5 Things to Do Before Writing Your Resume

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When applying for a new job, a great resume is extremely important in order to get your foot in the door. It is especially important when you think about the fact that on average, about 250 resumes are submitted per each corporate job opening.

While this number obviously fluctuates depending on the industry and company, it still showcases the importance of a strong resume to get you noticed. However, you can’t just dive into writing your resume without any preparation.

So for your convenience, I have compiled a list of 5 things to do before writing your resume that will help you not only with the writing process, but also help to land you an interview.

1. Make a List Of All Your Jobs

Depending on your age, the number of jobs that you have held can vary drastically. Nevertheless, you should make a complete list of every job that you have ever held and list them in reverse chronological order (from most recent moving backward).

If you have worked in a large collection of positions, then you probably won’t list all of them, but you will have a good pool to choose from.

2. Write Down All Of Your Job Responsibilities 

You may think that you can remember every aspect of your job without writing it down, but chances are that you are wrong. You often do much more than you think, so write down all of your job responsibilities for each position in order to get a thorough list to include on your resume.

3. Look Over The Job Requirements Thoroughly

Say you are applying to an open position at a manufacturing company. Well, the job requirements and skills needed for their sales position are going to be much different than that of the mechanic position.

Do your homework! Thoroughly look over the requirements and skills the position needs. Then, include all of the skills that you have that they are looking for. The matching keywords will show that your skills align with what the company needs.

4. Consult Your Performance Reviews

Your manager took the time to let you know what you excelled at and what needed work, so use these critiques to your advantage. Pull key points from your past performance reviews such as your impact on increased sales numbers or what you excelled at. You can then use this information as a key point for a particular position you have held.

5. Find a List of Strong Action Verbs

Do not use boring verbs when listing your responsibilities and accomplishments on your resume. It will sound dull to the hiring manager, and even unimpressive.

Instead, find and compile a great list of strong action verbs that you can use. Words such as “orchestrated” sound much better than “led”, and the incorporation of these terms will expand your vocabulary.

The plus of already having this list put together is that you will save yourself time when you actually begin to write your resume, which allows you to focus on the facts.

Now You’re Ready

So, you’ve followed these 5 steps and have written your resume. Great! What’s next you ask?

Well, once your resume is ready to go you will need to draw up a well-tailored cover letter to accompany it. Then, it’s time to clean up your social media profiles to make them employer friendly. You can alter your LinkedIn account to reflect the resume that you just wrote, as well, which will make your information more consistent.

Once you have all of these things done, it’s time to actually send your application and hope for the best.

About the Author: Leah Rutherford is a freelance blogger specializing in career development, especially resumes, cover letters, and job search. She also writes about small businesses startups and social media, which you can find on her blog, JetFeeds.

 

4 Fears Of The Newest Job Seekers


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We have some good news: Prospects for today’s college graduates are looking up.

According to a job outlook study by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, employers expect to hire 7.8 percent more Class of 2014 grads for their U.S. operations than they hired from the Class of 2013. If you look at international operations, prospects are even more promising, with an overall increase of 12 percent.

Good news aside, as a graduate or soon-to-be graduate, you’re probably still faced with some concerns and fears as you start to look for work. That’s completely normal, and only shows that you are taking a true interest in your future and career.

To help you out with some of your concerns, let’s look at some of the most common concerns today’s graduates are facing and how to overcome them:

Not Finding A Job
With the job outlook looking up, finding a job shouldn’t be too worrisome for you. Just remember that finding a job takes time and patience. It’s best to devote at least one hour per day to looking for a job. If you’re out of school, you should increase that time to two or three hours a day.

Also, remember what you do during school or while you’re looking for a job is very important and can help increase your chances of getting a job faster. Internships, pre-professional organizations, and volunteering at local businesses can give you some real-world experience and networking opportunities to give you a leg up with the competition.

Finding A Job You’re Not Happy With
Coming out of college, it is common to have a picture painted in your head of the perfect job at the perfect company in the perfect location. The truth of the matter is that just doesn’t exist. One job won’t be able to fulfill all of your interests and skills. But you can certainly get close by doing extensive research on the companies where you apply and keeping an open mind when you start working with them. Plus, you have an entire career ahead of you, so be patient!

