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What employers are looking for in a job applicant?

What employers are looking for in a job applicant?
Finding a job, whether it is the first, a return to work after years at home, or just another step in the career, is never easy. Most job seekers have a distorted sense of an employer’s priorities in making hiring decisions. Too many applicants put the emphasis on educational credentials and ignore the qualities employers seek with the keenest interest. What do employers look for in job candidates? What impresses them the most?
Knowing what an employer wants and expects in job applicants can help them to prepare themselves for the interview. Experienced interviewers typically value maturity and stability. The way an applicant relates to the interviewer and the way he handles interview questions, follow-up calls and call-backs presents opportunities for an employer to observe and evaluate these subtle but critically important qualities. They can not be taught and there is no substitute.
Loyalty is another very important quality an employer is looking for. Even loyal people switch jobs from time to time. But the people who do that once a year for no compelling reason lack loyalty to the companies that took chance in hiring them. Sure, exceptional circumstances warrant quick job switches, but a pattern of short stints is a dead gateway of a lack of loyalty. Employers simply can not afford to invest valuable training time, resources and compensation on workers who routinely stay less than two years.
How an employee grooms and dresses is an excellent indication of his level of self-respect and respect for a professional business environment. Employers are humans, they would rather work with clean, neatly-dressed people than with slobs. Diligence and reliability are the qualities that hardly need explanation. Telltale signs include arriving on time for the interview, calling at the promised time or day, conscientiously following up in providing promised information.
Employers need people who demonstrate enthusiasm and energy. They look for people who are willing to take the initiative to perform their job. If an employer feels that he will be constantly telling an employee to do something, he will likely not hire an applicant. Another reason for why an employer let an employee go is because the worker does not get along with others.
Creativity is very important to most employers, because in business situations with customers, employees often have to respond to sudden changes and unfamiliar problems.

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