When we start job seeking, we tend to put a lot more focus on certain skills than others. The more technical skills that we have learnt on the job do seem to be more important at first, but you probably hone a lot more skills that you should be shouting about on your CV or in an application.
These may be old skills that you learnt during education or if you are more experienced, skills you mentioned on your CV when you had nothing else to add. However, although these skills tend to be forgotten as we progress, they can be just as important as the more technical skills you emphasise. These kinds of skills never stop being useful, we just seem to forget their importance or haven’t had to use it in a while! So, get thinking and re-discover some more skills you should be sharing with your potential employers.
Soft skills have always been important
We all have skills worth shouting about and sometimes this means thinking a little deeper than what employers write on their job specs. What skills do you have that will set you apart from the other candidates? Most people applying for the same role will have the skills and experience to complete the job, so think outside the box and really emphasise what makes you a unique person and the right candidate for the job.
Adaptability – Being adaptable tells the employer that you are able to quickly learn new skills in response to changing environments. You are able to assess a situation and act upon it to make quick but smart choices. This is an important skill that showcases your ability to think outside the box, use what you have, and it also displays your determination to get the job done. If you think you are good at this, stop sitting on this skill in interviews and talk about it!
Collaboration Skills – Collaboration is important in any business. People coming together, sharing their ideas and skills in order to achieve a goal is how companies thrive. They need members of their team to be open and talk to each other. With collaboration comes good communication skills and we all know the importance of good communication. Working well with you team can help improve productivity, which is what employers like to see.
Prioritisation – Similar to talking about your good organisation skills, the ability to prioritise shows that you can work well under pressure. We all have good days, slow days and super busy days at work, so being able to work through your tasks and understand what needs to be done first when under pressure, is a great skill. It’s likely you have a good example of this from previous work (who doesn’t) so ensure you talk about this skill and use experience to back it up to really impress the interviewer.
Realises there’s room for improvement – Interviews and job applications are the place to talk about your successes and your skills, however, realising the potential a company can give you to not only do the job you’re given, but to grow, learn and develop yourself with this company, can be priceless. If it’s what you want, employers love to know you are willing to grow within the business. Do your research and find out what they offer, to ensure it’s right for you. We all have things we can improve on and mentioning this (subtly) in an interview, really does show the employer you’re committed to your professional development.
Leadership – You can have good leadership skills, even if you haven’t worked in a leadership role prior to your application. Leadership is more than just being in charge of a group of people. You need to understand what people want and work together with the team, not just take charge. Being a good leader is about being open to new ideas, seeing things from other people’s perspective and never undermining anyone on your team. There may technically be a ‘ranking’ but everyone in a team is an equal and working towards the same goals. You need to be able to motivate people, empathise and be able to actually form trust with people. Simply being in charge is not enough and it’s a really difficult quality to find in people and one that is highly valued.
Some skills come with experience others are more difficult to learn. Everyone has different skills and abilities, and some are harder to learn than others. There are aspects of our personalities that mean we have skills some others don’t, not only making us individuals, but it can help us realise there is more to us than just our technical skills. The next time you are in an interview, talk about some of the above qualities you may have, or any others you think may help you stand out from other candidates!