One word of caution: If you are constantly looking for the perfect position, it can lead to serial job hopping, which is not good. However, if you’ve given your job an honest try and realize it’s not the right fit, it’s ok to start looking for something else. You may even consider resetting your career path altogether.

Becoming The Perma-Intern
Although they may not be the most desirable positions, internships are common for students to take after graduation. Think of it as a “test drive” for both you and your employer. It’s a great way for them to see your skills, and for you to figure out the company fit while gaining some valuable real-world experience.

To avoid feeling like you will be a perma-intern, treat the internship just as you would a real job. Before accepting the position, ask them what their policy is on promoting interns to full-time employees. Once you have the position, prove you are a valuable asset to their team and stay alert of any job openings that come up within the company.

To Stay Or Not To Stay
Many college students want to find a job that allows them to get away from their hometown and explore other parts of the country or world after college. Our advice to you — go for it! You are still young and have very little tying you down, so take advantage of that. Employers also like college graduates who are more flexible to the idea of travel and relocation.

Ultimately, your post-graduate years are a time to explore your career choices and see what else is out there. There is nothing saying you can’t come back to your hometown if you want, but give yourself the chance to be open to new opportunities and unexpected possibilities.

It’s common and acceptable to be nervous about entering the workforce — a full-time job comes with bills and other added responsibilities. However, it’s exciting to be on your own and pave your path for the future. Just take these pieces of advice, and remember it’s about taking everything one step at a time to land your first job.

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

Guide to Investment Banking: Part 3 of 3

Cream of the Crop: The Top Investment Banks 
Investment banks can technically come in all different sizes and shapes. They don’t have to be units within major financial houses. They can stand on their own as relatively small private entities with about 50 employees. They can include only a handful of people, assuming the founders have the skills, connections and reputation to assist corporations and governments in raising capital and advising on major deals.

Bulge Bracket Banks
The big investment banks on Wall Street, where both young and established bankers often want to leave their mark, include Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citibank, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse, UBS, Deutsche Bank and others.

Those institutions, which are sometimes referred to as “bulge bracket” banks due to their huge size and multinational reach, will also have offices spread around the U.S. and world, looking for new business opportunities and trying to stay in touch with past, current and potential future clients.

Smaller Banks
Non-bulge bracket investment banks, which are generally smaller and often privately owned, will locate in large cities with dynamic, cutting-edge industries and firms that need to raise capital for public offerings or advice on M&A deals. San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Houston and other major U.S. cities are popular locations for investments banks, big and small, due to the dynamic and diverse nature of their economies.

The Current State of Investment Banks
Since the financial crisis of 2008-2009, the number of investment bank jobs has actually declined around the globe, as Wall Street and other multinational investment firms retrenched amid market turmoil. The result has been that the already coveted jobs within investment banking are even harder to find and land.

But many of the job cuts, including those on Wall Street, are considered cyclical in nature — and some investment bankers say good times could lie ahead within the industry.

They point to the uptick in IPOs in 2013 — and the prospect of a strong IPO market in 2014.

According to Renaissance Capital LLC in Connecticut, there were about 222 initial public offerings in 2013, valued at about $55 billion. Compare this to 2012, when there were 128 deals valued at $42.4 billion. The 2013 IPO figures were the highest since 2000, when the dot-com frenzy was at its peak. Based on preliminary filings, Renaissance Capital estimates that 2014 has the potential to at least match 2013.

Technology, biotech and pharmaceutical companies have been particularly active in recent years on the IPO front.

But the better news, from the investment banking perspective, is in mergers and acquisitions. M&As have just about fully recovered from the 2008-2009 financial crisis, though the sector has yet to advance beyond pre-recession levels. According to the MergerStat, there were 28,829 M&A deals valued at $2.5 trillion across the globe in 2012, with final 2013 numbers expected to match, or come close to, that approximate level.

