GTRI soft skills

Demonstrate Soft Skills to Land Your Job or Internship!

What do you think it takes to land your dream job? Good grades? A glowing reference? Powerful connections?

If you listed any of the above, you’d be correct. But you’d be forgetting one very important skill. A skill that is overlooked by many, but never by employers: mastery of soft skills.

Your Emotional Intelligence

You may have heard of the term “I.Q” before, used as a measurement for intelligence. But a different measurement, for a different kind of intelligence, is just as important to your success as brain power.

Emotional intelligence, or EQ, refers to your ability to form relationships, with yourself and with others. Emotional intelligence is responsible for your personal characteristics, known as soft skills, which define your value as an employee.

Examples of Soft Skills

Whenever you make it to an appointment on time, you’re demonstrating a soft skill. While NASA won’t contact you just for that, chances are you already have a healthy amount of emotional intelligence.

Soft skills can be broken up into different categories. According to studies, the seven most important soft skills employers look for are as follows:

1. A great work ethic
2. A positive attitude
3. Strong communication skills
4. Time management skills
5. Problem-solving abilities
6. Team-work
7. Confidence

Demonstrating Soft Skills

Great grades can be included in your resume easily. So too can work experience, mastery of the piano and the ability to speak another language.

Soft skills are a little more difficult to demonstrate. After all, it’s easy to say you possess one. How do you prove it? And how do you prove it in a natural way?

For example, consider the following personal statement: “I’m a moral individual who won’t steal your things. I like working in teams so I have somebody to chat to about baseball. I can problem-solve almost any quandary. Just last week I managed to figure out why my WI-FI wasn’t working, thus saving the repair guy a trip. Though, that wasn’t a big deal, as I like talking to people. I’m a great communicator.”

While it demonstrates several soft skills, don’t expect it to land you a job.

Soft Skills and Resumes
Using your resume as a means of displaying your skills is vital.

One way to include soft skills on to your resume is to take a formal class in them. If you’ve worked for any type of business before, you’ll almost certainly have done team-building exercises. Right now, you may even be part of a Toast Masters group. If listed on your resume, this will demonstrate your communication skills are better than average.

The state of Michigan has created a free video program to provide training in soft skills. CLICK HERE to find that video series.

The second way to include soft skills on to a resume is to refer to them indirectly. If you were responsible for implementing a new filing system or accounting method at your old job, you’ve demonstrated a soft skill: leadership.

You can either mention this when talking about job roles on your resume, or save it for an interview.

Demonstrating Soft Skills in Person

Emotional intelligence can be broken up into two parts: personality traits and skills.

While skills are better demonstrated in resume form or as an answer to a question, personality traits will shine through on their own if you let them.

A positive attitude and a passion for working hard are difficult to hide. Before going to any meeting with an employer, it’s best to remind yourself of these skills. Leaving home with a positive focus, a healthy dose of confidence, and the desire to sell yourself will mean you’re in the right frame of mind to make the best impression.

Familiarizing yourself with the social nuances within the American work place is also recommended.

What are your strengths, and what needs work?

Now you understand the importance of EQ, it’s important to self-evaluate. It’s likely you’ll have some personal traits you’re proud of, but have others that need working on.

Go through the seven points above and write examples of times when you’ve demonstrated your emotional intelligence. Doing so will help prepare you for upcoming interviews and many workplace situations you may encounter. It will also give you a good indication of where your strengths and weaknesses may lie.

How to Hire an Immigration Attorney

Are you interested in filing for an H1-B visa in Michigan for 2015?

An H1-B visa allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. If you plan to file for an H1-B visa, hiring an immigration attorney may be in your best interest for many reasons, including:

  • US Immigration laws are some of the most complex, ever-changing laws in the government. An immigration attorney will have experience with these laws and be able to interpret them to your specific application.
  • While regulations and rules apply to all applicants, the facts and circumstances are never identical. An immigration attorney can determine how the law applies to your unique situation.
  • Many immigration issues involve other legal issues with which an immigration attorney should be familiar.

