Nowadays the term 'skills' along with its variations 'upskilling' and 'reskilling seems to be making waves everywhere.
You hear that you need to highlight your skills, hiring is shifting to a more skill-centric approach, or that there is a skill gap in the workforce. More importantly, you know that your skills are a key factor when searching for a job. But how to identify your skills and use them effectively during the job search?
Let’s start by understanding what skills are
A skill is an ability to do something that comes from learning, experience or practice, and something that you need to perform certain tasks. It also includes your individual preferences of how you approach a task.
For example, what do you need to perform a task such as taking care of interior house plants? You need to have interior plants knowledge to understand how much light and water these plants need. You can either acquire this knowledge through practical experience gained from caring for such plants over several months or by conducting online research to acquire the necessary information.
Are skills all the same?
The answer is no! Skills can be divided into two types, hard skills and soft skills.
Hard or technical skills are teachable and easy to quantify - they can be easily confirmed through pre-employment testing, certification, and employment history.
Soft or interpersonal skills are personal habits or traits that shape the way you work, such as the ability to work in groups, to communicate or to prioritise tasks.
Both these types of skills can be transferable, meaning it can be used in a variety of roles or occupations. Consider, for instance, food servers, who also possess the necessary abilities to excel in customer service.
How to identify my skills?
- Start by listing your work experience, and decompose it into tasks, activities, responsibilities, and/or achievements.
- For each one of these, think about the skills, technical or interpersonal, you'll require to perform the task and accomplish it successfully. Concentrate on the outcomes of the task rather than the qualifications you believe enable you to achieve them.
- Consider your education and the type of knowledge you gained. Think about the course curriculum and assignments, and what you learned with these.
- Ask people who know you reasonably well at work (e.g.: colleagues) about what they think your strongest skills are. The outcome of this practice could be quite illuminating and unexpected because it might be difficult to be completely aware of our self-image.
It is not easy to identify skills through self-report
A study found that a person on average can only identify 11 skills, but by using AI the number increases to 34. Start using AI now to discover your skills easily.
How to use skills in a job search?
Once you identified your skills, use an online search engine to look for jobs that require the skills – for example, by searching with the keywords interior plant knowledge.
Keep in mind that several skills are transferable between jobs and industries. Job seekers, employees, and even employers are often unaware that the skills applied in a job can easily be transferred to another.
How to land the perfect job?
The perfect job is the one that brings you joy by doing something you love and where you can apply your strengths. Not all your skills will bring you joy when performing though. A trick? Go over your list of skills and choose the ones that make you feel energised while using them.
Here is a tip
To guide you in this task, use the following question by Dan Cable in his book Alive at Work
What is unique about you that leads to your happiest times and best performance at work? Reflect on a specific time - perhaps on a job, perhaps at home - when you were acting the way you were ‘born to act.’
If know how to perform certain tasks, then you have a specific skill. Identifying your skills is essential in the job search process, specially if you to land a job where you feel fulfilled. To determine your set of skills is not an easy task, since you need to list, describe and then analyse all your experience and academic background. But there are easier ways to do it and AI is here to help!
Everyone has a skill set. Finding your skills is crucial during the job search process, particularly if you want to land a job where you feel fulfilled. Identifying your skill set is a challenging task since you have to identify, describe, and analyze everything of your experience and educational background. However, you can skip all the work and use eikko.