Jon M. Huntsman School of Business

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Monday, November 7, 2011

The difficulties of quantifying abstract skills

When I was in high school, my mother, as a joke, gave me a t-shirt that said, "My mommy says I'm special." I don't often wear it in public.

I would wear a shirt that says, "My boss thinks I'm exceptional." Or “outstanding.” Or “dependable,” “smart” and “talented.”

Paul Lewis Siddoway
I would even consider wearing it to an interview. Especially if my boss signed it.

Okay, maybe not.

It seems like getting a job is just one struggle after another. Finding openings is hard enough. Standing out in relation to the crowd and actually getting an interview seems impossible at times.

Jeff Haden, a blogger for BNET, part of CBS's interactive business network, came up with some suggestions on things businesses are looking for. Essentially, Haden says uniqueness, social smarts, adaptability, inquisitiveness, focus, the urge to tinker with the status quo, a desire to prove they (the employee) are right, public praise of others, and complaining only in private are some of the qualities businesses are looking for.

That's great. My question is, "How do I show potential employers that I'm focused?" Or, "How do I show in my résumé that I have social skills?"

Any suggestions?

- Paul Lewis Siddoway

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