July 11, 2013

The Right Mindset to Land a Job

Get the job signIt can be difficult to distinguish, among the myriad of so-called expert job search advice, the proven and the unproven advice, and to separate the wheat from the chaff. But a collection of recent studies of top employers from all over the world are helping to reveal what most employers want to see and hear from a job candidate most of the time. What that research has revealed is that the mindset of a candidate tends to trump skills nearly every time. When forced to choose between a candidate who has the perfect set of qualifications but lacks a desired mindset and one with the desired mindset but deficient in the proper skills, almost all employers reported to choosing mindset over skill set.

That preference extends to the realm of pay raises and promotions. More than 90 percent of employers said that they would choose an employee displaying the proper mindset over one with the right skill set for a raise or promotion. What’s more, employees demonstrating a preferred mindset generally tend to make more money.

When it comes to earning the respect and confidence of your potential or present employer, your mindset is shown to be the most important aspect considered. Mindset doesn’t simply mean your attitude at work, it is your whole perspective on life. Your mindset affects your daily thinking patterns, your beliefs, and everything that you say and do. Employers want employees with a “global” mindset; a mindset that ensures that an employee is not simply content with focusing on the here and now but will use their natural sense of curiosity and openness to new ideas to develop innovative solutions.

In addition to finding inspiration in a wide array of experiences, employers want employees who will do what’s right and be good to others. The underlying mindset that powers the rest is that of grit. Regardless of the economic, ethical, or financial climate, employers want employees who will excel under any circumstances. Growing through adversity really shows an employer your true capacity as a leader.

Through the concept of mindset, you can construct a laundry list of adjectives to help define those qualities that should shine through in everything you think and do in order to be most easily recognizable within large groups of competing peers. This list should include words such as curious, considerate, resilient, tenacious, focused, moral, generous, honest, fair, courageous, creative, agile, open, and adaptable.

Demonstrate these mindset qualities in the way that you present your past experiences to your hiring manager. For instance, to demonstrate the trait of generosity one might note how he or she volunteered free time to help new hires adapt to their new job leading to a sharp decrease in short-term turnover. Through advertising, demonstrating, and living a positive mindset, you can stand out, receive a higher salary, and get quicker promotions than others even if they have superior qualifications.


Read more in Job Search Advice

Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.