By Robyn Geller
Pretty much anyone who has gone on an interview and gotten the job thinks they know what employers want. But actually it’s a question that doesn’t always come with an obvious answer. Different situations call for different criteria and, when you factor in different personalities, it often seems a mystery.
At the Jewish Community Services (JCS) Career Center, our account representatives serve as liaisons between employers and our job seeking clients. I recently asked our reps to share their experience about what employers are looking for in prospective employees. Here’s a compilation of their thoughts:
- Likeability factor. JCS account rep Lauren Harrison feels this may be the number one characteristic employers are looking for in job candidates. She says, “It all comes down to chemistry and connecting with the employer. Positive energy and a smile go a long way.”
- Experience. Employers want to find a candidate with direct experience in a field or industry, something that’s relevant to the position. This experience tends to be just as or sometimes more important than education, according to JCS rep, Lisa Cohn.
- Positive work values.Employers want someone who has a good work ethic and is responsible, reliable, flexible, friendly, diplomatic and professional.
- Excellent track record.Employers are looking for candidates with an excellent track record. Hopping around from job to job can be a RED FLAG.
- Organization fit.Businesses want individuals who are the best fit for an organization as a whole. This affords the employer the ability to cross-train the employee in other areas, promote them or move them around if needed.
- Well-rounded.Employers are interested in people who not only have a good work ethic but also have other hobbies or interests and/or are active in the community such as working on community boards or involved with local events.
- Special Skills.Job candidates with unique skills are bound to get noticed by employers. Whether it’s a security clearance, the ability to speak more than one language or being able to work a flexible schedule, JCS account rep Michael Epstein says these are things that can help push your resume to the top of the pile. Interviewers also like to see people proficient in computers and social media.
- Focus and Drive.Employers like candidates who are career-driven and have their own career goals, in addition to the organization’s goals.
Since each employer is different, it’s hard to know exactly what the person you talk to is looking for. These suggestions from the JCS account reps offer a great place to start if you’re looking to market yourself in a way you might not have thought of before.
By Robyn Geller, Coordinator, JCS Public Relations
Employees aren’t the only ones marketing themselves these days. Businesses need to do it too. JCS is inviting area employers to join us for Strictly Business, a networking and awards breakfast on April 5, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at Woodholme Country Club. Strictly Business honors employers who strengthen Maryland’s economy through a commitment to workforce development. Learn more about the event here.