When applying for a job, how do you demonstrate core skills without fading into the background with other applicants? Being able to work as part of a team and having great attention to detail are both CV clichés, but employers still value those skills when looking for candidates. It can be difficult knowing how to promote your skills without sounding generic, so below we’ve laid out the five core skills every employer wants to see, and how to show you’ve mastered them.
The first skill you need to show is your understanding of a chosen area. While everyone learns and grows while they work, employers want to see that you understand both how and why something works. The ability to carry out thorough research is also key so that when you learn something new, you do so in great detail.
If you’ve ever created workplace guides or given presentations, emphasise these on your CV as they’ll not only showcase your knowledge but your written and verbal communication skills, too. Instances where you’ve trained new employees or helped out co-workers are also practical examples of both your knowledge and trust you’ve earned from co-workers.
Workplaces are full of many different personalities and it’s only natural that they sometimes clash. Employers are always on the lookout for people who are considerate of others and can help diffuse tense situations, but diplomacy isn’t just about knowing what to do when things go wrong. Recognising the talents of others and being able to delegate work are important team-building attributes that every employer likes to see.
When mentioning your experience of working within a team, clearly show what actions you took to make sure things went smoothly. Diplomatic skills can shine through any situation where you organise a group of people towards one goal and shows you have the teamwork and management skills needed to join a new company.
Employers look for adaptability in a range of settings – such prioritising tasks when workflow is high and a willingness to complete ad-hoc requests. Many offices have departments that operate in conjunction with one another, so you may be expected to apply your skills to new projects and situations you may not always have prior experience with.
Your adaptability is reflected in moments of organisation and time management, so highlight any activities that you undertake that are outside of your regular job responsibilities. This can be joining an internal team dedicated to gathering co-worker feedback or helping with team meetings and presentations. Don’t shy away from stressing the size of the departments you’ve worked for and how busy an average day can be – employers want to know you can handle stressful environments.
In every position, there is the chance for you to take the initiative and do something above and beyond your responsibilities. Employers always look for examples of this as it shows you’re invested not only in your work but that you’re self-motivated to improve how you work. This is an invaluable trait when looking to develop talent into managerial roles.
Have you ever identified equipment to make your job easier? Have you encouraged others to use a new approach to work? More importantly, do you have concrete results from a change you’ve brought on that helped your workplace? Any example of initiative will show your confidence and ability to work independently, particularly instances that point directly to results.
Beyond the knowledge needed to carry out a task, employers love seeing prospects that can demonstrate true awareness of their chosen industry. This means knowing how things work now, where things are going, what problems need to be addressed, and what innovations are left to be developed.
Your cover letter is an opportunity to balance your personality, beliefs, and desires with the technical information from your CV. Think of new processes and technologies you would implement if given the opportunity and show you have a clear direction for your role should you be given it. This will show employers you’re eager to become a part of their company and truly make the position your own.
How do you make sure your CV stands out? Let us know on Twitter at @viking_chat.