Preparing for Non-Academic Jobs: 4 Qualities Employers Seek
Employers aren’t necessarily looking for the next Einstein!
There are four main qualities that top employers are looking for when reviewing resumes and cover letters. If you are preparing for the non-academic job market, you will not only want to make sure that you are blessed with these qualities, but that you’ve also emphasized them in your profile.
Problem Solving Skills. This is one of the most important qualities that employers are looking for. Take an in-depth look at your past in and out of graduate school for examples of challenges you’ve encountered, and problems that you solved in an academic, professional, or volunteering-related setting. Highlight these examples in your cover letter, or use bullet points to demonstrate how you solved problems in your resume.
2. Drive. In your search for non-academic jobs, you must also make sure to demonstrate that you possess an overall sense of drive. In other words, that you are the type of person that makes things happen. Having a Phd might be a great proof that possess grit, but mentioning it is not enough. Instead of relying on the content of your studies, you need to show how and when you have pushed yourself to succeed inside and outside the classroom in graduate school. What are your ambitions as you are preparing for your non-academic career? What’s your vision? It is important that you introduce yourself a job seeker with a clear sense of direction. Employers are looking for people who will succeed—if you are able to prove that you possess drive and ambition, you will increase your chances of standing out as someone who they want to hire.
3. EQ. Beyond graduate school, a high IQ just won’t cut it. You also need to be self-motivated and sympathetic. You need to be able to play well with others and earn the respect of your peers, colleagues, and superiors. You can show off your emotional intelligence by highlighting your involvement in teams while in school, as well as in clubs, sports, or other socially driven activities. When time comes to choose references, make sure to pick people who know you well and who will be able to provide additional insight into your personality.
4. Leadership/Management skills. Being a nice person isn’t enough: you also need to show strong evidence that you are a true leader at heart. Did you take on leadership positions in graduate school, in student organizations, sports teams, and service-oriented activities? You need to show your ability to convince people to follow your lead. In your cover letters, resume, and interviews, make sure to identify concrete examples of your ability to inspire others with talent and honesty.
Do you need help highlighting your skills while preparing for non-academic jobs? We’re here to help! Sign up for a free consultation, and learn how we can provide the one-on-one counseling you need to find a job that is the best fit for you.