Three Employment Tips That Pay Off

Whether entering or re-entering the workforce, you need to be strategic to gain employment in this competitive job market. Here are three proven strategies to help you succeed:

TIP 1: Know the Skills Required

According to the U. S. government’s occupation database of 35 job skills needed in today's dynamic job market, four are cited as most important:

1. active listening,

2. speaking,

3. critical thinking, and

4. reading comprehension.

Translated, these mean a successful job candidate needs to be a good listener, a thoughtful speaker, a sound thinker, and a reader who grasps content.

TIP 2: Assess Your Current Skills.

Your Learning Patterns play a vital role in your performance of each of these skills. Use the following questions to assess your skill level in each category:

Active Listening:

  • Sequence: Do you listen carefully when being given directions?
  • Precision: Do you intentionally attend to the information being given?
  • Technical Reasoning: Do you wait until the speaker has finished before jumping into problem-solving mode?
  • Confluence: Do you concentrate on what is being said so you can absorb essential information?


  • Sequence: Did you ensure mutual understanding and confirm details during conversations?
  • Precision: Is the person showing they understand your message?
  • Technical Reasoning: Does your way of expressing your thoughts make sense to you--to them?
  • Confluence: Have you jumbled or seamlessly organized your main points?

Critical Thinking:

  • Precision/Technical Reasoning: Your employer wants to know you can be trusted to make good decisions and work independently. How can you demonstrate your ability to solve problems and analyze a situation? Ask thoughtful questions that get below the obvious surface issues!
  • Confluence/Technical Reasoning: If the opportunity arises, provide examples of creative/practical solutions you have used in other work situations.

Reading Comprehension:

Knowing how to read fluently is the key to success in today’s labor market.

  • Precision & Sequence: Are you able to analyze and summarize what you have read?
  • Precision & Technical Reasoning: Are you able to analyze what you have read and visualize the problem?
  • Precision & Confluence: Are you able to analyze and interpret what you have read?
  • You may need to ask yourself, “How can I forge, intensify, or tether (FIT) my Learning Patterns to read (Precision), organize (Sequence), use (Technical Reasoning), and even creatively apply (Confluence) what I have read to the task at hand?”

TIP 3: Develop the Skills Required.

Your Turn

To make these tips pay off, take a more proactive approach and register for “Standing Out: Empowering Yourself to Employment,” at no charge. Delve deeper, prepare better, and make your application/candidacy stand out among all the rest!

Big picture