Land a Job with These 7 Career Competencies

            According to the National Association of College and Employers (NACE), it is essential for college graduates to contain specific Career Readiness Competencies in order to be successful in a work environment. These competencies, or skills, are gained through professional experiences such as internships, part-time/full-time jobs, volunteer opportunities, job shadowing, and more. To put it into perspective, think of career readiness competencies like studying for a test. In order to successfully pass a test, you need to put in the work to prepare for it so you can achieve the end result of passing with a good grade, increasing your GPA. It is important to begin “studying,” or gaining experience in order to achieve a successful future in your career development. So, I’m sure you are wondering, what are these competencies? Let’s get started!

1.     Critical Thinking/Problem-Solving

If you have ever been tasked with a problem that seemed very much “adult,” it is most likely that this situation required critical thinking and problem-solving. Employers want to see the ability for an individual to analyze an issue, making an appropriate decision regarding this issue, and then work toward solving this problem. So really, they want to see you adult (yes, adult). It is essential to use your knowledge, ideas, originality, and resources with problem-solving in order to make a respectable and appropriate decision. Make sure to take what you have learned in your classes, work experiences, and involvement opportunities to expand on these skills and increase your future career development.

2.     Oral/Written Communication

The main objective here is to ensure that you communicate your thoughts in a clear, efficient manner both verbally and in a written format. Employers want to see that you contain effective public speaking skills along with the ability to write in a professional format. You are most likely practicing these skills in your classes through individual and group presentations as well as writing essays or research papers—so use these experiences to your advantage!

3.     Teamwork/Collaboration

The saying “teamwork makes the dream work” fits perfectly under this competency. Building professional relationships with your coworkers is of utmost importance in the workplace in order to successfully achieve the goal your company is aiming to accomplish. Different individuals bring a diverse set of ideas, opinions, and values to a work environment, and all of these factors combined will produce effects results regarding a certain task. You will be more likely to accomplish a task and manage conflicts when collaborating with coworkers and clients who are from a different cultural background than your own.    

4.     Information Technology Application

With the vast rise of technology in our world, employers value potential employees to contain a basic level of proficiency in information technology skills. These skills may include knowing how to navigate computer programs such as Microsoft Office, SQL, Adobe Photoshop, and countless more systems. Whether you are working as a Mechanical Engineer, a Sports Reporter, or an English professor in a college university, technology will be involved in some shape or form. During your undergraduate career, make sure to take the opportunity to increase your IT skills! For example, you can visit the ePortfolio office for helpful tips to not only make your professional website #flawless, but to also learn new computer skills regarding web design. Take each of your experiences inside and outside of the classroom to expand your proficiency in the world of technology, as it will surely impress any employer.   

5.     Leadership

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” –John Quincy Adams. This quote by a former President encompasses the values of leadership. A common misconception of being a leader is that leaders only manage and delegate tasks to others, but that is not the case. If you instill strength in others and encourage them in completing a certain task, this is one quality that defines a great leader. Use your interpersonal skills to motivate and leads others toward success. If you know a colleague is having difficulties with a specific task, offer guidance to help them accomplish their goal in a clear, consistent, and empathetic manner. If you are a natural leader, demonstrate these qualities in an interview in order to show the employer how you would transfer these skills to a work environment. There are various leadership opportunities for you to pursue throughout your undergraduate career at Auburn—take a look at these opportunities here: Not to mention, leadership is the #1 quality employers look for in potential employees. It’s a pretty big deal!

6.     Professionalism/Work Ethic

So we’ve made it to number 6. If you’re overwhelmed and don’t even know how to start developing any of these skills, start here. Also make sure to breathe—is it going to be ok and you will land a job! Employers, over any other skill, value professionalism and actively search for this transferable skill in potential employees. Professionalism/work ethic includes how you represent yourself through your actions and interact with colleagues in the work environment. Are you on time to work each day? Does your verbal and nonverbal communication reflect a positive, respectful attitude? Do you follow the ethical guidelines to your practice? These are a few questions that illustrate professionalism in a work environment, and will guarantee a higher chance of landing a job.

