How do you develop an eagerness to learn?
The truth is that employers today are looking for employees who are willing to learn.
An applicant who is willing to learn tells employers that they are coachable and self-motivated to grow in their careers – making them stand out among other candidates.
However, it’s not enough to simply write ‘willingness to learn on your CV’ or your cover letter. You have to demonstrate this habit throughout your professional and personal life not just when facing your hiring manager.
In this article, we will look at what it means to exhibit a ‘willingness to learn’ and how to include that on your resume especially if you are pursuing new career paths.
What is a Willingness to Learn?
Having a willingness to learn is a key behavioral trait that helps us succeed in life. Generally, it refers to being open to or seeking out new skills, information, and experiences that improve our lives whether it be our personal or professional life.
It is common for us to be eager to learn from an early age.
For the first five years of our lives, we explore our environments and absorb everything that we see and experience. We then go to school where we develop skills, continue to learn and discover our abilities. Yet, completing formal education doesn’t signify the end of learning.
Adults who are open to continued learning find it easier to adapt to a changing world. When you’re open to continual learning or research, you can form stronger relationships and develop core skills such as time management, communication, and emotional intelligence.
Having a willingness to learn is an essential ingredient when it comes to career development. If you want to progress professionally, it is important to demonstrate your willingness by engaging in training and looking for ways to learn new skills and knowledge or new technology related to your business and the industry within which it operates.
You may remain in the same job for a significant period of time, but the tools and procedures that help you get the job done will change after some time. Being open to learning new things will help you adapt to the changes in your job and help you excel in your career.
Willing to Learn Synonym
Below are the synonyms of the trait, willing to learn:
- eager to learn
- having a desire to learn
- ready to learn
- thirsty for knowledge
Why is a Willingness to Learn Important?
When you start working at a new company you will need to take time to learn how things work at that company.
The truth is that no one comes to a job already knowing how everything is done especially when it comes to the company’s process and procedures. All employees need to learn the ropes, figure out their way around the company, and even learn basic information like co-worker’s names and responsibilities.
An employer is likely to hire an employee who exhibits the ability and willingness to learn because such employees integrate into the company’s culture quickly and help a team move forward.
A willingness to learn doesn’t mean that you’re an academic genius. Rather, it means that you’re committed to learning. The great news is that anyone can demonstrate this behavior regardless of their qualifications.
When you demonstrate your willingness to learn and put it in action, you exert effort towards developing your skills and knowledge further. This behavior is crucial if you want to be promoted and given additional responsibilities in the workplace.
How Do You Show and Develop an Eagerness to Learn?
1. Demonstrate Your Eagerness
Some companies are committed to providing their employees with learning opportunities.
Therefore, one of the best ways that you can show that you’re eager to learn is to take advantage of those opportunities. They may be in the form of additional resources, courses or workplace training.
Also, you can feed your curiosity by taking informational interviews and job shadowing opportunities. Keep asking questions to show that you’re willing to learn new things.
You can also attend seminars, get certifications or enroll in online courses.
2. Don’t Stop Developing Your Skills
Make it your aim to frequently update your skills on your resume. Acquiring new skills and developing your knowledge can give you an edge within your profession. We exist in a world where job requirements are frequently changing. Therefore, it’s beneficial for you to keep on updating your wide range of skills to stay ahead.
3. Look for Challenges
The best way to learn new skills is to start doing something new. Don’t postpone your personal or professional projects when you can tackle them now.
Look for ways to continuously challenge yourself, so that you can develop and grow in your career. One of the ways that you can do this is to stop procrastinating.
Don’t put off challenging tasks in favor of mundane tasks. Look for tasks that push you out of your comfort zone, so that you can challenge your strengths and address your flaws.
4. Learn Lateral Thinking
Lateral thinking generally refers to thinking outside the box. This habit helps you look for innovative and improved solutions that boost your life personally or professionally.
Every great thing that we have today started from a single idea, or a ‘eureka’ moment. As such you shouldn’t restrict yourself to conventional methods when it comes to learning or sharpening your skills.
Look for what works for you within your industry and apply it to your life.
5. Be Open to New Experiences
When your employer asks you to take on new tasks at work, try your best to accommodate them. It can be a new task with a new software or technology. Whatever it is, it will beneficial to learn these new skills by giving them a try.
