24 April 2014
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Identifying your skills

 

It is important that you identify and appreciate what you consider to be your skills, abilities and personal qualities. Only when you do this can you then confidently demonstrate these on your CV and be able to market yourself effectively to potential employers.

An added advantage of assessing yourself is that you will be able to identify your weaknesses, and thereby plan to improve and upgrade them.
building your skill sets

Being able to communicate your work experience and knowledge to an employer and also match their requirements is vital for successful job hunting. By using a little time and effort to assess yourself it will be easier later on for you to match and demonstrate your abilities to the needs of recruiters.

What is a skill
A skill is something that you are good at doing, it could come naturally to you or be something you have learnt through experience or training. Having the right skills can go along way to helping you get the job you want.

How to assess your skills
Start off by creating a list on a piece of paper of what you believe you are good at. Do this by reviewing your current and previous jobs and listing particular career skills you have gained, put them under different topics headings.

List what you have achieved to date and those points you feel you did well in and can demonstrate, give examples of and also prove.

Your qualifications and training
List in detail all of the training and qualifications that you have gained. Academic qualifications are a demonstration of your abilities and there a asset that can help you when applying for jobs.

Job related skills
These are pretty self explanatory, if you have a skill that is related to the job you are after then highlight it. A very simple example of this would be if you were a experienced architect and was going to apply for a architects vacancy.

Specialist skills
If you are a specialist on one particular or have a particular expertise then focus on that.

Generalist skills
These are qualities that most people could have, but which you could mention to show yours are better than others. A good example of this would be communication skills, for instance if you were a architect you could say you:-

  • Having the ability to relay technical data to non technical work colleagues.

Other generalist skills sets could be:-

  • Problem solving.
  • Critical thinking.
  • Able to work as part of a team.
  • Ability to promote change.
  • Organisational skills.
  • Able to develop ideas.

For instance if you are a sales person then you would create a heading under ‘sales skills’. Then under this you would review all of the sales jobs you’ve had in your career and the different products or services you have sold. So if you were employed in Company A selling car insurance, then you would list ‘car insurance sales’ as one of your strengths.

Identifying the skills a employer wants
Look at the job advert and read it carefully, look for keywords that describe the skills and capabilities that a employer is expecting from a applicant. Then build and develop your CV or covering letter around the relevant skills that are required and highlight them in your CV. If in your resume you can demonstrate to a employer that you have the qualities and capabilities they are looking for then you have a good chance of being successful in your application.

Transferable skills
These are skills in one particular work environment that you can take with you from one employer to another. For instance if your are a motor mechanic and work in a garage then you can get a job in another garage and of course you will take your skills with you. So you have in effect transferred them from one workplace to another one. Below are a list of some transferable skills:

  • Reporting information.
  • Speaking effectively.
  • Providing feedback.
  • Defining needs.
  • Motivating.
  • Decision making.
  • Enforcing policies.

Related topics:

CV examples

How to write a CV

How to sell yourself

 Interview questions and answers

Personal qualities that employers look for in candidates

Targeting your CV at specific jobs


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