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Because you’re a Toastmaster!

Four out of five surveyed in the National Association of Colleges and Employers NACE) Job Outlook 2016 said they look for leadership skills on the candidate’s resume. (http://www.naceweb.org/about-us/press/employers-seek-leadership-teamwork-skills.aspx ).

Employers rated leadership skills second only to academic major when deciding which candidate to hire. (Major was rated 4.0 on five scale, “has held leadership position” 3.9, and high GPA 3.5. Involvement in extracurricular activities got a 3.6.)

Employers also want to hire employees who communicate well, both orally and in writing. Can Toastmasters help with jobs and promotions?

We “enable members to improve communication skills in a safe, encouraging, supportive environment.” That’s our purpose. TM membership and accomplishments are important to highlight in a resume or during an interview. They highlight communication skills.

Table Topics promotes “thinking on your feet,” which should be mentioned during  interviews for jobs in sales or management. Did you compete in Club, Area, or higher Table Topics contests?

Management positions demand time awareness and control. When you serve as a Meeting Toastmaster you practice time-control skills and learn to plan efficient meetings – including a “Plan B” for when a speaker doesn’t show.

Is critical thinking a factor in the job? It is for almost all jobs involving responsibility for money, budgets, or management. Evaluation of speakers and evaluation of the meeting enhance critical thinking and sharpen listening skills.

How do we show that we’ve been trained? The Competent Leadership Manual documents your practice, and achieving the Advanced Communicator Bronze documents your “graduation” from basic leadership skills development.

Not all employers know about Toastmasters in any depth, though, so explain what you’ve learned and what you’ve accomplished in Toastmasters. It’s best to slant the presentation toward the skills that are highlighted in the job description; “I listen far more effectively now, and can give solid feedback because of my experience evaluating 38 speeches during the last 18 months.”

Toastmasters helps us overcome fear of public speaking. It also offers documented leadership training (and awards) and extemporaneous speaking practice. Toastmasters improves confidence and general communication skills.

Toastmasters membership can help you reach career goals, too.

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