One of the biggest impediments to trying new experiences is our mindset. Thoughts such as “I can’t do this,” significantly impedes your ability to accommodate new experiences. Yet, the work environment is a rich ground for learning new skills.
It is important to develop a positive attitude and get over your fear of failure if you want to achieve true career success.
6. Gain Initial Knowledge
Gaining initial knowledge about a subject channels your inquisitiveness within the right direction and helps you become willing to learn. Once you have gained this initial understanding, you will know what questions to ask, which in turn will make you more focused to learn.
Thankfully, it’s easier now than it ever has been before to gain initial knowledge of a topic or subject through technology and e-learning platforms.
7. Surround Yourself With the Right People
Who do you spend most of your time with?
Those people who make up your inner circle have a direct influence on your life path and behavior. As such, it’s important to surround yourself with people who are all about personal and professional growth.
Such people will help you stay motivated to continue your own self improvement.
Surround yourself with people who challenge you to also raise the bar in terms of your thinking. You can do this by networking more intentionally. Start with friends, family and community members. The goal is to look for successful people who have achieved goals that you also want to accomplish. You can look for:
- People who have more experience then you
- A peer that thrives in the skills and accomplishments that you struggle with
- Someone who’s following the same path as you
Including these types of people in your social circle helps you share your life with open minded individuals. They can share the knowledge and experiences that you may need to learn to accomplish your goals.
8. Find More Meaning to Life
A lack of curiosity can make your life feel boring and repetitive, especially if you’re not willing to learn new skills. When you have the desire and zeal to find meaning in everything around you, you develop a natural curiosity.
A curious minded person they understand that there’s more to life than simply existing. You’ll keep discovering ways to enjoy and experience life.
Furthermore, research shows that there is a connection between curiosity, learning and memory. People who are naturally curious find it easier to learn and are better at retaining information.
Open your mind to learning new skills and experiencing greater things from life.
9. Take Action to Stay Motivated
Motivation is the fuel that keeps you learning and focused on self-improvement. When you set a goal and accomplish it, you’ll be motivated to realize more goals.
The sense of pride and satisfaction you get from accomplishing something makes life exciting.
You can also start small and build up your motivation, for instance, you can choose goals that interest you and track your progress.
This provides a great visual representation of the steps you’ll take to come closer to your goals. The sense of accomplishment that you get when you complete a goal will make you more driven, motivated, and naturally curious.
10. Get Better at What Makes You Happy
Your accomplishments and achievements make you happy and more satisfied with life and the jobs you take on.
When you show a willingness to learn and go out of your way to improve yourself, you’ll get better at what you do and that will boost your self-confidence.
11. Get Interested
When you are genuinely interested in something, other people begin to find you interesting as well. People who have information to share about a topic will also be more willing to engage with you.
By asking the right questions you demonstrate your willingness to learn and makes it easier for you to confidently talk to people of higher authority in the workplace.
When you become interested, your mentors will notice your strong sense of curiosity. Your ventures will also appeal to your mentors, employers or leaders, as it demonstrates your ability to continuously evolve and grow.
12. Have Examples Ready That Show How You’re Continually Learning
Employers want proof that you’re a lifelong learner. For instance, if you’re looking for a job as a digital marketing strategist, the interviewer would want to see a post that shows you’re on top of current market trends.
Most industries are frequently bombarded with changes in tech tools and industry standards. As such, it is vital for employees to go out of their way and learn new changes without their managers ordering them to do so.
One of the ways that you can demonstrate that you’re a continuous learner is by pursuing the necessary certifications. Actively seek growth by pushing yourself to learn a new skill and listing it on your resume.
13. Ask Questions
You should put yourself in a place where you can easily ask questions.
An environment that welcomes curiosity provides you with the space to learn as much as you want. When you’re in such a place, you can open your mind to learn more.
Remember that it is important to ask questions in interviews as well. Most job seekers think that an interview is a one-way experience. But that’s far from the truth.
When you ask highly thought-out questions, it will communicate your willingness to learn during an interview. Also, it will give you a chance to learn more about the company or job description during the hiring process.
One question that you can ask is whether the company offers employees continued education opportunities or business resources related to the job. This will show that you’re interested in furthering your education and are passionate about continuing to learn after you get the job.
How Do You Say That You Are Willing To Learn?
It’s important for you to show employers that you have a willingness to learn as a part of meeting the job requirements. One way that you do this is by demonstrating that willingness on your resume.