As the economy improves and as corporations pile up cash reserves from historically high profits, some investment bankers believe it’s only a matter of time before companies, especially U.S. firms, start to pursue M&A deals more aggressively.

“It’s a fantastic time to be in investment banking,” says one managing director at a Wall Street investment bank. “The M&A market is poised to really improve. Corporations are sitting on a lot of cash that they can put toward acquisitions. There’s a lot of business out there waiting to happen.”

About the Author: Jay Fitzgerald is a business journalist based in Boston. Over the years, his articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, the Boston Business Journal, the Boston Herald and other publications.

 

What Should My Cover Letter Include?

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In your cover letter, include information that truly tailors the application to a particular employer and specific job opening.  Complement and reinforce the qualifications presented in your resume, using words and phrases from the employer’s job listing and/or website.

Here are some points about content you’ll want to keep in mind as you write your cover letter:

  • How you learned of the job or company is important to recruiters and hiring managers, especially if there is a mutual connection that can speak of your qualifications.
  • Demonstrate a good fit with the employer’s corporate or organization culture.  Be sure to back up any assertions of personal characteristics by describing the resulting achievement either on your resume or in your cover letter.  Ideally, the cover letter refers to information found on your resume without being repetitive or redundant.
  •  Go beyond the resume in explaining your situation and career direction.  For example: “My career goals include gaining leadership experience in the delivery of financial advising services in a private business setting.  I am open to relocation for the appropriate opportunity.”
  • Avoid discussing weakness or making excuses; instead, concentrate on what you have to offer.  The cover letter is not the place to confess your mistakes or problems.  For example, if you’ve been laid off, don’t mention that fact.  Instead, discuss what you have done recently to be productive or better prepared for this job (e.g. I have recently completed training in….or I have gained valuable marketing experience volunteering with….).
  • If salary requirements are requested in a job posting, discuss them in your cover letter.  It’s best not to trap yourself by naming a specific amount.  Instead, say something like “my salary requirements are in step with the responsibilities of the position and the expertise I would offer your company.”  If an ad or job posting absolutely requires a salary figure, state a range, such as “seeking a compensation package to include benefits and a salary in the low-to mid-$30s.”

How to Spin the Negatives in an Interview

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A savvy interviewer or negotiator may try to destabilize your presentation (or subsequent negotiation position) by tying your hiring chances, compensation, title, or responsibilities to something negative in your work history.  If you have had some rough patches in your career, or you have had a manager who did not appreciate your style, it is imperative that you own those negatives and turn a question about them into an opportunity to either deflect to a positive story or demonstrate how you overcame those issues.

Here are some examples of negatives and how to deal with them:

You Were Laid Off from a Previous Job

There is no shame in being laid off; in fact, it happens to almost everyone at one time or another.  Come up with a breezy two-sentence explanation for the company’s layoffs, and finish with an upbeat recitation of the opportunities that the layoff presented.  For example, you were able to finish school, you toured Europe, you learned some woodworking, and–best of all–you were freed up to look for more meaningful work at a great company.

The trick here is to have a quick gloss for the layoff and then segue directly into a positive wrap-up that conveys equanimity and readiness to take on the next challenge.  Also, don’t be cheesy, but don’t underestimate a hiring manager’s desire to hear genuine enthusiasm about the new position and the prospective employer.

You Were Fired from a Previous Job

This one is a bit tougher, but you absolutely should have a packaged explanation at the ready when the subject comes up, and it’s likely that it will.  The best explanation will openly acknowledge that the situation wasn’t optimal and look for a way to tell the story with a positive ending.  Above all, you do not want to get bogged down in a long-winded explanation of how you weren’t wrong in the first place or how other folks had it in for you.  Even if you were mostly in the right, most hiring managers don’t want to hear the whole story–and will tend to sympathize with your former manager.

Instead, describe the problem in three to four short dispassionate sentences and then speak about what you have done in the interim to fix your contribution to the problem.  If you were fired for poor attitude, you might talk about how you started volunteering and realized how much you took for granted.  If you were fired for being constantly late, you might talk about how you saw a sleep specialist and now sleep 8 hours a night.  Most important, don’t lie about either the problem or the solution; a prospective employer may check your story and blackball you in the industry or profession if your story doesn’t add up.