If you think you want to hire an immigration attorney, here are some steps to get you started:

  • Consider how much you are willing to pay an immigration attorney to help with your H1-B visa, but make sure you select your attorney based on quality, not price.
  • Ask if the attorney has worked with any cases similar to yours, to make sure they have experience with your specific case.
  • Choose an attorney who you are comfortable with. Make sure you are comfortable talking to and disclosing information to your attorney, as they will need to properly represent you. If you are shy or embarrassed around your attorney and withhold information, it may compromise your case. It is important to be truthful and comfortable around them.
  • It may be in your best interest to find an attorney who speaks your native language. This may be hard to find, but it is worth asking.

There is much more to consider, so make sure you do your research before hiring an immigration attorney! The first day that H1-B visas are accepted in 2015 is April 1. Visas are limited, so it is important to make sure your application arrives on that day so you have a greater chance for eligibility!

The time to hire an immigration attorney is now! Click here  for more information and our recommendations for hiring an immigration attorney.

GTRI 10 Disastrous Resume Mistakes

10 Disastrous Resume Mistakes (and how to avoid them!)

Everyone knows to include their name, contact information, and work experience on a resume. But what is going to make your resume stand out? What should you avoid to give you the best chance of being chosen for your dream position?

  1. Typos and grammatical errors. This is important for every job candidate to avoid, but for international students, it’s a good idea to add an extra step and have a native English speaker with good grammar skills review your resume for grammar and usage. It’s important for employers to be confident in your command of the English language.
  2. Using passive language. U.S. employers value self-motivation and action. The more your language reflects action, the better. This list of action verbs from The Muse will help make your resume stand out.
  3. Including illegal information. In the U.S. it is illegal for employers to ask certain questions. If this information is included on your resume, you will automatically be disqualified from applying. Illegal information includes:
    1. TOEFL Score
    2. A Photograph Backdrop
    3. Immigration Status
    4. Age/Birth date
    5. Hometown/Home Country
    6. Marital Status
    7. Race/Ethnicity
    8. Religion
  4. Focusing on group accomplishments.  Group accomplishments are a great thing to include on your resume because they demonstrate your ability to work on a team. However, you should focus this description on your role within the team.
  5. Listing tasks instead of problems solved. “Responsible for updating social media accounts,” becomes “Increased social media engagement scores by 13% by implementing new strategy.”
  6. A Hard to read format. Hiring managers generally have a lot of applicants for one position and want to be able to scan your resume quickly at first. Instead of writing in paragraph format, use bullet points whenever possible. In addition, an easy-to-read open sans font is a must.
  7. A lack of imagination or creativity. Hiring managers get tired of reading “resume-speak.” They also get tired of looking at resumes generated from templates. The level of creativity should match the type of position you are seeking. A graphic artist, for example, may have some graphic elements included in their resume, while an engineer would be expected to have a more traditional resume.
  8. A lack of focus. If you’re applying for an IT Specialist position, the time you spent as an intern in the IT Department at the University, or serving as the technical consultant for your favorite student group is relevant. Working in the dish room of the cafeteria is not. Make sure you highlight the experience that is relevant.
  9. Not including keywords. Especially if you submit an application online, hiring managers will likely use software that searches by keyword to sift through the first round of resumes. If you do not have those keywords in your resume, it will not make the first cut. A good practice is to identify the likely keywords being searched by reading the job description carefully, and then making sure those keywords are in your resume.
  10. Not offering references. If this is your first job, list professors in your major area of study, academic advisers, research partners, or anyone else that can speak to your work ethic and knowledge of your area of study. If you have job experience, a supervisor or a co-worker in a position of authority is the best reference.

Download our handy Resume and Interview Guide for more tips!

