No matter your age or years of experience as a working adult, do you ever wonder if you have what it takes to succeed in the business world of the 2020s? Things have changed a lot in the past few years, with technical skills rising up the ladder of essentials for any prospective entrepreneur. But it’s about more than just being IT savvy.
To get into action these days, you need a razor-sharp résumé, top interview skills, the ability to operate as a team member, the right degree, some relevant experience, and more. How do you stand when it’s time to take a self-inventory of the key success factors? Scan through the following list and see how you rate yourself in each of the categories.
1. Your Résumé
A grammatically perfect résumé with zero spelling errors is a basic necessity for all prospective business people. Yes, you can do a decent job on your own with a friend as a proofreader. It’s much wiser to invest in a professionally written document that you can tweak for specific applications. It’s important to understand that a résumé is not designed to get you a job. That vital sheet of paper can’t get you hired, and it shouldn’t. A résumé, if it is designed and written well, can get you an interview. From there, you’re on your own. Assuming that a piece of paper can land a job is perhaps the biggest myth about résumés.
2. Having a Relevant Degree
This one is a two-part component. Part one is getting your degree paid for, which is the easier of the two. That’s mainly because you can get an education loan from a private lender to cover most or all of your college expenses. Find out more of the details from this site here. Once you have financing arranged, it’s time to move on to the more difficult chore: getting the degree. It helps to apply to several schools just to cover your bases. Remember that even if you have good grades in prior schooling and submit a great application, there might be lots of other applicants. Most prospective degree candidates apply to three or more programs.
There’s a lot of latitude when it comes to the experience factor. At a minimum, it’s smart to have at least as summer or two of interning in a related field to the one you’re trying to break into. Don’t be shy to add unrelated work experience to your background section on the application. Breaking into the business world means getting a first job that can prepare you for long-term success. And, getting that initial position is all-important for a new grad. That’s why an internship or general office job are decent starting points.
4. Interview Skills
If you have to, take a class or do a webinar about how to interview. There’s more to the process than most people suspect. For better or worse, it’s not a simple matter of giving honest answers to direct questions. Honesty is important, but the key thing is giving the best honest answers to the interviewer’s queries. In response to, “what was your most exciting recent experience?”, there are multiple honest replies. A weak one: “I loved my summer lifeguard job.” A much stronger version: “Being a community center volunteer gave me a chance to lifeguard, learn lifesaving, and acquire conflict resolution skills by working with the public.”
5. Team Sensibility
Unless you’re independently wealthy and plan to run a company all alone, teamwork skills are an essential component of a successful career. Read books about the topic, take an online seminar, or better yet, enroll in a community college class that teaches various types of team interaction. The best way to learn how to work on a team is to be on one. Many summer and part-time jobs in the financial and sales fields are worthwhile ways to acquire these skill sets. Plus, there are long and short online courses that do a good job of helping anyone learn how to work with others.
6. Good Credit
How’s your credit? Check it every six months to make sure there are no problems. You don’t need to have stellar credit to win a solid position with a good company, but you don’t want to fall into the iffy area. And, if you plan to rise through the ranks, or start your own company, having an impressive credit rating will make a big difference. This is especially true in the financial sector.
7. Presentation Skills
Knowing how to speak on your feet, and sound like you know what you’re talking about, is a must in the corporate world. If you plan to start your own firm, it’s an even more important skill because you’ll need win clients through public presentations. There are three components to this ability. The first is to know the rudiments of giving a speech to a small audience. Second, you must understand the material itself. Third, every presenter must be able to answer questions from the audience, whoever that might be. Sometimes, your listeners will be potential investors. On other occasions, you’ll present to new employees, coworkers, the public, clients, or just your boss.
8. A Clean Social Media Footprint
Make certain that there’s nothing in your social media footprint that might be a problem during a job interview or after you’re hired by a company. You can take care of this vital chore yourself by scrubbing negative items yourself. A better way is to hire a reputation management expert and pay a small fee to get everything cleaned up. Consider the fact that many large firms in every industry do footprint checks on every candidate who passes an initial in-person interview. Why let all your hard work go to waste? Be sure to remove embarrassing photos, posts, articles, and anything else from your social and other sites that could scuttle an otherwise great opportunity. If you have any gaps in the items listed above, deal with them as soon as possible. Hire outside help if necessary.