You Quit Your Last Job

Assuming you didn’t leave your former employer without notice, there is absolutely no shame to this.  Characterize the decision as one you made, after careful consideration, to give you the time and icus to find a better opportunity at a great company.

If you didn’t quit your last job without notice and for a thinly justified reason–and you know there is potential animosity remaining at your former employer, we suggest employing an approach similar to that given above for explaining a firing.  Emphasize what has happened in the interim to develop your professionalism.

Guide to Investment Banking: Part 2 of 3

 

Are You an Ideal Candidate?

For junior financial analyst positions, the ideal candidate is someone with a bachelor’s degree in finance, business administration, economics, math, accounting and other majors that show a person can sift through and make sense of reams of complex financial data.

But because investment banks deal with a wide array of companies, those with special secondary majors — particularly in biology, chemistry, computer science, and healthcare — are particularly desired by investment banks, which often represent and interact with software firms, biotech and pharmaceutical companies, healthcare institutions and other corporate entities that might be going public or merging with another company.

The bottom line? Having a secondary major in a specialized non-finance field is often considered a major plus if an analyst, associate or vice president can grasp the lingo and intricacies of a client’s product or services, industry officials say.

A grade point average of 3.5 and higher is considered a must for a position at most investment banks, many of which will recruit heavily, and sometimes exclusively, at top-rated colleges and universities. Smaller investment banks may not be as picky what schools people attended, as long as candidates show they’re razor sharp and ready to handle complex investment-bank duties.

In addition, some industry insiders also say they’re always on the prowl for young candidates who have proven they can commit themselves to projects and can work within team environments. As a result, some investment banks favorably view those who played varsity sports or excelled at some other extracurricular activity.

For those wanting to move up the leadership and compensation ladder within investment banking, getting an MBA degree is generally considered critical after someone has served about three years as a junior and senior financial analyst.

Job Interviews and Prep

Never underestimate the importance of job interviews at investment banks, but also don’t psyche yourself out beforehand to the point you act unnatural and come across as uncomfortable, industry officials say.

The entire goal, from the interviewer’s standpoint, is to gauge whether candidates are as sharp as their cover letters, résumés, school records and recommendations may suggest. So, if you’re young, expect lots of questions about your college studies and activities, internships, and prior summer and post-college jobs.

  • If you’ve already worked at an investment bank in a part- or full-time job (or as an intern), expect detailed questions about projects and deals you’ve worked on, as the interviewer will try to gauge the depth of your knowledge about investment banking.
  • Know the names of investment bankers and other executives you have worked with in the past. You may be asked about them.
  • Have mental lists ready about your strengths and weaknesses, and be prepared to talk about them. Questions about careers goals and special fields of interest are also common, as are questions testing skills with spreadsheets and various software programs, including Excel, PowerPoint and other programs specific to various industries.
  • Some investment banks may pose verbal tests to candidates, such as outlining a hypothetical scenario in which a company is trying to buy a similar firm — and then ask how you would approach researching the deal.
  • Have questions ready for the interviewer — about what type of deals you might be involved in as an analyst or associate, or the prospects for promotion within an organization.

By all means, convey a strong desire to work hard and passionately, because that’s exactly what you’re going to be expected to do if hired.

Compensation — What are You Worth?

After all the long hours of research, deadlines, travel and nerve-racking meetings required to piece together major capital and M&A deals, it can be all worth it.

First-year analysts at big Wall Street firms can make salaries of $100,000 to $150,000, with signing and performance bonuses potentially pushing those figures up by 25 percent or more, according to industry insiders and experts.

But the pay goes up almost exponentially in later years as one moves up the corporate ladder. The reason? Commissions off of capital deals can range from 1 to 5 percent for investment bankers — and that means big bucks for mid-level bankers and even bigger fortunes for senior managers.

Every bank has different titles conferred on personnel, and investment banking is no different. But after junior and senior analyst positions usually progress to associates, and then on to vice presidents.

