Be a STAR! 💫

(opinion essay)

Have you ever been asked, “What do you look for in a job?” Perhaps your mother/friend/soul mate has asked you that out of curiosity, or you’ve heard it at a job interview. Here, you could note that the default thought is often the salary giving the opportunity to put food on your table, pay bills and support your lifestyle comfortably. Surely, without any doubt, it sounds vital. After all, that’s why many of us get jobs, right? But if you dig deeper you will find out many more factors to consider while looking for a job…

On the one hand, how about your long-cherished dreams, plans and ambitions? On the other hand, what is significant for an employer? The 7 most important traits are intelligence, leadership ability, integrity, likability, competence, courage and, of course, inner strength. In my opinion, each of these factors has a great influence on successful employment. Moreover, the сompetition in the labor market is much tougher in 2024 in comparison with previous years, as employers demand more qualified workers. Employers are looking for staff they can rely on.

One should accept that in job descriptions, employers often ask for a combination of hard and soft skills.

Hard skills are also called “resume keywords,” which are words recruiters use to search for an applicant tracking systems for candidates. Nobody is born with them.

By contrast, soft skills are typically interpersonal skills or desirable personality traits that revolve around character, teamwork, communication, time management, and work ethic. They’re part of your personality, but you can acquire them too.

Employers are increasingly looking for candidates with hybrid skills, which are a combination of soft and technical skills. Candidates with this skill set are very competitive.

To draw the conclusion, I think that the most effective way to showcase your hard and soft skills is to share specific stories from your experience that directly relate to the requirements of the job you’re interviewing for. When you’re telling a story, it is a good idea to begin by presenting the situation, describing the task at hand, explaining the actions you took and ending with the results you achieved. This is called the ‘STAR’ technique, recommended by numerous specialists and me too. Such a structure can be easily understood by your interviewers.

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