Today’s post is by guest blogger, Kenneth McCall. Read more about Ken at the end of the article.
When people hear the words “easy to train”, the first thing that often comes to mind is a household pet. But believe it or not, the phrase applies to people too. And it is especially relevant to a person looking for a job.
Many people assume that employers limit themselves to a standard and predictable set of criteria when they go about hiring: Where did you go to college? What kind of degree did you earn? What kind of experience do you have? How many years have you worked? What are your talents and skills? Questions like these are always going to be asked. But employers who have hired a lot of new employees in the past and are familiar with the process of assimilating a new person into their workforce think differently. They understand that no matter how qualified a new hire may be, there will always be an initial learning curve of some type……to be followed by several future learning curves as the business continually adjusts to market changes. And they know that the true value of a new employee is often measured in units related to the ease of successfully navigating all these learning curves. To an employer like this, one question usually supersedes all the rest: How trainable is this job candidate?
You won’t hear employers asking a question like that in an interview, at least not directly. Instead, they look for clues…..things about the job seeker that are good indicators of trainability. I like to call them trainability factors. If you are that person looking for a job, it might help you to know what these factors are so that you can highlight them in your resume and during your interviews. Here are some of them:
- Willingness to learn: Employers know that when it comes to trainability, half the battle is the employee’s willingness to be trained. The last thing a company manager wants is to have to train someone who approaches a training session kicking and screaming, or just as badly, goes along with the training but does so with a notable lack of interest or effort. As a job seeker, you should make it clear that you are not a person who falls into this category. Specify in your resume and cover letter that you are a quick learner who is willing and able to ramp up to speed in learning the job. If a particular job entails a certain educational, certification, or licensing requirement, state your willingness to do whatever is necessary to fulfill that requirement. Even better, include examples to show that you were willing to undergo training, certification, or licensure in the past. If you are already aware of specific training requirements for the job you are seeking, then you can enroll in this training before your interview and show by your actions exactly how willing you are.
- Adaptability and flexibility: There is nothing as certain as change. This is especially true in the corporate world, where businesses are constantly adjusting to new technology, emerging trends, and changes in the business market. Employers know that a potential hire who is flexible and can adapt to change easily will become an employee who is trainable. Point out in your resume (and during interviews as well) any situations in your past where you were required to adapt to a new set of circumstances and did so successfully.
- Eagerness and enthusiasm: If you are an enthusiastic person by nature, then make sure you allow your enthusiasm to shine during your job interview. And be sure to mention your eagerness to work and learn prominently in your resume and/or cover letter too. Eagerness is a very attractive characteristic to potential employers. Managers are instinctively more confident in a person’s ability to assimilate in a new job and new environment when they see that the person has an enthusiastic outlook. And they know that this type of attitude will make a person more responsive to training.
- Perseverance and commitment: When the going gets tough, employers want tough employees who will keep going. Learning something new can be frustrating and difficult but a person who doesn’t give up easily can overcome these hurdles. In your resume, give examples of circumstances in your past where you tried your best to persevere through tough times.
- Integrity: It’s not hard to see that people who are prompt, dependable, and always keep their word are looked upon as valuable employees. They are also viewed as very trainable. Put your integrity on high display throughout the job seeking process. Always give honest answers to questions in your interview. And be very honest and forthright when you write your resume as well.
Your skills and your background are important considerations to a future employer – but they are far from the only ones. Employers want individuals who provide the best fit and that usually means individuals who can be trained successfully. When you write your resume with the trainability factors in mind, your resume will stand out because it will speak beyond your skills.
Kenneth McCall is director of IT for storage.com In this role he builds the systems that help customers find the best self storage units for their needs, for example through Kenneth’s and his team’s work customers can find self storage in Chicago and other cities. In his spare time, Kenneth likes to bike and participate in outdoor activities.