While the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 caused major disruption to the U.S. workforce, 2021 had to get itself in on the commotion, causing what many experts are predicting to be "The Great Resignation." 

The Achievers Workforce Institute’s 2021 Employee Engagement & Retention Report found that 52% of employees intended to look for a new job this year, so job-seekers may only have one shot to prove they have the skills necessary to grab a hiring manager's attention. However, the most valued skills may not always be the easiest to convey at first glance.

Here are some tips for showcasing skills that hiring managers value most. 


1. Highlight past success.

The best indicator of future success is past success. Be ready to spotlight your past achievements in measurable and quantifiable ways that prove your direct involvement made a big impact on business objectives. 


2. Detail problem-solving abilities.

Describe the situations when you had to take complicated problems and create solutions. Sure, managers expect you to tackle the day-to-day needs of the job description, but what makes you stand out is your ability to solve issues skillfully and thoughtfully as they arise. 


3. Reinforce your strong work ethic.

While it’s nice to know someone is willing to put in long hours when necessary, long hours don’t equate to a strong work ethic. Showcase the personal values that define your dedication, discipline and hard work, such as not straying from difficult tasks at hand, maintaining focus, working efficiently, being tenacious and being dedicated to quality work product. 


4. Emphasize adaptability.

If there’s ever been a time to prove you can go with the flow, it’s now. Companies — and employees — are being forced to adapt not only to changing work environments but to realignment of company goals and focus. Highlight your ability to pivot strategy with a positive attitude and still achieve desired results. 


5. Show open-mindedness.

The ability to think critically and rationally starts with being open-minded. Find ways to describe how you have optimized success for your team and business by challenging your existing way of thinking and opening yourself to ambiguity.


Jennifer Ragsdale is senior vice president of human resources for publicly traded Uniti Group of Little Rock and a past president of the Central Arkansas Human Resource Association. Email her at jennifer.ragsdale@uniti.com.


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