Defining your skills

If there are two words that send job-searchers into a panic more than any other, it’s ‘key skills’!

Playing it safe?
Many imagine that extravagant wording is expected from them on their CVs, and the end results are a list of overlong, unnecessary and uninformative accounts of tasks that bring zero value.

Or even worse, they have the impression they need to present themselves as the superwoman/superman they are not. An internal ethical conflict can ensue in which they wrongly assume this will be like lying to their potential employer.

So, the end result is many job-searchers have CVs with descriptions of their previous work experiences that are too short.

And crucially, they forget to include transferable skills.

Recall when you excelled
In my work, I try to make the client feel comfortable with this process and to help them focus on using their past experiences. Highlighting your transferable skills and how the potential employer can utilise them is key.

I encourage them to remember some of their best ever days at work – and this could include any job. What was the day like? Maybe you don’t remember what you did every single hour, but you remember how you felt. Why did you feel those emotions? What part of the job made you feel this way? Describe everything you remember.

Study the pattern
By writing down these episodes we can identify the skills that were used to solve problems and ultimately obtain satisfaction.  Aim for three to five such days you loved, and once you’ve written them down, you’ll start to see a pattern in your work behaviour, that will make it easier for you to establish your key skills!

Of course, you might come across moments you completely disliked. Well, the same applies – analyse what it was you disliked and the important values involved.

Ivanka (Vanya) Ruskova is a senior business analyst with experience in IT, investment banking and the service industries. She currently works with graduates entering the job market in Denmark, offering extensive CV and application assistance, personal coaching and counselling.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.