The Essential Skills Employers Take for Granted

Essential Skills


Graphic designers are experts in graphic design. Programmers know how to code. Marketers understand how to promote their organizations.

These skills are also known as “hard skills”—specific abilities that can be taught to employees and measured, such as math, reading, the ability to use software, etc.

Hard skills are important, which is why employers specifically look for them when hiring employees. But just as significant are the skills known as “soft skills,” or the personal attributes your employees need to succeed in the workplace.

Soft skills pertain to the ability to manage people, cultivate relationships, lead others and communicate ideas. And they can be the key to a successful company.

Here are seven essential soft skills to develop in your team:

  1. Teamwork and Leadership –This doesn’t just refer to playing nice when placed in a group, but also showing the qualities and temperament of someone who can lead others when necessary.
  2. Flexibility – Flexible employees are assets to your company. These are people who can adapt to any situation and deliver, no matter what challenge or task is on their plate.
  3. Communication – Communication skills are valuable no matter what industry you’re in. Communication skills don’t just refer to the ability to write well or speak in public effectively; it’s also the ability to teach others what you know and being a good listener.
  4. Problem Solving – The ability to solve problems and think on your feet is a skill all valuable employees will have, regardless of profession. This is especially important for leaders, who need to be able to lead teams in a storm.
  5. Ability to Take Feedback – Aside from being able to take feedback gracefully, it’s important for employees to know how to apply that feedback and help the team and company grow.
  6. Confidence – Confidence may not sound like a skill, but it’s something that can be learned and developed. Of course, you also need to help employees develop the knowledge and skills in which they can feel confident.
  7. Creative Thinking – Employees who are able to come up with unique ideas and solutions to problems are killer assets to the company. It drives innovation and improves efficiency.

Want qualified candidates delivered right to you? Contact the expert recruiters at The Reserves Network! Contact our offices to learn exactly how we can add value to your company.


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Skills vs. Requirements: How to Highlight Both in a Job Posting

Job Postings


When the right job seeker comes across your job posting, you obviously want that person to turn into a potential candidate. This only happens with a job description that has the right information; otherwise, you won’t compel them to hit the “Apply Now” button.

“A job posting with comprehensive information on skills and requirements provides a clear snapshot of the demands and nature of the position,” notes Debra Lightfritz, recruiting manager at The Reserves Network. “This ensures that potential candidates can capture the core responsibilities, skills and tasks involved in the job.”

Here are a few steps you can follow to highlight the skills and requirements of a position on your next job posting.


  1. Summarize the Job

The job overview is usually written in paragraph form and talks about what potential applicants can expect from the job on a daily basis. You want to write for actual people here—none of that “the right candidate” or “applicant” nonsense. This ensures the job overview is easier to relate to and feels personal.

You also want your summary to be specific. Instead of writing, “You will be in charge of sales and meeting clients,” write something more descriptive, such as, “You will make cold calls, set client appointments, prepare sales reports, and interact with clients on a daily basis.”


  1. Give a Rundown of Responsibilities

Bring the reader’s attention to the five most important responsibilities of the job. Use bullet points to make it easier for job seekers to scan through their potential duties. Again, be specific so applicants will know what they can expect from the role.


  1. Set Expectations for Skills and Requirements

By now, the right job seekers should be excited about your job opportunity. The question on their minds is whether or not they are qualified. Again, use bullet points to make it easy for readers to scan through this part of the job posting.

Start by listing the core skills of the job, or the skills that are absolutely necessary for an employee to carry out their responsibilities. Finish this off with a list of preferred skills, or the skills that may not be required but are still highly desired in an applicant.

Next are your requirements, which include work experience, training, certifications and additional education.

Remember: every skill and requirement you add to your job posting narrows the scope of candidates who are qualified for the job. Focus on the skills and requirements that matter the most.

To compliment your recruiting efforts, bring in some muscle by working with the staffing solutions providers of The Reserves Network. Call our offices to learn how our staffing services can help your company.


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Follow These 5 Tips to Customize Your Resume for the Job

Tailor Your Resume to the Job


Your resume is the single most important document in your job search arsenal. Naturally, you want it to grab a hiring manager’s attention and show him/her that you’re the perfect person for the job.

According to Janet Incerto, director of recruiting at Summit Technical, an affiliate of The Reserves Network, “Resume customization has grown in importance in recent years because resumes and cover letters are now stored in the application databases and applicant tracking systems of employers and employment agencies.”

