The development of 'soft skills' in this market is important when there is intense competition for many available positions.
- Learn the basics of effective verbal communications and presentations. Take a speech communications course or join a local 'Toastmasters' group to become comfortable with your verbal skills. Practice your telephone skills. Most interviews begin with a telephone interview.You may be offered an interview because of your resume but the best communicator in the interview will get the job.
- You only have one shot at a good 'first impression'. Make sure that your manner of dress and grooming are appropriate for the job setting. I recommend dressing one notch' above the everyday norm when interviewing for a job. If the everyday attire is Dockers and casual shirt then the interview attire ought to be dress pants and shirt with tie. For females the 'one notch above' may include a dress or business suit.
- Practice your approach in greeting people and shaking hands. Look the person directly in the eye with a smile and firm handshake. If the other person is elderly or appears somewhat frail adjust your handshake accordingly. Firm but not painful.
- The 'art of conversation' is just that ...an art. The ability to carry on interesting conversations with people about the wide variety of topics and current events is an important tool in establishing an effective business relationship. Book clubs and discussion groups are good ways to develop these skills if you are not already associated with a group of interesting friends who enjoy lively conversation.