Qualities Employers Seek in Job Applicants - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Qualities Employers Seek in Job Applicants

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, Billings has a 3.9% unemployment rate. But even with that low of a rate, Billings still has nearly 1,200 jobs available, according to Billings Job Service. So, we spoke to managers in multiple industries to see what qualities they seek in a job applicant.

"The handshake I think is the first thing that comes off too. A good strong handshake and confidence and knowing that you can do a good job for someone," says Courtney Kirkwood, owner of Blush in Rimrock Mall. "As long as you have a good personality and good customer service skills, I think anyone can do this job."

Managers in the retail, hospitality, and fitness industries all agree how important a first impression can be.

"First impressions are huge. We want to make sure when they're coming in for an interview that they're dressed nicely. You know, granted, we're a health club so half of our staff are wearing athletic wear but we still to make sure that they are dressed professionally," says Angie Seifred, Assistant Manager at Billings Athletic Club.

"First impressions are everything. I can tell almost immediately, just intuitively, whether they'd be a good fit for the Pita Pit," says Kristi Grob, owner of Pita Pit. "I love someone who comes in with lots of spirit. Looks me in the eyes, smiles! Smiles are huge!"

And that first impression extends to your social media page. Many managers stress how big of a role social media plays in the hiring process.

"One of the first things I do is when I get an applicant, I go look on their Facebook and again, that's first impression," says Kirkwood.

Seifred says "social media does definitely play a part in it. We want to make sure they're good taste, their pictures, their posts as well."

While some applicants fear their lack of experience is an issue, these manager says it's not an issue, unless the position requires a certification.

"It doesn't matter because I love to train and I have some great crew members that help me train and as long as I see the ambition is there, we're good to train," says Grob.

"I would rather train someone from scratch that has amazing customer service skills because then you can train them how you want the job done," says Kirkwood. "Being able to, as an owner, step out of your business and know that it's going to be exactly as if you were watching it."

Another great quality, following up after an interview.

"If they're definitely following up to see how their interview went, it's a good plus for us that we know that they will be doing their job well," says Seifred, who says following up on referrals is huge for a front desk position at the BAC.

If you're looking for a job and need help creating a resume or want to see job postings, just visit Billings Job Service.