Let’s take a look at how you can demonstrate your willingness to learn on your resume.
1. Highlight your hard and soft skills
You can show your potential employer your willingness to learn by highlighting your most relevant hard and soft skills, and provide details of how your skills have contributed to your career progression.
For instance, a computer systems analyst may convey their willingness to learn by describing how they leveraged their technical skills to learn new software building applications or how they positively took on challenges that relied on their hard and soft skills like communication, teamwork, and leadership.
2. List Additional Certifications and Credentials
List additional certifications or credentials that you pursued for your professional development. Any certifications that you’ve earned on your own should be in your resume, to demonstrate your initiative to look for career development opportunities, which is evidence of your willingness to learn.
3. Describe the Results of Learning New Skills
Describe your past accomplishments or the results you got when you applied your new skills to contribute to the growth and fulfill the objectives of your previous employer.
For example, describe how a required project assignment motivated you to learn a new skill, so that you could tackle the project in a timely manner and in accordance to the organization’s objectives. Explain how what you learned positively impacted the project to show your potential employer how your growth mindset will benefit their company or business as well.
4. Provide Specific Examples of Your Accomplishments
You should highlight some specific examples of your accomplishments to communicate your motivation to learn.
For example, provide details around a skill you learned and applied to develop your personal and professional life. If you had to use a specific tool to complete a project, then you could highlight it on your resume.
5. Give Examples of Your Professional Development
If you have previously participated in professional development training or continuing education, you should include it on your resume.
For example, if you hold a certification that you have to continually renew and the process requires continuing education credits, you can showcase this on your resume. This proves to employers that you take your career seriously and are committed to keeping your credentials current.
It’s important for job seekers to provide details to show that they are coachable, adaptable, and eager to fulfill the job expectations.
The following examples will give you an idea of how to demonstrate that you want to learn on your resume.
Example 1: Entry Level
California State University 2019, Bachelor of Arts in Education
- Designed and implemented a reading curriculum during senior year practicum that led to 17% increase in student reading achievement.
- Contributed to an increase in math scores by utilizing technical skills to create an online classroom for math activities, assessment and progress monitoring.
- Achieved scores in the 97th percentile on the California Basic Educational Skills Test (CBEST) and in the California Teacher of English Learners (CTEL) to obtain a residency certificate.
- Currently completing training to earn a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification.
Experience, Skills and Credentials Example
The example below demonstrates a professional’s results due to their willingness to learn and overcome challenges in their career paths. When job candidates highlight skills and experience relevant to the job description is an effective way to demonstrate their willingness to learn.
Example 2: Professional Level
Technical Support Specialist
Alfenz Software Solutions Inc.,| March 2016 to Present
- Conducted employee surveys to identify issues with operating efficiency and use the information to implement relevant solutions.
- Provided technical support to clients through applying technical procedures to solve software and operational problems that led to 40% increase in customer satisfaction reviews
- Developed alternate solutions for streamlining backend activities, which led to an increase in employee productivity and a 30% achievement rate for data analysis KPIs
- Ability to harness tools such as Power BI to create solutions that enhance operational efficiency
- Proficiency navigating OS systems, hardware applications, online and cloud functions to help customers resolve connectivity, performance, and communication issues.
- Continuing education in software development and data analysis to keep certification and provide top-notch tech support.
- Oracle Certified Professional
- Google IT Support Specialist Certification
- Certified Scrum Master
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Certification
The Bottom Line
If you want to succeed in today’s competitive world, then it is important to discipline your mind and commit to continual learning through embracing new technology, keeping abreast of modern trends, studying industry standards, and utilizing resources.
Don’t simply settle for what you know.
Be open to learn skills that add value and always be on the look out for new ideas. Position yourself to be in a place where you’re always learning something new.
Success is all about staying curious. This curiosity fuels your drive to progress and motivates you to look for innovative ways to handle challenges.
When you are learning fresh and new ways of doing things, you have the ability to view the world in a different perspective.
The knowledge you obtain will help you see connections that you hadn’t noticed before. It will also be easier for you to pursue career development and jobs, when you commit to continually reinventing yourself by upgrading your existing skills and acquiring more information.
Remember to include your accomplishments on your resume when you approach companies during the hiring process. That way, companies and employers that are looking for committed learners can easily see that you are a great fit even before the job interview takes place.