What Employers Want: A Guide For Job Seekers

man in tie


It can be a challenge looking for employment.  There are so many job search sites available it can be confusing and frustrating.  Do your research to learn which offers positions that align with your skill set and level of experience.

Remember that when completing your resume and online applications, use keywords that hiring managers are looking for such as integrity, flexibility, and collaboration.  One position may have hundreds of people apply for it so using these words will help you be flagged for consideration.

In today’s ever-changing job market, it can be hard to know what various employers are looking for in a new hire. Some require quite a bit of experience, while others focus more on integrity and the ability to get along with other employees. Still others want someone they can see moving up to a management position, which requires a measure of trust.

Knowing what employers are looking for is just one step in finding the right job. You’ll need to know how to interview well, how to hone and strengthen your best qualities, and how to show a manager that you have what it takes to come into the workplace and fit in easily. Here are some of the best ways to get started.

Do some research

An employer will want to know that you’ve done some homework before coming in for an interview, so look up the business online and find out everything you can about it, from when it started to how many employees it has. If the company has fair-trade practices and you are a champion for that, bring it up during the interview. Having common ground with a business shows that you are a good potential fit, and showing that you are knowledgeable about the company will let the interviewer know that you take this seriously.

Know what you want

Look for a job that interests you rather than one you’ll take simply for the paycheck. Going to a workplace that you enjoy being in every day will allow you to care more about the business, which will show in your work. This in turn will help you move up the management ladder.

It’s also a good idea to keep in mind that using online job forums rely heavily on the right keywords, so being knowledgeable about what you want–and what you don’t want–is important. Be thorough in your application; leaving something out may tell the employer that you only do things halfway.

Do a mock interview

Many individuals are excellent speakers until it’s time for an interview; then they freeze up out of nervousness. Write down some questions and ask a friend to help you conduct a mock interview so you can get a feel for how to answer without a lot of “ums” and  pauses. Showing the employer that you are well spoken and direct will help him see leadership qualities you might not even know you have.

Come ready to impress

One of the most important aspects of getting a job is one of the simplest, yet many people can’t manage it and blow the interview: be on time! Show up in well-pressed business professional attire with appropriate hair, jewelry, and makeup and make a good first impression; after all, you only get one chance! This will show the employer that you value his time and are prepared for a professional interview.

Sell yourself

Remember that the goal of the interview is to basically sell yourself. You are showing the employer what your skills are and letting him know how you can help make his business a success. No matter what position you’re interviewing for, be upbeat, positive, and make it clear that you’re happy to be there. Be flexible but show them that you’re confident in what you want.

Securing a job can be quite a bit of work, depending on where you live, so don’t get discouraged if it takes a little longer than you anticipated. Stay as professional as you can and be firm in your resolve to get the position you want.

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.

— Ann Landers