Curiosity is essential: How to Make Yourself Stand Out During a Job Search
There are numerous new career opportunities on the horizon, and the labor market is particularly hot, so now is an excellent time to look for a new job, a new company, or a new role.
According to some studies, 40% of people are considering leaving their current job. Furthermore, according to Oracle and Workplace Intelligence research, 85% of people are dissatisfied with their current employer, and 83% are ready to make a change. According to a Visier study, 32% of people have already quit their jobs.
All of this means that, in addition to opportunity, there will be a lot of competition, so you'll need to stand out. According to new research, highlighting your curiosity may be the way to go.
Curiosity Is Essential Now
Managers are looking for you if you're looking for a great new job—and they're struggling to find the right people. According to a recent SAS survey of nearly 2,000 leaders from five industries and six countries, 62% say it's difficult to find those with technical skills, and 60% say it's difficult to find those with the personal attributes they require (think: curiosity).
Curiosity is emerging as an important characteristic. The desire to learn new things, try new things, and discover new possibilities is valuable in many ways, and it is gaining popularity as a go-to skill. According to LinkedIn data, posts that mention curiosity are up 71%, and engagement with those posts has increased 158% from 2020 to 2021. Furthermore, job postings mentioning the need for curiosity have increased by 90%.
According to the SAS study, managers also value curiosity, with 72% believing it is a valuable trait and 51% believing it has grown in importance over time. Leaders also believe it has a positive impact on business (59%) and improves performance (51%).
Curiosity is another trait that is useful regardless of your role. According to the SAS study, c-suite executives (58%), directors and department heads (56%), mid-level managers (51%), and entry-level employees (53%), believe it is important.
How to Make Yourself Stand Out
With so much competition for jobs, saying you're curious won't be enough; you'll also need to connect your curiosity with your impact and the business outcomes you'll drive. Here's how to highlight your curiosity in ways that matter most to hiring managers (all data from the SAS study):
Emphasize your effectiveness.
Curiosity, according to 62% of leaders, is associated with greater efficiency and productivity. Describe how your curiosity drives your desire to constantly improve your methods and deliver results.
Highlight your creativity.
Leaders also associate curiosity with creative thinking (62%), the development of new solutions (62%), and the ability to solve complex problems (55%). Tell stories about how your curiosity inspires you to think in new ways and find novel solutions to problems in your interview. Give examples of how your innovative approaches resulted in positive outcomes in your previous work.
Showcase your teamwork.
58% of managers believe that curiosity is related to effective collaboration and teamwork. And being a team player is always in high demand. Curiosity is associated with empathy, which is associated with positive relationships. When you are truly interested in others, you ask questions, try to understand their point of view, and learn from them.
All of these things contribute to effective collaboration—you value your colleagues, and it helps you bring multiple points of view together and work effectively to achieve shared goals. Make a case for how your curiosity influences the positive relationships you form with colleagues.
Emphasize your fortitude.
Leaders (56%) see a link between curiosity and adaptability as well. Curiosity can help you get through new situations and ambiguity, which promise to be on the horizon for years to come, so it makes sense. When things change, wondering, inquiring, and discovering new approaches all contribute to the ability to reinvent and reimagine. You'll want to share examples of how your curiosity has inspired you to make changes, adapt, and flex as you move into an uncertain future of work.
Emphasize your dedication.
Leaders (58%) believe that curiosity is related to higher levels of engagement and satisfaction. Furthermore, the data suggests that when people report higher levels of curiosity, they are more likely to be engaged and satisfied with their work (71% vs. 54%), and they are more likely to feel motivated to go above and beyond (70% vs. 39%). This level of dedication, effort, and engagement will set you apart. Discuss how curiosity keeps you interested, involved, and energized in your work—and how this motivates you to produce meaningful results.
The opportunity for career advancement is significant today, and now is the time to find work that is inspiring and meaningful—whether in your current company or a new one. Curiosity may be one of the most effective ways to distinguish yourself from other candidates. Tell stories, provide examples, and explain how you are curious, creative, collaborative, effective, flexible, and committed. These will drive your success in a new job, but they will also drive your own happiness, motivation, and satisfaction.
I research and write about careers, recruitment, and work experience. I studied English literature. I am interested in contract and permanent work as a researcher, recruitment consultant, tutor, or job interview coach.
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Dickens is a Researcher and Writer working with Boostlane.
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