Think Like a Boss: 5 Qualities Employers Are Looking For

Whether you’re recently graduated, currently employed or a student getting a head start, navigating the job search process can leave you feeling downright unqualified. How can you avoid ending up in the 75% of resumes that don’t reach the hiring manager? What are your potential employers really looking for?

Turns out, technical skills aren’t what it takes to land the perfect position. In fact, four-fifths of employers search for something simpler but stronger — soft skills. Here are the top five qualities to help you stand out to your future boss:

  1. Communication

There are some innate abilities no on-the-job training can teach — which is why strong communication skills are more valuable than any technical knowledge. Supervisors want a candidate who excels in communication in person, over the phone and through email — making you capable of project and customer correspondence, team feedback, written assignments and aspects of any field.

  1. Motivation

No matter what experience you list on your resume, nothing can replace the appeal of an enthusiastic, self-motivated candidate. Employers want to see excitement, ambition, and dedication to learning and growth. Express how invested you are in this opportunity, and it will go far.

  1. Problem-Solving

In addition to personal drive, your potential employers want evidence of a versatile, flexible thinker who is willing to tackle new challenges. The ability to work independently, think proactively and problem-solve as needed is invaluable in any workplace.

  1. Dependability

Do you meet deadlines consistently, keep your tasks organized, work with honesty and strive for consistent quality? It might seem old-fashioned, but reliability and dependability are among the most important candidate qualifications, according to 97% of hiring professionals.

  1. Leadership

It’s not enough just to meet expectations — employers want to see you go above and beyond, which is why they look for candidates who will set an example for others. Demonstrating your leadership skills and experience — like leading a team or project, heading a committee or organizing a community effort — is a strong way to make your resume stand out.

Not sure where to start? Whether you’re a student or a grad, Barefoot Student saves you time by connecting you with the opportunities to match your skill set. Take control of your job search — and don’t forget to emphasize these top qualities in your interviews.

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