When updating a resume or preparing for a job interview, what are the main points you usually focus on?

If you’re like most, the focus will be on two main things, skill level and experience. However, recent studies show that these attributes are actually lower on a potential employer’s priority list than you might expect. This study, conducted by Hyper Island, which included CEOs and managers from Fortune 500 companies, showed that an individual’s skill set was the top priority for only 39{db95e0fd77ae6d141d4535e2bf7b464d98e4151322120f553d7786be9a7303be} of employers. Look over that resume again. You probably put down something that shows you can “get the job done.” Unfortunately, “drive” is only the priority for 14{db95e0fd77ae6d141d4535e2bf7b464d98e4151322120f553d7786be9a7303be} of employers.

The information from this study suggests that what most job hunters offer a potential employer is not what that employer is actually looking for. It’s no wonder why getting interviews and positions can be such a challenge.

So what are employers looking for? What should you use to captivate and land your next job? These are the 3 main attributes employers are looking for:

1. Personality

Forbes released a “Top 15” list of the most desirable traits in an employee. 8 of the 15 (more than half!) were exclusively behavioral traits with no “direct” connection to the job or performance itself. 6 of the 15 were personality traits that dealt directly with job performance, leaving only 1 that involved job performance and experience itself. This should be no surprise. While employees may be able to overlook the awkward, difficult, or inappropriate behaviors of other employees, outside clients and vendors may not be so forgiving. The behavior of employees can significantly cut into the bottom line, whether it is lost time and turnover internally, or lost clients and damaged reputation externally.

2. Communication Skills

When communication suffers, performance suffers. Imagine a game of telephone at a retirement home. If the communication is poor, the vision of the company will degrade more and more, resulting in a sub-par product or service that looks almost nothing like what was originally intended.

3. Interpersonal Skills

Johnson & Wales University published a resource for their graduating seniors listing the top 10 most valued workplace skills. It listed the items you would expect: communication, organization, computer, critical thinking, mathematics, and so forth along with a description of each. What was unexpected was that every item, even mathematics and computer skills, included an aspect of interpersonal dynamics. Even in technical positions, the ability to deal effectively with other individuals was seen as a vital component.
All people want to work or share an office with  individuals they know, like and trust. This is the essence of rapport. Developing rapport takes time and patience. Once you’ve established rapport with a co-workers and superiors they will view you more favorably, recommend you to others, and support your ideas. And when someone has established rapport with you, you’re likely to do the same. Creating team rapport increases productivity.  Building rapport in the office is essential for job security and career advancement.

Employers are tired of dealing with morale issues and interpersonal conflict. Demonstrating a high level of interpersonal intuition and common sense cordiality will take you far in today’s job market.

In short, establishing rapport with people can open doors, create opportunities, and lead to excellent relationships. Unlock the key to career advancement by discovering how to relate to anyone, regardless of their age or gender, in our FREE eCourse “Three Keys for Building Rapport”.

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