What do our title, escrow, mortgage, homebuilder and real estate office clients look for when deciding who to interview and who to hire?
What do our clients grill us about when choosing between candidates?
I was surprised to see just how well our A Team “Must Have” list lined up with the list of qualities employers cited as most important in the Job Outlook 2016 survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE).
The survey asked employers what they looked for when evaluating the resumes of new college grads, and yet, most of the list is identical to our A Team list for real estate-related positions, whether or not a degree is required.
Here are the NACE survey results, as reported in a Staffing Industry article.
The top 10 attributes employers seek on a candidate’s resume:
Ability to work in a team: 78.9%
Communication skills (written): 70.2%
Problem-solving skills: 70.2%
Communication skills (verbal): 68.9%
Strong work ethic: 68.9%
Analytical/qualitative skills: 62.7%
Technical skills: 59.6% “
With the exception of leadership, which we find is less of a resume concern in the real estate industries for entry and mid-level positions, the list above covers the attributes that Southern California’s top escrow, title, mortgage, home-building and other real estate companies tell us are most important to them – and that our clients consistently ask us about as we describe job candidates.
The use of email for client and business communication has made written communication an important skill. Notice how it landed above verbal communication in the survey results? We concur.
How well do you write?
Take a look at your resume and cover letter and give yourself a grade for the quality of the writing: clarity, conciseness, grammar, spelling. You can be sure that your letter and resume package will be viewed as a sample of your writing skills. You did spell check, at least twice and read both documents aloud to yourself, right?
In terms of “technical skills”, the most valuable technical skill you can bring to our industry’s job marketplace is your ability to quickly learn, master and efficiently use new software programs.
Clients in our industry search resumes for familiarity with industry software in experienced candidates, and for signs that all candidates, from entry-level to highly experienced, are “tech-savvy”. Your resume should scream that you have used a number of software programs in different contexts in your personal and professional lives, and most importantly, that you can quickly learn your way around new systems and new programs.
If you don’t feel you have those “tech savvy” skills, find a way to develop them. Take an online class, volunteer to help out with a new program at work, or play around more with the software you use now. Quickly coming up to speed on new technology is only going to get more important.
While are talking technology, we can’t help but mention the simplest of tech skills – typing and basic keyboard skills. We’ve seen more than one smart and capable candidate lose out on a great career opportunity due to an inability to keep up with the typing and keyboarding expectations – with basic computer productivity benchmarks. If you are still hunting and pecking at the keyboard, invest some time in online typing tutorials – now.
So how well does your resume highlight your skills and experience in the 9 listed areas?
Not sure? We recommend asking a friend or colleague to take a hard look at your resume, with the list above in mind. How well do the attributes on the list above show up? How could you make them jump out at future employers?
Your career is a commitment and an investment in yourself. If you recognize that your skills are weak in any of the areas listed on the survey, ask yourself and a few of your smartest colleagues what you can do to upgrade your skills. Think about volunteering with your local professional association, signing up for an online class, or checking out what is offered at your local community college.
Happy resume reviewing –and skill building!