Job-specific customization makes your resume lean, ensuring that any objectives, skills, experience and credentials on your resume are all geared towards getting the specific job you’re applying for. Listed below are five steps to do just that.

1. Look at the Job Description

What does the job description say? Pay close attention to the following:

• Job title
• Tasks and responsibilities
• Specific requirements
• Location of the employer

If you are at least 50 percent qualified for the role, it’s safe to apply. Anything lower is a waste of your time.

2. Customize Your Objective

The traditional objective section of your resume is a great place to customize your resume so it grabs a hiring manager’s attention right away. The key is to integrate relevant keywords where it makes sense, which will ensure your resume is found by applicant tracking systems. Be sure to have the job title in your objective. So, if the position is for a “Neonatal Nurse,” make sure the title “Neonatal Nurse” is also in the objective.

3. Choose Relevant Skills and Experience Based on the Job Description

Hiring managers don’t have time to scan through a resume, only to find skills and experience that are irrelevant to the open position. So, if the role is for a graphic designer, don’t bother adding your experience as a waiter when you were in high school. Only list the skills and work experience that show you’re a great match for the graphic designer role.

Even if your skills are relevant to the job you’re applying for, make sure your skills section uses the same keywords in the job description. So, if the job is looking for someone with advanced skills in Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop and InDesign, be sure to add these exact keywords to your resume’s skills section.

4. Highlight Matching Credentials

Recruiters and hiring managers usually spend just a few seconds skimming through a resume. Placing a special section at the top of your resume to highlight your matching credentials and skills is a great way for you to cut to the chase and show the reader why your application is worth considering. Use brief and concise bullet points for best results.

5. Indicate Your General Location

While it’s never advisable to place your home or work address in your resume, adding a general location, such as a city, county or other regional terms like “Greater Austin Area” is the icing on the cake. It shows that you’re a candidate who is in the immediate vicinity and can be reached anytime.
For more resume-writing tips and tricks, talk to the staffing services experts of The Reserves Network. Call our offices to learn more about our recruitment solutions.


Job Search


Why Storytelling Matters in Your Interview

Storytelling Matters


Here’s the thing about job interviews: while it’s obviously important to have the skills and experience to be considered for the job, you also want to succeed at building rapport with the interviewer.

One of the best ways to do that is by weaving a story that will help the hiring manager connect the dots between your personality, attitude, principles and credentials.

“Your story humanizes you,” said Leisa Stallard, director of operations at The Reserves Network. “It helps the interviewer or recruiter understand what makes you tick.”

  1. Lead With the Punch Line

The punch line in this context is not a joke, but rather the takeaway from a certain experience or situation you had previously encountered. The key here is not to save this for the end of your story.

For example, if the interviewer asks about your experience leading a team, don’t launch into a story and save the takeaway for the last part – that’s only going to make the interviewer impatient. Instead, start with a specific anecdote, something like, “I led a sales team that exceeded our annual revenue target by 25 percent.”

  1. Provide Context

After leading with your punch line, go into the specific details of your experience to provide context to the story. Did you encounter adversity? Were the odds stacked against you? What difficulties did you face? These are just some of the questions your story should answer.

Use these angles to set up your story:

  • Your progress is derailed by an unexpected problem.
  • You brainstormed and tested solutions until you found the right one.
  • Your chances of success were low, but you overcame them anyway.
  1. Describe Your Course of Action

Every story has a protagonist and antagonist. The latter doesn’t have to be a person: it can be a challenge, a problem or a target. To make your story compelling, go into the specifics of how you slew your personal dragon.

  • What exactly was the problem?
  • What specific steps did you take to solve the problem?
  • What allowed you to overcome the problem?

Illustrate how your skills and qualifications came into play when solving your problem. This needs to form the bulk of your story, so don’t be afraid to go into detail.

  1. Wrap Things up With Results

Now that you’ve explained the problem and how you used your skills and resources to overcome it, wrap things up by describing the impact of your actions. If your story doesn’t quite have a happy ending, mention what lessons you learned from the whole experience.

For more job search tips and insights, be sure to follow this blog. If you need further assistance on your job hunt, let the staffing solutions providers of The Reserves Network help. Call our offices to learn more about our staffing services.


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