6 Intangibles Make You A Premium

Companies and small businesses are not just hiring bodies anymore, that seem to fit and might move the needle. The right people, the best personalities for the culture, who not only have the skills but bring the intangibles that can impact that culture are getting hired.

corporate ladder

Hiring managers tasked with combing through resumes are seeing a disproportional amount of resumes from people who are not qualified for jobs and in many cases the job postings are not specific and focused either. Hence, it’s attracting non qualified people.

I hosted an expert career panel with Emily Bennington, Monsters Charles Purdy and Corey Harlock and we discussed current career and work trends. A few key takeaways were:

  • Be focused on what you are looking for
  • Make your resume about you, what you want them to know about you
  • Take responsibility for your own professional development
  • Manage your online reputation
  • Do more networking in person
  • Know what kind of boss, team and culture you fit with

Google knows who it needs. Larry Page, Google Co-founder says:

“Google is organized around the ability to attract and leverage the talent of exceptional technologists and business people. We have been lucky to recruit many creative, principled, and hard-working stars.”

Here are 10 Reasons to work at Google posted on their career page. They are very clear about the skills they are looking for and the intangibles that make a really fun culture. Everyone fits the skills and the fun profile.

Putting Employees first at The Container Store has made them a top place to work for the past 13 years according to Fortune’s Top 100 companies to work for! They hire people who fit and really want to work in their team environment.

Navigating the career and  job landscape takes a very entrepreneurial mindset. It requires creativity, instinct, process, risk and focus. Imperative to your success will be doing the research and preparing yourself for that process.  Know yourself really well: your core skills, unique qualities. your accomplishments, what you want to do and who you want to work for.

Bring your skills and these 6 intangibles to stand out and be a premium:

Adaptability:  Workers and employees need to be able to flow with change, adapt to change and navigate change with a can do it attitude. Those that can adapt to personal, policy and leadership change will be valuable assets to their work teams and workplace.

Works Well With Others:  
Working together with people of differing generations, cultures and demographics is a coveted intangible that will become more and more important as our workplace becomes more culturally diverse. Your ‘human relations’ skills be it developing rapport, listening, motivating others or delegating with respect will be what makes you an important part of any team.

Leadership and Initiative:  Owning your job  instead of just showing up daily will make you stand out. You don’t have to be the ‘owner’, president, manager or CEO to show leadership. Just look at all the employees honored for their work in the awesome new program “Undercover Boss.” Most of these workers just have a strong sense of personal pride and work ethic, regardless of their personal lives.

This is pretty simple. Be willing to do more tasks, jobs and take on more responsibility than ever before. Expect it and get prepared for it. Certainly this should have realistic boundaries.

Open-Mindedness:  Being open and flexible to learning new skills, approaches and things, interacting with new people, trying new ways of doing things shows a resilience to do whatever it takes, to do the job.

“Whistle while you work”. Nothing is more attractive and powerful than someone who is a bright spot in anyone’s day and shows up with a positive attitude of gratitude. Leave the personal, heavy stuff at home and come to work ready to greet colleagues and customers and make their day brighter.

As the work place, job search, careers and hiring continue to evolve, it will be the “intangibles” that will ultimately make you stand out and be viewed as and valued as a premium.

Corporate Ladder Photo via Shutterstock


Deborah Shane Deborah Shane has been recognized as a Top 100 Small Business Champion and Top 50 SMB Influencer (Dunn and Bradstreet 2015). She is a career transition author, personal branding and social media specialist. Deborah's book "Career Transition: Make the Shift" is available through all major book sellers.

4 Reactions
  1. *** Adaptability *** Yes! Especially in today’s job market. There are so many people branching out and doing things outside their ‘norm’. That is wonderful though. Sometimes people can just adapt to be awesome at stuff. The ones that throw a wrench in things are people not willing to change for the sake of what they know still “works”. The stuck in their ways types are the ones who will unfortunately fall by the wayside when things pick up because of their unwillingness to grow. Great list Deborah.

    • TV, this one quality, the ability to adapt and change is one of the most coveted, given how things will keep changing. Thanks for your comment. Come back.

  2. Great intangible list! I love POSITIVITY. If we focus on the task at hand and make the best of whatever the situation is the entire workday is improved for everyone. Most of the time we can’t change the struggle, we just have to go through it and learn along the way. If you smile and don’t let it take you down, it goes much easier.