Practice Skills Employers Want

  Tim Conway 

Due to ultra-competitive job market, aspiring PR professionals must showcase in-demand talents at special events, interviews, on-the-job and community service projects. 

The ideal chance for future executives to nurture competencies is on-campus and initial role.  The good news is that you can acquire these essential habits with time, effort and commitment.

Professional Demeanor:  friendly smile; confident handshake; upbeat attitude; upright posture; formal language; direct eye contact; stylish attire/grooming

Social Manners:  be polite; hold doors; unplug electronic devices upon entering building; be prompt for meetings; ask questions; take notes; display patience; send thank you cards; quickly grasp office protocol

Dining Etiquette:  chew slowly; be active listener; engage peers in conversation; limit alcohol

Verbal Communication:  concise writing/presenting; organized content; persuasive tone; proper e-mail format; proofread for grammar/punctuation/typos; rehearse Personal Pitch using Who, What, When, Where, Why, How

Character:  integrity; work ethic; over-prepare; follow-through; build relationships with colleagues/mentors; volunteer for tasks; help others; demonstrate leadership; admit mistakes

Self-Discipline:  focus on priorities; sustain energy; control online behaviors; appropriate language; healthy diet; exercise to stay mentally sharp; set short-term goals; track progress

Critical Thinking:  analyze facts/data; challenge assumptions; consider “What-If?” scenarios; evaluate options; make recommendations; respect opposing views; negotiate/compromise

It’s Not About Y-O-U:  individuals who are hired understand that today’s workplace centers on organization’s audiences (e.g., customers, alliance partners, suppliers, investors).  So speak/write with collaborative terms:  you; your; us; we; them (instead of “I”, “me” and “mine”)

Entrepreneurial Mindset:  observe trends; spot problems; suggest solutions; take calculated risks; be willing to fail; persevere

Global Perspective:  be empathetic to different cultures/ethnic groups; pursue study abroad; attain fluency in foreign languages; explore international courses/employment; relocate

Software Proficiencies:  financial spreadsheets; databases; graphic design; social media (Linked In, ZoomInfo, Twitter)

Lifelong Learning:  monitor current events; read industry magazines/blogs; go to conferences; finish training/certifications

Plus, complete workshops/webinars to refine time management, customer service and personal budgets (credit cards, checking accounts, student loans, apartment/car leases, travel).

Guest post by friend and former colleague Tim Conway, founder of Ignite Young Adults.  Tim’s mission is to raise self-sufficiency of twentysomethings through methods such as objective assessments of natural abilities.  Tim can be reached at 847-749-1394 (office) or

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