Sell your skills on your CV

Previously I have told you what ‘soft’ skills employers are generally looking for and they include: Literacy, numeracy, organisational, computer, telephone, time-management, appropriate dress and communication skills. Now, it’s time to find out how you ‘show’ your future employer that you have those skills using only the power of your CV.

When you apply for a job you need to make your application stand out. Out of the pile of CVs that your future employer will have, you want yours to be the one that says ‘pick me’.

Knowing what skills employers are looking for is one thing, it’s quite another to be able to successfully evidence on paper that you have those skills. It isn’t enough to just say “I have excellent time-management skills”. You need to provide evidence of it.

So, using the list of common soft skills looked for by employers, here’s an outline as to how you can evidence these on your CV:

Literacy — always spellcheck and then proofread – they’re not the same thing. Your spellcheck facility won’t realise that if you’ve written coconut instead of computer, that this is wrong.

Numeracy — you could give an example of when you have used these skills, for example in calculating how much wallpaper to buy or in mixing grout. If you haven't done anything like this, then perhaps an example of when you've needed to calculate an amount based on a percentage reduction when you've been out shopping?

Organisation — you can evidence organisational skills by giving an example of an event or trip that you have organised or projects that have required you to prioritise your workload.

Computer — most employers are looking for software skills rather than the ability to build a machine. Give examples of the software packages that you can use, what you use them for and how well you are able to use them (basic, solid or proficient)

Telephone manner — hard to evidence on paper but obviously if you have experience then put this on your CV

Time keeping — chances are you will have written essays or completed projects to deadlines and possibly you manage a part time job as well as school

Dress — this will be evidenced on the day, dress smart

Communication — mention any presentations that you have given and who the presentation was to, also include if you blog and any particular skills you have in formal writing, such as essay writing if your skills have been commented on positively.

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