We are in the century of skills. Even more so at the graduate recruitment level where you haven’t got years and years of on the job experience. As a result of this, employers are searching for the skills you possess and how you will fit into their position. The whole recruitment process will be based around these skills, so you should prepare yourself as best as you can to display these skills to the potential employer.
A useful activity to conduct is a Skills Audit. This is a nice and simple way to distill all of the skills you possess into one document, and it will help you exponentially when it comes to interview.
Google your ideal job on the internet. Butcher, baker or candlestick maker – followed by “skills required”. Your aim is to find a web page that lists the main skills required in that particular role. For example, when you google “Doctor skills required” you come up with the following list: –
- a commitment to caring for others
- the ability to work under pressure and make quick decisions
- practical skills for examining patients and performing clinical procedures
- an interest and ability in science, medicine, anatomy and physiology
- good communication skills and the ability to explain choices to patients
- the ability to put people at their ease and inspire trust and confidence
- leadership and management skills
- the ability to always work to high professional standards
- a keen interest in your specialist field and a willingness to keep your skills up to date.
Make a list of these skills in an excel spreadsheet.
In your excel spreadsheet, create three columns next to your skills column. Head column one with “Example 1”, column 2 with “example 2” and column 3 with “Where I can demonstrate this skill further”. You should begin to fill these columns in with your experiences to date. So for the first example “Commitment to caring for others” you could write in example 1 “Volunteer work in a local hospice caring for children who are terminally ill.” In column 2 you could write “Running a sports coaching camp and helping a profoundly deaf child to play sport”. You can then leave column three blank as you have two good examples.
The more specific the example the better. The second example could have stopped short with just listing the coaching camp, but the added detail of a specific example makes this more powerful.
If your examples were somewhat wishy washy, you can use column three to list an activity where you can augment this particular skill.
Your aim is to produce examples you can talk about at interview. You should always have in the back of your mind the interview question “Tell me about a time you ……” with the dots being the particular skill relevant to that job. Your examples should represent a great answer to this type of question.
Once you have completed this audit, you should look at your column 3 answers to skills you haven’t got as many examples in. You should then look at where you can demonstrate this type of skill and begin to organise this experience. For example, you may not have had two concrete examples for the “leadership and management” skill. You may write in column three that you could organise a trip for your college to London to see the natural history museum. You could organise the whole trip and manage the logistics on the day. You then go right ahead and do this. You then have the evidence for your skill.
All of these skill examples should be recorded on your Kloodle profile. Write a blog post, upload a document, create a video, take a photo. Evidence your skills with concrete pieces of media on your Kloodle profile and really showcase your employability to potential employers.