7.     Career Management

In career management, you want to ensure that you are confident in your skills, knowledge, and professional development in relation to your career of interest. When you are reviewing a job application and read through the job requirements, take this as an opportunity to identify areas of further professional growth and development. Reflect on your previous professional experiences and assess which skills you know contain versus the skills you are more unfamiliar with. With career management, you also want to remain knowledgeable of the job search process, how you can pursue different career opportunities, and what you can do to land a job—which these competencies will guarantee!

Now that you contain all of this fabulous knowledge, start taking the opportunities to develop these skills now! If you would like more information regarding these competencies or have any questions, please come visit us in the Career Center. Our Drop-In hours are listed on our website: We hope to see you soon!

Personality Types and Job Searching

Have you ever thought about how your personality type relates to your preferred method of job searching? If you are not familiar with the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), this personality assessment was developed by Isabel Myers-Briggs and Katharine Myers over 50 years ago. Since then, many people have used this assessment to learn more about their personality type and connect it with their work, personal lives, and how they function on a day-to-day basis.

The MBTI categorizes individuals into the following dichotomies:
  • Extraversion vs. Introversion
  •  Sensing vs. Intuition
  • Thinking vs. Feeling
  •  Judging vs. Perceiving

How you fall into these categories can certainly affect your preferred method of job searching. Job searching often brings people out of their comfort zones and sometimes forces them to use the opposite side of these personality dichotomies. Being aware of your personality type and understanding how it can impact your job search can assist with finding employment after graduation. 

For those who fall in the extravert category, job searching and networking can often be fun and exciting. However, when extroverts do not hear back from a company for a long period of time with no interaction from that company, they could become disgruntled. Extroverts thrive on having people interaction and gain energy from attending career fairs, networking, and simply being around other people. Contrastingly, introverts can enjoy the job search process, but they might be exhausted after having to network with others. They gain their energy from being along and recharging by themselves. If they do not hear back from a company for a while, it might not upset them as much; they may enjoy having time to reflect on their thoughts and feelings.

Individuals in the intuition category can see the bigger picture when it comes to job searching. They can see the end goal for their career from the beginning. When they accept a job offer, they are usually thinking about how it will impact their future career and professional direction. They will probably also consider how a certain job will impact their family, social life, finances, etc. Sensing individuals will focus more on tangible job opportunities and their job search will typically revolve around jobs posted online, in newspapers, or any other outlet that is right in front of them. They want to hear about the job posting or see it for themselves in order to apply for it. Ultimately, they rely on their senses to conduct their job search.

For the thinking vs. feeling categories, this personality trait can influence people when they are making a decision about accepting a job offer. Thinkers will consider the logical aspects of the position; they will use their analytical and objectivity skills to make their decision. Feelers will rely on their emotions and gut feelings when accepting or rejecting a job offer. They will consider how that job could affect others, and they will be much more subjective in their approach.

Those in the judging category will want a job search that is organized and well-planned. They will probably keep a planner/calendar and have their job search process organized well in advance. They might have days set aside for networking, resume tweaking, calling employers, etc. Judgers want to set a plan and stick to it. Perceivers, on the other hand, will be much less structured during their job search. While they might have a plan to call companies one day, they could decide to go shopping for interview attire instead, and this change of plans will not bother them at all. They will typically be less structured and sometimes thrive under pressure.

Using the less dominant part of our personality types is common when job searching, even though it often feels uncomfortable. For example, I am an extrovert and prefer having face-to-face interactions with employers during the job search process. When I have applied for jobs on websites, I want to have some type of personal interaction with the employer rather than just submitting my application online. However, I realize that this face-to-face interaction will not always be an option during the job search process. Therefore, I have to be content with being slightly introverted during the initial phases of job searching. Job searching sometimes stretches us out of our comfort zones, but we can learn a lot about ourselves through the process!

If you want to learn more about your personality type and how it relates to your job search process and/or future career, contact us at (334) 844-4744 and we can give you instructions for completing a personality assessment.