It’s all about tailoring yourself to the industry you’re pursuing, remembering that understanding your areas for development is just as important as knowing your strengths.
Below are the 4 methods to use when trying to highlight why you’re the ideal candidate for your dream career.
Ask for Feedback
If you’re struggling to identify which of your strengths will make you stand out from the competition, asking the question could give you some clarity.
Discuss with your friends, colleagues or managers what your core skills are, asking for feedback on how they feel you could develop. Getting an outside opinion is a great way to pinpoint what makes you good at what you do and how you can get to the next level.
While asking your boss what strengths to include in your CV for a new job probably isn’t the wisest move, asking for feedback shows initiative. In your next 1-1 or team meeting vocalise your desire to understand your assets and development areas.
Being open to feedback is a great way to grow professional and personally so implement this into your way of working.
Analyse your Day
You’ll no doubt do and even achieve more each day than you realise. Think about it … when was the last time you sat down and wrote a list of everything you did in a standard day? The likely answer is you have never done this exercise. Why would you need to and when would you even have time to complete such an activity? When it comes to contemplating your strengths, this could be the best starting point.
Go to work, perform your job as normal and write down each activity you complete. (Or any tasks you part complete if finishing tasks isn’t a strength of yours.) At the end of the day reflect on your list and determine which skills you used.
For example, in a receptionist role, you may answer several calls a day. The strengths that link to this duty would be communication, listening and interpersonal skills. Potentially even the ability to use a certain system, problem solve, be resilient or customer/client management.
Don’t limit yourself to your “job description”. People rarely stick to the responsibilities that were outlined in their interview so don’t forgot to add everything you do!
Know the Market
The job market is changing, and employers are constantly on the look out for candidates with new skills and aptitudes. In the digital era more employers are concentrating on finding employees with skills in areas such as SEO, social media management or who are able to analysis data or market trends. Therefore, tailoring yourself to these new skills will help you standout.
But how do you know what employers are looking for? Simply by researching. Researching company websites, social media pages or even job adverts will help you establish the skills that employers are seeking. Review the terminology they use. Are they “market leaders” or “innovators” according to their website? If so, they are most likely going to be looking for candidates with a similar entrepreneurial or commercial mindset.
Get ahead of the game by staying up to date with the latest industry news for the sector you’re exploring, aligning yourself with these skills.
Tailor yourself to your chosen Industry
Tailoring your CV is a vital aspect of gauge recruiters’ attention and enticing them to progress you through the recruitment process. Therefore, the skills within your CV should also be tailored.
Once you’re ready to apply for a position, highlight all the keywords in the job advert. Determine what the employer is looking for in a potential candidate and then display these strengths throughout your application. Make it easier for recruiters at first glance to match you to their criteria.
Get your inspiration from job adverts about where your strengths lie and then add examples to backup these abilities. Adding relevant facts or figures will provide validate your skills.
This isn’t about making up strengths but making your strengths custom fit for the role in question.