As a potential employee, the notion of joining a company that focuses on hiring the best and brightest is very appealing. Coupled with the possibility of working with similarly talented and smart individuals, the proposition seems even more attractive. Of course you want to work with the best of the best. Question is: how do you position yourself as someone they would consider as the top talent for their team?
If you ask ten people what “top talent” means, it can be quite subjective and vary greatly across experience, industry, and company. But there will always be similar themes regardless of any of these factors. Certain winning traits can take you to the forefront of all the applications on their desk, putting you top of the list. Here’s how to set yourself apart from the interview and beyond as a power player:
Execution - Always high on the list for any hiring company, it distinguishes all good performers from the rest. Cite strong examples of how you not only got the job done, but exceeded key metrics of success on a regular basis. Companies hire based on two main factors: can you make money and/or save money? If you have a strong track record of both, you will move to the top of the list as someone who can show up, stand and deliver.
Innovation – Creativity at work is a huge asset, particularly when it solves a problem or anticipates a need that hasn’t even materialized. Your ability to view your role as a set of responsibilities makes you employable; your acumen with going beyond that list to solve the problems of your company and your customers make you an invaluable, highly-sought after talent. Mention examples in your interview, continue to add value long after you’re hired.
Reliability – Top performers do what they say they’re going to do, and go above and beyond the call of duty. Examples of times when you saved the day as well as the results of your consistent top performance go a long way in an interview, and will continue to serve you well in any position across all industries well into your career.
Passion – Without going overboard, a drive for success and energy toward achieving corporate goals is appreciated at all levels. Good energy and examples of how you care deeply about what you do and how you do it will go a long way in an interview.
Top talent is not just about execution and delivery, while top performers can also demonstrate these traits, top talent have the edge because they have that little bit extra that goes a long way. Beyond execution, you find that top talent, seeks out opportunities to do more. Innovating, proactively looking for ways to add additional value, they don’t wait to be told what to do they seize the opportunity to make a difference and do so.
Relationship management – Your ability to work well with your team, manager, clients and investors makes you an invaluable asset. It’s a sought-after commodity and as a candidate it’s one to not underestimate. Citing examples that relate to possible scenarios you might experience with your new job (refer to the job description) will help the company envision you in the role as a valuable team member.
Analytical acumen - A thirst for knowledge and the ability to synthesize and create solutions based on that information is common amongst top performers. They aren’t afraid to ask for help, and they embrace guidance from others. They also aren’t fearful of pointing out where things can improve, and they have the data to back up their opinion. Provide examples of this key trait.
Looking for your next move, or currently in play for a job? Showcase some of the traits above and you’ll have a winning formula to land your next role and to succeed well into your career for years and years to come.