How do you get a job with no experience, and build up experience without a job? It’s a problem faced by many first-time job seekers.
However, not having experience in a particular role doesn’t necessarily mean you’re lacking the skills to do the job well. When developing their first resume, young job seekers overlook their transferable life experiences and skills – but these are actually the types of qualities many employers look for in applicants!
Here are 5 everyday skills that employers look for to include on your resume – that will demonstrate why you could be the best person for the job:
1. Good Communication Skills
Good communication is one of the most important skills to have in the modern workplace. No doubt you’ve had lots of experience with face-to-face conversation, speaking over the phone, and sending emails and texts. Employers look for candidates with the ability to listen and demonstrate understanding, get their point of view across clearly, create error-free documents and emails and lots more.
Think of times in your life you’ve had to display good communication skills. Were you a member of the public speaking or debating team at school? Have you spent time reading to younger siblings? Are you good at following LEGO or IKEA instructions?
2. Time Management Skills
The ability to keep an eye on the clock and avoid lateness is of utmost importance to employers. It not only demonstrates that you will be on time to work every day, but that you are able to manage your time effectively to meet deadlines.
What are some real-life examples? Handing in assignments at school on the due date, having good attendance at extracurricular activities (netball, soccer, orchestra rehearsal), juggling study time with your after-school dog walking job – all of these show you’ll be a conscientious employee.
3. Willingness to Learn
Think about the times you’ve learned a new skill or started a new hobby – basketball, drawing, coding – no matter the subject matter, you probably started off not so good and improved with persistence.
Demonstrating to potential employers that you have a willingness to learn new skills is a definite point in your favour. It shows they’ll be able to train you quickly, and that you have a curious mind that will seek out answers at work. Employers want to hire the type of people that will teach themselves how to do a new task on YouTube, not make excuses for why something can’t be done.
4. Good Teamwork Skills
There are probably many times that you’ve had to interact within a group situation before. Group assignments at school or uni, clubs, youth groups, dance class… Sports teams in particular are a great example. Being part of a team shows you know how important it is to work together in order to achieve success.
The majority of workplaces require you to work in a team environment. Lots of times you’ll be asked to work closely with your colleagues to complete a project. The skill of getting along with people, including dealing with difficult personalities, and treating those who are different to you with warmth and respect, is highly regarded.
The one constant factor of the workplace – and, let’s face it, life – is change. Colleagues and managers come and go, processes and programs are constantly being swapped out for something new, even your daily tasks could change at a moment’s notice.
Being flexible is a fantastic basic skill that’s necessary to every working environment. Employers want candidates that can quickly adapt to changing situations, learn new tasks and interact with new people.
Think of the times in your life when something big happened, for example moving to a new school. How did you react, what steps did you take to embrace the change?
Are you looking for your first job?
At MTC, we offer a range of programs to help young job seekers find employment, like Smart, Skilled and Hired and Opportunity Hub for Indigenous Australians. Our youth workers will teach you how to apply for jobs (writing resumes and cover letters, practising job interviews), and identify job opportunities that closely align with your skills and interests. We’ve helped thousands of young people find their first job – phone us on 1300 232 663 and let us help you too!