Monday, May 4, 2009

Are YOU competent?

I should re-phrase: Are you deemed competent by potential employers? Here's what I feel are "The Big 5" most marketable competencies in the current economy:

Competency #1: Salesmanship ability, in particular, ability to grow existing business, open new business and cultivate relationships. In a poor economic climate, there's nothing like the guy/gal who can CONSISTENTLY 'create revenue out of thin air.' These people are invaluable and directly impact a company's bottom line.

Competency #2: Ability to identify areas for cost cuts and execute a plan to realize the cost savings immediately. If you're not generating revenue for the company, might as well help them save money! Yet another critical contribution to the company's bottom line.

Competency #3: Knowledge of and experience with 'green' or sustainable projects. Sustainability is a HOT topic in business at the moment because of the social benefits it affords the company. A little positive publicity surrounding 'green' initiatives never hurt!

Competency #4: A well-rounded background and skill set for wearing many hats within an organization. As companies down-size, remaining employees often take on additional roles/responsibilities. In other words, a jack-of-all-trades, but master of none.

Competency #5: Technological savvy and propensity for learning new technical skills, regardless of title/role. There's nothing like the ability to leverage software to enhance time management, efficiency and effectiveness across the board. Remember the old addage, "Work smarter, not harder."


  1. Hi Dave,

    I am not sure I agree that these are the top 5 core competencies for job seekers today. I agree that competency #1 is critical for job seekers, however I would change the name from salesmanship to Driving Results.

    Competency #4 is not a competency. It is definitely a plus and well make a job seeker more marketable to have a well rounded background that they can draw from for interviews to job offers and success on the job. But it is not a core competency for job seekers right now.

    Competency #3 Green is definitely in, however not a core competency. Green industry organizations will be looking for experience, but as quickly as green is growing, that is not a requirement for most people looking for employment right now.

    Here are the 7 Survival Skills I shared with my readers back in November 2008. These are not necessarily core competencies but they are critical for job seekers seeking employment.

    I saw your question on LinkedIn. Thanks for the question.

    Interview Guru

  2. Thank you for your feedback, Darlene! Here are my thoughts:

    1) It is important to note that while companies are down-sizing, many are actually expanding their sales force to drive revenue (this is a FACT, not an assumption). Hence, the importance of salesmanship ability in this economy, as it relates to obtaining gainful employment quicker than the average back-office employee who drives results.

    2) I've met one-too-many people with an entitlement psychology, who view the job description as the gospel. "If it's not in the job description, I'm not doing it." Those candidates who are READY and WILLING to go above-and-beyond the call of duty, are better positioned to receive the job offer. I advise my clients to offer the following in the interview: "I'm ready and willing to go above-and-beyond the duties listed in the job description, as I understand the importance of wearing many hats in this economy." IT WORKS.

    3) In regards to the "green" employee, anyone who champions a "green" cause ("green" committee, product re-engineering, savings attributed to "green" practices/policies, lean six sigma projects, etc.) stands out from the pack. If there are 10 qualified candidates for a position, I reckon the 1 candidate with the aforementioned experience may tip the scale in his/her favor. This is my gut feeling.

    I encourage discussion, so thank you for taking the time to post a comment.