  • Associates generally hold an MBA and have more than three years of experience. Total compensation often ranges from about $250,00 to $500,000.
  • Vice presidents generally have an MBA and a minimum of five years of experience. Compensation hovers between $300,000 and $1 million.

The top-echelon jobs, such as directors, principals, partners, managing directors and department heads — however they might be described — is where the seven-figure salaries start kicking in. The compensation for the very top managers, depending on the size of a bank and its deals, can easily get into the millions or even tens of millions of dollars.

About the Author: Jay Fitzgerald is a business journalist based in Boston. Over the years, his articles have appeared in The Boston Globe, the Boston Business Journal, the Boston Herald and other publications.

 

5 Common Resume Errors You’re Probably Making

5 Common Resume Errors You're Probably Making

As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. And when it comes to your resume, the act of being careless with grammar and spelling screams: I’M NOT REALLY SERIOUS ABOUT THIS JOB.

You have plenty of time to ensure that your resume truly represents your best professional self. Use that time!

For starters, quadruple – nay — quintuple check that resume for grammar and spelling mistakes, or a prospective employer may be a bit confused when you boast that you are  “experienced in allfaucets of Adobe CS6.”

Hiring managers see grammar goofs like that all the time!

Laura Cruz, operations support specialist at Dogtopia, says she once encountered a resume with five grammar and spelling mistakes – from someone claiming to be a “strong proofreader.”

A resume like that earns a one-way ticket to the “no” pile (aka the wastebasket).

To catalog the grammar problems most commonly seen on resumes, automated proofreading service Grammarly analyzed 50 randomly selected resumes. The results: The average job seeker makes 1.5 grammar mistakes on a resume.

Here are the mistakes that occurred most often:

1. HYPHEN USE

Here’s a classic hyphen test. Take the words you are thinking about hyphenating and omit one in your sentence. Would the sentence still make sense?  For instance, in the sentence “Looking for an entry-level role,” neither the term “entry role” nor “level role” would make sense without each other. Therefore, entry-level is hyphenated.

2. VERB TENSE

Lots of folks get confused on whether or not their verbs should be past or present tense. It’s pretty simple: your work history should all be in past tense ( led vs. leads) and if you are employed, your current work description should be in the present tense. Check for consistency!

3. FORMATTING

Attention to detail is huge on this. Your resume should be clean, consistent and easy to read. “Make sure your fonts and bullets are the same throughout the resume,” says Brad Hoover, CEO of Grammarly. If it’s visually way too busy or inconsistent, employers will immediately feel put off.

4. EDUCATION INFO

When it comes to your education info, be consistent with your titles. “Bachelors Degree in Economics” is not correct. It should be either: “bachelor’s degree” or “Bachelor of Arts.” There is no apostrophe in Bachelor of Arts or Master of Science.

“Avoid abbreviations such as B.A., M.A. and Ph.D,” Hoover says, “They are most useful when you are listing several people and their degrees and need to conserve space.”

Writing out the legitimate title will look cleaner. Also, there’s no need to mention your high school diploma if you have a college degree!

5. SPELLING MISTAKES

The most commonly misspelled words in our research included were simple words such as “and,” “planned” and “materials.” In other words, probably “words that the job seeker likely knows how to spell, but finalized in the resume too quickly to proof,” Hoover says.

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at CareerBliss.

About the Author: Ritika Trikha is a writer for CareerBliss, an online career community dedicated to helping people find happiness in the workplace. Research salaries, check out companies and find your happiest job ever. Connect with CareerBliss on Facebook and Twitter.

How To Motivate Your Best Recruiting Tools

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Have you ever done a simple search on Twitter using the terms “‘my company’ hiring”? If not, take a look at just how many people have tweeted from their personal account about their company’s open positions.

The social nature of today’s employees are making employee referrals more important, and relevant, than ever. And there’s no doubt that employees should be among your top sources for recruiting.

