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Getting to Know You: Identifying Your Strengths and Skills

Welcome to the first edition of our Success Hub blog. These blogs have been designed as a component to our bi-weekly live webinar series and will explore the topics that were covered by the presenter in further detail. This week’s blog covers an important question that will come to mind when you’re beginning your job search: ‘what are my strengths and skills?’

What are soft and transferrable skills?

Before exploring what your skills are, it’s important to be able to differentiate between types of skills. Soft skills, also known as employability skills, are your personal qualities, traits and values that enable you to be efficient in the workplace. Some examples of soft skills are good communication, leadership, patience, motivation, teamwork and reliability, as opposed to hard skills, which are industry-specific skills learned through training or through technical knowledge, such as forklift driving or Photoshop skills.

Employers tend to look for candidates that have the whole package, so it’s just as important to list your soft skills as it is your hard skills on your resume. In fact, if you take a look at a range of job advertisements across a vast array of industries, you’ll almost always see that the employer is looking for someone strong verbal and written communication skills, teamwork skills and reliability.

Soft skills example: Teamwork

Above, we have some examples of you can demonstrate the soft skill, teamwork. You may like to use these examples in your resume, cover letter and for when you are preparing interview responses.

Soft skills example: Learning and Adaptability

Here, we are looking at the soft skill learning and adaptability, and brainstorming some further examples of this skill that you could list in your resume.

  • Firstly, to demonstrate that you can accept advice and learn from feedback, you could share the example of taking on advice from a colleague when working in customer service and therefore have improved people skills.
  • Next, to show that you are eager to learn new skills and gain new knowledge, you could explain that you have chosen to study online at a mature age.
  • After that, to demonstrate that you can adapt to new and changing circumstances, you could learn new software to stay up to date in the workplace.
  • Lastly, to prove that you look for opportunities to improve the business, you could provide the example of researching strategies to increase customers.

A transferable skill is an ability or expertise that you possess which can be used in a variety of job roles. These skills can help you make a smoother transition into a new role, and they can also make your application more desirable to your potential employer. Some common transferrable skills, some of which you’ll almost certainly possess, are listed below. It’s worth noting that transferrable skills are quite often soft skills:

  • Communication skills
  • Digital skills
  • Social media skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Customer service skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Self-control
  • Time-management
  • Strong work ethic

If you’ve sustained an injury that limits your capacity to perform a physical or labour-intensive job, identifying your transferrable skills is an important step in starting a new career.

Listed below are you some different websites that you can explore at home to help you with identifying your skills and researching suitable jobs:

What is an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a short, 30-second summary of you, your skills and experience, designed to get the listener—in this case your potential employer—interested in what you have to offer.

It’s important to know where to use an elevator pitch. When you are cold calling, which is when you contact an employer without waiting for a job to be advertised, you want to deliver an elevator pitch which is focused on what you believe they are looking for in a potential employee.

The same goes for when you reach the interview stage – research the company and the position they’re offering, and tailor your pitch to discussing how your skills and experience are perfect for the role. This article from Indeed gives some great examples of elevator pitches you can use in various scenarios such as networking events, interviews and cold calls. 

Elevator pitches don’t have to be used in only verbal exchanges – you can repurpose your pitch and use it in the summary section of your resume, on a cover letter, or for your bio section on LinkedIn. Most roles you apply for will have dozens of other applicants, meaning the recruiter will only spend a limited amount of time sifting through your resume before deciding if they will explore your application further. By condensing your key selling points into a short paragraph at the top of your resume, you’re giving yourself the best possible chance of standing out from the crowd.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog, where we will discuss how to create the perfect resume for your next job application.