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  • 6 Intangibles That Can Get You Hired

    The new job post of today, and certainly tomorrow,  looks something like this:

    Wanted: 20 year company seeking sales professional with 5 years of a proven track record in increasing new business, expanding sales territory and customer categories, increase existing account spending and sales team loyalty who plays well with others, encourages creative thinking, builds a strong sales team, has a sense of humor and can wear many hats.

    Consider this report about the future of jobs in the US , a report from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce entitled Help Wanted projects a serious shortfall in qualified workers:

    “America is slowly coming out of the Recession of 2007—only to find itself on a collision course with the future: not enough Americans are completing college . . . By 2018, we will need 22 million new workers with college degrees—but will fall short of that number by at least 3 million post secondary degrees.” Executive Summary

    Employers are and will be  looking for a more holistic group of skill sets in hiring people. The workplace and the world is shifting demographically, socially and generationally. We are already seeing this in corporate America with the emergence of women and multi-ethnicity.

    It’s not enough to just deliver your core skills. What will make you most valuable and  have the most impact are a combination of your core skills, personal skills and intangible or soft skills.

    Here are 6 intangible skills that can get greatly impact you getting hired today and certainly in the future.

    The six intangibles

    1) Adaptability
    photoThe ‘relentlessly changing’ world that we now live in now requires it’s workers to be able to flow with change, adapt to change and navigate change with a can do it attitude. Those that can adapt the best to personal, policy and leadership change will be valuable assets to their work teams and workplace.

    2) Team Player

    The most successful sports franchises all have a balance of veteran, experienced and rookies playing together. Working together with people of differing generations, cultures and demographics is a coveted intangible that will become more and more important as our workplace becomes more culturally diverse. Your ‘human relations’ skills be it developing rapport, listening, motivating others or delegating with respect will be what makes you an important part of any team.

    3) Leadership
    Owning the job that you have and  making things better and more effective,  instead of just showing up daily to do the same thing is an intangible that will make you stand out. You don’t have to be the ‘owner,’ president, manager or CEO to show leadership. Just look at all the employees honored for their work in the awesome new program “Undercover Boss.” Most of these workers just have a strong sense of  personal  pride and work ethic, regardless of their personal lives of showing up to do a great job and making a difference everyday.

    4) Multi-Tasker

    This is pretty simple. The workplace requires people to do more tasks, jobs and take on more responsibility than ever before. Expect it and get prepared for it. Certainly this should have realistic boundaries.

    5) Open-mindedness
    Being open and flexible to learning new skills, approaches and things, interacting with new people, trying new ways of doing things shows a resilience and perseverance to do whatever it takes, to do the job and get it done.

    6) Positivity
    “Whistle while you work.” Nothing is more attractive and powerful than someone who is a bright spot in anyone’s day and shows up with a positive attitude of gratitude. Leave the personal, heavy stuff at home and come to work ready to greet colleagues and customers and make their day brighter.

    You can talk about your intangibles through specific personal stories that demonstrate how you used them. This can be huge competitive advantage in addition to documenting achievement and accomplishment in your core skills.

    Need some help discovering some of your intangibles? Think about 3 jobs where you took on a project, made it your own and made it successful. Ask some of your current or past colleagues to tell you what they think your intangible are. If you need to practice, volunteer outside of work, or ask your boss to give you a small project that can stretch you!

    In today’s job seeking world there are your core skills, personal skills and intangible or ‘soft’ skills. More often, if it comes down to you and someone else, the person who has the intangibles usually wins!

    What are some of your intangible skills that have impacted your jobs?


    Deborah Shane is an author, entrepreneur, radio host and expert. She is the heart and soul  of her business education and professional development company, Train with Shane and is in her third year of hosting a weekly business radio show on blogtalkradio.com. She writes for several national business, career and marketing blogs, and websites including smallbiztrends.com, careerealism.com, Internationalbusinesstimes.com, Smartbrief.com and blogher.com Her new book Career Transition-make the shift-the 5 steps to successful career reinvention is available now on amazon.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Blogtalkradio @Deborah Shane, or visit www.deborahshane.com.

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