went above and beyond what was expected of you.
9. Organizational skills — There’s simply no better time to demonstrate these skills than during a job interview. Come with extra copies of your resume, cover letter, job application, portfolio of past work and business cards. Be sure to proofread all your documents. Show up early and prepared with answers to common interview questions. Do a little research and come up with a few questions for your potential employer. You’ll usually get the chance to ask questions at the end of an interview, so demonstrate your interest and professional mindset by having a few pointed questions on hand.
10. Self-confidence — When it comes down to it, a job interview is an opportunity to sell yourself. Do whatever you need to do to boost your confidence and present yourself professionally: dress nicely and appropriately, be prompt, make eye contact, and be personable. The best way to make an employer believe in you is to believe in yourself.
As you search for a job, it’s crucial for you to identify your transferable skills, incorporate them into your resume, and highlight them in your job interview. As a service member, you have all the skills on this list already, and more; you just have to demonstrate those assets to a future employer.