Developing your skills
All job sectors require either specific skills, experiences or
qualifications. For example, the ideal candidate for an IT
role will have experience with certain technologies, and HR roles
may require specific qualifications.
However, both these careers will require developed
problem-solving and planning skills. By developing these
transferable skills you will become more attractive to prospective
employers and may even be able to move between job sectors.
The best thing about these transferable skills is that you can
develop these both in and out of the work place.
Leaders take responsibility while leading or guiding
others. Good leaders take the initiative and move situations
forward while motivating and inspiring others to come with
Ways to develop your leadership skills:
- Chairing a project group
- Captaining a sports team
- Taking a position of responsibility on a committee
Most jobs require teamwork, meaning you can work well with
others. Team players are good listeners, cooperative and have
strong negotiation skills.
Ways to develop your teamworking skills:
- Team sports/outdoor pursuits
- Participating in the delivery of team presentations
The ability to solve problems in a systematic and logical way is
key to many professions. Problem solving is the ability to
find a solution that best suits the circumstances and
Ways to develop your problem-solving skills:
- Working in an environment with difficult staff or
- Developing a system/new way of working to improve
- Leisure activities, e.g. chess, logic games, computing, role
Organisation is important in many roles. Whether it is
your own daily activities, or scheduling larger projects, the
ability to plan
is vitally important.
You'll need to be able to recognise and order tasks in order of
priority and develop appropriate plans.
Both verbal and written communication is essential to success in
all roles. Written work needs to be clear, accurate and well
presented, while verbal communication needs to be clear and
articulate. Good communicators are able to chose the
appropriate format, length and style for all situations.
Ways to develop your communication skills:
- Take every opportunity to speak in public to develop your
- Evaluate the communication you are exposed to every day - and
consider what was good and bad about it
Being self-aware in all situations means you understand your own
strengths and development areas, as well as the impact you have on
other people. People who show developed self-awareness constantly
evaluate their own abilities and have the confidence to challenge
any development areas, but also to appreciate their own
Motivation and enthusiasm
If an employer is to invest in you, they want to see that you
have positive motivation and a desire to succeed. Be
prepared to answer questions about your motivation to the role
you are interested in, and to show real enthusiasm for
the position and the organisation that you are applying
Many roles require you to take ownership for managing your own
time, rather than waiting for direction - to seize opportunities,
rather than being told.
Ways to illustrate your initiative:
I head up our Hospitality and Catering Division here at Search
Consultancy in Leeds.
More about Chris
"Search is the only agency we would use. They have managed to fill all our positions with extremely good candidates and have an excellent grasp of what the organisation requires from their staff....
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Many careers require specific skills and qualifications, but
employers also want candidates to offer a wide range of generic
skills. How can you develop them?
Writing your CV
Have you ever failed to get an interview even though you knew
you'd be perfect for the job? If so, the chances are your CV is
letting you down.