Things to do in Michigan Over Winter Break

Winter break has finally begun! Now that finals are over you can rest peacefully without nightmares of sleeping through your alarm for that 7:00 a.m. final or the “battery dead” symbol flashing just as you hit “=” on your T-89 calculator. Whether you are traveling or staying in the mitten this holiday season, you can finally take a deep (cold) breath and unwind!

For those of you staying in Michigan (and were too busy studying to plan a fun, action packed winter break) we thought we would get together a list of exciting events that are happening throughout the next few weeks!   Check out the list below and if you attend any, let us know how the events were on our Facebook page here.

Happy Holidays from GTRI!

 

Home for the Holidays with Helen Welch | Concert

Friday, December 19, 2014, 8pm.

Dawson Auditorium, Adrian College Holiday music that warms the heart. Helen Welch, vocalist. Ticketed events.

http://www.michigan.org/events/home-for-the-holidays-with-helen-welch-concert/

 

Holiday Kalamazoo Indoor Flea & Farmers Market

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Special Holiday Market! Come check out the market for some great deals and great merchandise! Choose from lots of holiday items, new and used items, handcrafted items, fresh and local foods, and much more! 75 booths available! Hours: 8am-3pm in Main Expo.

http://www.michigan.org/events/holiday-kalamazoo-indoor-flea/

 

Annie | Theatre Performance

December 16 – 21

Leapin’ Lizards! The world’s best-loved musical returns! Directed by original lyricist and director Martin Charnin, this production of Annie will be a brand-new incarnation of the iconic original. With equal measures of pluck and positivity, little orphan Annie is determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of an orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. With the help of the other orphans, Annie escapes to the wondrous world of New York. In a series of adventures, Annie foils Miss Hannigan’s evil machinations and befriends President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and finds a new home with billionaire Oliver Warbucks, his personal secretary Grace Farrell, and a lovable mutt named Sandy. Featuring book and score by Tony Award® winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, Annie includes such unforgettable songs as It’s the Hard-knock Life, Easy Street, and the eternal anthem of optimism, Tomorrow.

http://www.michigan.org/events/annie-1/

 

All I Want For Christmas

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Detroit apparel, handmade jewelry, artisan food products, custom artwork, prom dresses, lace front wigs, and more. Twenty-five local vendors. Convenient, free parking. Live, holiday music and live art demonstrations. Free admission.

http://www.michigan.org/events/all-i-want-for-christmas/

 

 

The Nutcracker | DeVos Performance Hall

December 12 – 21

Grand Rapids Ballet dazzles with an extravagant production of The Nutcracker. Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30pm and Saturday and Sunday performance at 2pm. December 12-14 and 19-21. http://www.michigan.org/events/the-nutcracker-devos-performance-hall/

 

Hot New Year’s Eve Celebration

December 31, 2014 – Janruary 1, 2015

Hot New Year’s Eve Celebration will host a ball drop at midnight. Live entertainment will include Cobra Starship, The Outer Vibe, Dyllan Murray, and Grand Rapids Got Talent winner, Fire Alarm. There will be a warming tent with free hot chocolate and coffee for all who pass through. Starts at 7pm.

http://www.michigan.org/events/hot-new-year-s-eve-celebration/

 

Midnight on Main | New Year’s Eve Celebration

December 31, 2014 – Janruary 1, 2015

You need to be here to ring in the New Year! This New Year’s Eve, there’s no better place to be than in Downtown Midland! It’s Midnight on Main, but the party begins long before midnight with a full schedule of entertainment and activities. The event features four heated tents, 10 bars, food vendors, Michigan’s largest ball drop and an exciting fireworks display. End the year on a high note and celebrate in style at Midnight on Main! The event is held on Main Street, from Gordon Street to Townsend Street, in Downtown Midland. Ticketed event for ages 21+. Information and tickets available at the website link.

http://www.michigan.org/events/midnight-on-main-new-year-s-eve-celebration/

 

 

 

For more events visit http://www.michigan.org/blog/monthly-events/pure-michigan-december-events-roundup-2/