A study by CareerXRoads examined 185,000 hires in 2012 and found that, for every approximately 100,000 external hires, nearly 25,000 of the openings were filled through an employee referral program. Additionally, SilkRoad found employee referrals to be the top source of interviews (57 percent) and hires (61 percent).

Employee referrals and specialized job posting tools have made recruiting strategies much more effective and efficient. Here are some ways to make sure you’re utilizing and motivating one of your best recruiting tools:

Give your employees access to social media at the office. According to a study by global law firm Proskauer, 36 percent of employers actively block access to social media sites. With 90 percent of companies now using social media for business purposes, this seems completely counterintuitive. Allow access to social media sites during work hours — work will still get done and you’ll have happy, referral-driven employees.

Keep employees aware of job openings and provide short, concise wording for them to share the job posting on their social channels or via email. It is also a good idea to provide something simple like a whiteboard in a visible area where job openings can be posted for employees to see.

Develop employee referral programs that provide something other than cash incentives. Consider building a “refer for the team” culture, recognize employees for bringing on strong team members, or offer non-cash rewards like mini vacations. Or, you can let them choose from a list of different options to make it a little more personal.

Develop employee referral programs that provide cash incentives. Providing bonuses in the form of cash, gift cards or prepaid debit cards can be a big motivator for some employees to bring in highly qualified candidates for open positions. If this suits your culture better than non-cash incentives, give it a try.

Take a data-based approach to determine what motivates your employees to refer good candidates.Rather than guessing what the most effective way is, survey a sample of employees who make referrals and those who don’t to understand motivators and barriers to participation. Benchmarking your efforts against other firms is also a great way to pick up other tips.

Make the referral purposeful by giving perspective of what it means to bring in someone you know. Working with a friend can make life more enjoyable for your employees because they are bringing in people they choose to spend time with outside of work. These two worlds coming together are exciting and refreshing.

By keeping your best recruiting tools motivated to continue bringing in great candidates, and using the best tools to source for additional qualified candidates, you’ll be well on your way to a more effective and efficient recruiting strategy.

About the Author: Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing and digital PR consultancy for job search and human resources technologies. She is also the instructor of Find Me A Job: How To Score A Job Before Your Friends, author of Lies, Damned Lies & Internships (2011) and#ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010), and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.

 

9 Real Reasons You’re Not Getting Promoted

 

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Have you ever felt stuck at your job? You know, when you feel like you aren’t moving forward in your current position, but you know you’d excel if awarded a promotion.

When promotion season enters your office, it can be an exciting yet stressful time. You personally feel like you have a lot of potential and are worthy of a promotion, but you continuously see your coworkers pass you by. When this happens, you can feel discouraged about your job and lose the motivation to keep trying.

It’s fair to say most people desire the opportunity to receive a promotion at least once in their careers. However, when that promotion doesn’t happen, it can feel pretty painful — especially when one of your coworkers becomes your new boss.

When you don’t receive a promotion, the first thing you need to do is re-evaluate your qualities as an employee. If you’re trying to figure where you went wrong in your position, here are nine reasons you were probably overlooked for a promotion:

1. You lack strong leadership skills.

Not everyone is a born leader, but it is possible to possess traits of a strong leader. When it comes to awarding promotions, the No. 1 quality employers look for is the ability to lead. Those who aspire to be leaders in their company are the ones who are most likely to receive the promotions. However, the goal isn’t enough — you must understand what it takes to be an effective leader.

To be a strong leader, you need to inspire people to accomplish goals, have effective communication skills, and understand the bigger picture. If you can develop these three qualities, you’ll have a better chance of landing a promotion. Good leaders are never stuck in their jobs. They’re always moving forward and finding new ways to improve and succeed.

2. Working hard isn’t enough.

If you think working hard is going to get you promoted, you might want to think again. You can spend countless hours in the office and be the most efficient worker, but this doesn’t mean you’ll be a candidate for a promotion. Employees often get stuck in the mindset that working harder will bring them more results. But what if your hard work doesn’t achieve results? What if your character or attitude is preventing you from being successful? When you’re trying to receive a promotion, you need to look at the bigger picture. The best employees are the complete package. Not only are they dedicated and hard working, but also they have the compassion, positive attitude, and leadership skills needed to be successful.

