When you are searching and applying for jobs, understanding your skillset can help you position yourself as the best person for the job. This includes skills directly related to the job – often referred to in the recruitment industry as ‘hard skills’ – as well as those skills and attributes that just make you a great fit for the office – commonly known as ‘soft skills’.
You may have all the experience for a certain job role – but fitting in at a company can come down to these ‘soft skills’ and for many businesses, is just as important when looking for new recruits.
Verbal and written communication
Keeping in touch with colleagues, stakeholders and customers is vital for keeping a business running smoothly. Being able to demonstrate good communication skills will come in useful whatever your role is and will help you deliver the best results and prove your worth. The standard of what’s required when it comes to verbal and written communication skills will differ depending on the job role, but employers know that being confident and articulate when in meetings or drafting emails can help candidates stand out in a recruitment process.
This is something that everyone can get good at – it may just come more naturally to some people than others. Good organisation helps you stay focused, meet deadlines and prioritise workloads, which all add up to success at work! Even if you’re still working on your organisation skills in the workplace, provide examples of how you’ve been organised outside of work. Things such as organising family holidays or being on the committee of a local sports team or community group may come naturally to you, and these are ways you can describe your skills in an interview or cover letter.
Ensuring you’re in the office on time, or logged on to your computer on time, is essential for all employees. In addition to this, being able to complete tasks on time, and highlighting any challenges with plenty of notice, helps keep things running smoothly. If you have a flexible working arrangement, or regularly work from home, good time keeping is essential, and something employers value very highly.
Companies are often keen to invest in their team’s development and continued learning. Whether this be ongoing one- or two-year (or more) long courses, or one day introduction or booster courses, expanding your skill-set is a good way to climb your desired career ladder. Therefore, if you show a willingness to invest time and energy in learning more about your role or industry, you will make a very appealing candidate to a potential employer. No-one goes to a job interview and meets 100% of the criteria, immediately. But showing a willingness to learn and grow as a person reflects commitment and passion for what you’re doing. A great asset in a person, and one that definitely won’t go unnoticed both during the interview stage, and once you’ve sealed the role!
Now this one takes no academic or industry-specific skills at all! Being a friendly, personable and pleasant person to have around the office is worth its weight in gold. A willingness to chip in and help colleagues is also a positive attribute that employers look for when screening and interviewing candidates, and is something that a lot of the businesses we work with mention when they come to us with job positions they want us to fill. We all have peaks and troughs, and personal circumstances that can affect our attitudes day to day but seeing the opportunity in every challenge and being a ‘glass half full’ kind of person can really pay off.
It may be unhappy customers, delayed products or staff shortages that can affect your day-to-day work, but if you can come up with creative solutions to these sorts of problems, it puts you in a great place when being interviewed by a potential employer. Being able to remain calm and work with your team and colleagues to overcome challenges and keep the business moving is a real asset. Before you interview, be sure to think about some of the times you have solved problems at work (or in your personal life) as this is a favourite amongst HR and hiring managers!
Almost every single job on the market requires good teamwork and the ability to work collaboratively with colleagues and stakeholders. Being a good listener and a good speaker is an excellent start in displaying your aptitude when it comes to your skills as a team player. It may be working with a group of colleagues to organise a key event or tackle a project with a deadline, or simply picking up a call list when someone calls in sick – we’re certain that if you look at what you’ve done at work and in your leisure time, your teamwork skills will be on show for everyone to see!
So next time you’re crafting your CV, think about some of the ways you can demonstrate the above skills and provide solid examples. It’s likely to be covered in candidate screenings and interviews, too. Being ahead of the curve, however, and giving recruiters an idea of your personality and approach to work could be the information that secures you an interview. Moreover, if there are any skills here that you feel you need to work on, why not make an action plan for some self-development to become a more rounded and desirable candidate?
We’ve got some great resources to help you for drafting your CV and when preparing for interviews.