Once you have a positive and open attitude, the next step is to identify your skills. This will help you understand what jobs would suit you, as well as in what areas you may want to undertake training. Employers also find it helpful if you can explain to them what your main skills are. That is, what’s positive about you, as well as your weaknesses.
While it may seem very basic, or perhaps even a waste of time; you must identify your skills. You want to be working in jobs that articulate your abilities and expertise. Or you want to be working in jobs that will grow your skills in certain areas, which will take you to the next step in your career. Most people find it hard to explain their skills, abilities, and experience. Some find it feels like bragging, while others believe the skills they have are of little use or are insignificant. Often, these are both untrue. Once you know your skills, you can confidently portray yourself better so you can secure a job.
It’s also common to get asked in an interview questions like ‘Why should we choose you above all other applicants?’, or ’What sets you apart from everyone else?’.
List Your Current Skills
You will find it helpful to distinguish skills into two categories. First, your ‘hard skills’ – these are things that are tangible and operational. Some examples include:
- Knowing how to operate a type of machinery
- Ability to use Microsoft Office or Photoshop
- Your typing speed
- Producing reports and graphs
- Coding websites or software
Separately, soft skills are personal strengths gained through experience. They reflect the nature of the person, namely the attributes that make you the person you are. Some examples are:
- Good teamwork
- Enthusiasm for work
- Reliability and punctuality
Spend some time to brainstorm and compile this list. You will also want to list skills you have, even if you are not totally proficient in them. Voluntary work, reading, and extra education are great ways to acquire new skills.
Grow Your List
If your list is looking a little short, stop to think about each job you’ve worked in. Consider what you did on a day-to-day basis, and what you learnt. This should give you some idea of what skills you have. If you haven’t had a lot of work experience, you may want to consider your educational background and history. Consider the group projects and assignments you have completed. What did they teach you? What new skills did you gain, by participating in them? List these down.
List skills You’d Like To have
Not only should you list what skills you have right now, but you should also consider what skills you’d like to have over time. For example, you may hope to become a team manager in 3 years. And therefore it would be helpful to have supervisory skills. Or you may want to become a junior graphic designer in a year’s time. So it would help to gain new skills in the relevant design software packages.
Consider Your Hobbies
Your hobbies are also a great place to help pinpoint your skills. Do you do art in your free time? That’s creativity. Or perhaps play any team sports? That’s teamwork. Or are you an avid fan of business news and enjoy talking about it with others? That’s communication. What may seem normal to you may be a deciding factor to your boss. Put together these skills and you’ll have your list together in no time.
Determine A Career Path
Once you have listed your skills, you will want to put a star next to which of those skills you enjoy and would like to continue pursuing. This can help you find a group of skills you want to focus on, and is a great step towards pursuing a rewarding career. Research and determine industries you want to work in.
Using Skills When Writing Your Résumé
Consider each of the items on your list and decide whether that skill is relevant to the job you are applying for. Some skills may not make it to the final cut of your résumé, but you want to make sure you give potential employers a clear view of who you are and why you stand out.