3. You have a sucky attitude.

No one wants to promote a Negative Nancy or a Betty Brown-noser. If you continuously complain about your workload, coworkers, or the company itself, chances are you won’t be a candidate for a promotion. Employees who receive promotions are typically those who have positive attitudes, work well in a team, and are all around kind and considerate people. If you don’t think of others or the needs of your employer before yourself, you’re probably not going to receive a promotion. You need to have an attitude that makes work a great place to be and gets work done.

4. Your soft skills aren’t up to par.

When it comes down to receiving a promotion, your soft skills will be the difference between you and the other candidate. Sixty-nine percent of employers look at soft skills when making a hiring decision. To make sure you are worthy of a promotion, make sure your soft skills are some of your strongest skills. You need to be an effective communicator, strong team player, reliable, and have motivation. Sure, while you might be an expert in your field, you can’t always depend on your hard skills to take you further. You need to have a balance between your hard and soft skills that will make you the perfect candidate for a promotion.

5. Your initiative took a hike.

Job promotions don’t magically fall into your lap by sitting and waiting. You need to have initiative and motivation if you plan on getting ahead in your career. If you sit at your desk all day pushing papers without a care in the world, you’re definitely not a candidate worthy of a promotion. Promotions are awarded to those who push themselves outside of their comfort zones to accomplish the goals for their company. You have to be willing to take some risks and try new things in order to be noticed by your employer. Drive is huge when it comes to being successful, and if it took a hike a year ago when you first started your job, it’s definitely not going to get you further up the ladder.

6. You don’t think like a boss.

Employers don’t give promotions to people they don’t see as future leaders. If you’re only showing up to work to get paid, how do you expect them to view you as a leader? Most people are passive in their careers and wait for opportunities to happen.

Even if you aren’t in a management position right now, this shouldn’t keep you from thinking like a boss. Great employees look for challenges and opportunities, even when it isn’t required of them. Going the extra mile in your position without seeking reward is what will get you noticed by your employer. You need to be driven, creative, and willing to do anything to bring success to your company. When you think like a boss, you’re able to develop the leadership mindset needed to manage and inspire others. This will help your employer see you are serious about making a difference in the company, thus making them more likely to see you has a candidate for a promotion.

7. You haven’t brought any results to the table. 

Results, results, results! This is the key to success for every company. If you aren’t making improvements or increasing sales for your employer, what’s the point of you moving up in the company? Even if you can’t guarantee results 100 percent of the time (after all, no one can), you still need to make the effort to accomplish goals. Employers want employees who genuinely care about their company’s goals. If you want to stop feeling stuck in your current position, you need to find new ways you can bring results to the table.

8. You’re lacking passion for your job.

Inspiring leaders are incredibly passionate. When you have passion for your work, you put all your energy and time into your projects. Passionate employees also embody the vision and mission of their companies and will go to the ends of the earth to make success happen. This type of passion is exactly what management is looking for when promoting an employee. Passion is infectious and can have a huge impact on your company. Chances are, if you’re going to receive a promotion, you’ll need passion that will inspire others. If you’re lacking this passion, your boss will definitely search for it elsewhere within your company.

9. You have high hopes.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve been with the same company for six months or five years. If you don’t have the qualities your employer desires when looking to promote someone, you’re not going to receive the promotion. Just because you were a loyal employee doesn’t mean you were the best employee. For all we know, you could have sat at your desk for five years allowing minutes to pass you by. People who receive promotions deserve it because of their drive, results, and passion. If you don’t have these qualities, you need to start figuring out how you can become a better employee before expecting a promotion.

Just because you were overlooked for a promotion doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. In fact, missing out on a promotion can provide you with a great opportunity to learn new skills and improve as a professional. If you strongly desire a promotion, evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and see how you can improve from there. This will guide you in the right direction for receiving a promotion.

Have you ever been turned down for a promotion? What helped you improve as an employee?

For this post, Doostang thanks our friends at Come Recommended.