Using skills to make your CV better

Skills skills and more skills – The job market is saturated with very talented and qualified people; employers everywhere are already inundated with CVs of people all competing for a small number of positions. As we emerge into the job market, we need to do something to stand out so that when we are presenting ourselves to potential employers, they will notice us immediately: remember, it’s not enough to just be very talented or qualified these days. You also have to be unique.

The obvious first question is what are employers looking for. There are many responses, but all tend to converge around a particular set of skills that benefit any business. As Quintessential Careers notes, these are properties like:

  • Communications Skills (listening, verbal, written).
  • Analytical/Research Skills.
  • Flexibility/Adaptability/Managing Multiple Priorities.

All of these benefit businesses to greater and lesser degrees – but benefit nonetheless. For example, communication is vital when working with others as you need to be able to engage with projects or goals, incorporating a broader view about what is required, what’s been achieved and so on.

Communication can mean the success or failure of almost anything: In extreme situation, think about doctors not communicating what they require to help a patient. To a less dramatic degree, think about how misinterpreting an email because it is poorly written could lead to a client firing you.

There are multiple ways to demonstrate such skills. You could obtain a degree in communications, of course. As “Graduates are prepared for careers in diverse areas such as journalism, law, television, psychology, international relations, sociology, advertising, film, music production, human resources, social work, education and information services.”

But to be a bit more interesting, you could show that you tutored or lectured at a tertiary institution; indicate you attended and qualified from yachtmaster sailing school, where communicating with a crew is essential to success; have published writing in prestigious outlets, tackling difficult ideas.

There are a variety of ways to demonstrate these skills that you can put on your CV – and all of it can be tailored to your specific interests. The best thing you can do is use your passion to help you get ahead in your career.

For example, computer literacy is key in the modern job market; and many people are interested in coding and creating digital software. You don’t need to pursue a career purely in the already full computer job market; you can show off your abilities with computers as an added skill for, basically, any career. Like communicating, knowing how to use modern tech and being able to demonstrate that expertise – with something tangible like a degree – will put you far ahead of others.

It’s essential then that we diversify our focus and interest, possibly using them to get official qualifications; these don’t have to be only looked at as fun past-times or passions, but worthy of being used on our CV’s for future jobs.

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