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Highlight your skills in a job application

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More organisations are focussing on the skills that you can bring to a role, rather than the technical expertise or qualifications that you have. This trend in skills based hiring will continue to become more popular as businesses tackle the rapidly changing nature of our work.
And this is good news for you if you’re looking for a new role. Hiring based on the skills you possess allows you to demonstrate the value that you can bring to an organisation, where as you may have been previously put off by the number of years experience you had. So, if you want to show off your skills, not your age, follow these tips to get your CV noticed.

What is skills-based hiring?

Skills-based hiring involves recruiting managers focussing on the actual skills that a potential employee brings to a role rather than the degree, qualifications or past work experiences. Hiring decision are made based on finding the skills the role needs rather other arbitrary requirements such as five years experience or a bachelor’s degree in a specific discipline.

Why is skills-based hiring on the rise?

This method of hiring is on the rise due to a number of reasons:
  • Reduced time to hire – In a report by TestGorilla, 91.4 per cent of businesses saw a reduction in their time to hire, by sending candidates skills-based tests. 
  • Reduction in costs – Skills-based hiring can eliminate the need for external recruiters and CV screening software. 
  • Expanded talent pools and improved diversity – We don’t all have the same opportunities to access higher education. Excluding those who don’t have a degree, closes the door to a diverse range of candidates who can plug skills gaps. 
  • Improved retention – Hiring for skills is five times more predictive of job performance than hiring for education, and more than two times more predictive than hiring for work experience.  

How do I show my skills in a job application?

All of this points to exciting opportunities for those looking to move their career forward. Here’s how to show your skills in a job application.

Know what skills to put on your CV

To begin with, updated your CV by including your skills, not just a running list of your past roles. And be sure to include your technical and your core skills.  
Your technical skills include those that you have gained throughout your career or through specific training courses. These could include things such your proficiency in certain software programs such as Microsoft Excel or Adobe Express, as well as technical skills such as preparing and reporting on financial statements or designing creative assets. You should ensure that you tailor your CV and cover letter to include the specific skills related to the role that being advertised. Look out for these key words in any job description to help guide you.
Core, or soft, skills are your personal attributes that allow you to, for example, work well as part of a team. Agility, resilience, emotional intelligence, adaptability and creativity are some of the top core skills that employers are currently looking for. To learn more about soft skills, click here. For further advice on creating a winning CV, click here.

Consider your transferrable skills

If you don’t yet have a lot of experience in the industry or role that you’re considering and are finding it hard to list what you think might be the most relevant, consider the transferrable skills you may have picked up in other roles or while studying. For example, perhaps you’ve worked on improving your active listening skills, ability to present to a larger group of people or fine tuned your ability to work collaboratively with others. All of these skills are transferrable to many other roles so highlight them during the application process.

Validate your skills with real life examples

Rather than just listing your skills, it’s always helpful to offer tangible examples of your ability to put them into practice on the job. If you’ve gained a qualification or certificate that is relevant to the position, mention it. If you’ve increased sales or website leads in another organisation by implementing some of your technical skills, include the increase as a percentage on your CV and/or cover letter. Real life examples show the hiring manager that you can back up your skills claims and helps paint a picture of the value you can bring to their organisation.

Upskill yourself

Perhaps you’ve identified a direction that you want to take your career in, but have realised that you’re missing some of the skills needed for it. Most core skills are very learnable, so check for online courses that might help you fill any gaps, and set aside time each week to dedicate to building them. Fostering a learning mindset, where you strive to continuously upskill, is another soft skills that employers are searching for.
All of these tips will help you stand out from a crowded marketplace when applying for jobs. The trend of skills-based hiring is here to stay and should be something that all candidates and jobseekers embrace.
Are you ready to embrace your skills and apply for a new challenge? Search for available jobs now. 

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