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Making Yourself More Employable (Utilizing Your Skills)

By Francis Kelly

Making Yourself More Employable (Utilizing Your Skills)

Looking for work? Here’s how to utilize your skills

Where Are the Job Opportunities?

Navigating the job market right now might feel like an uphill struggle.

If you are looking in the same narrow range of job types that you have always done, it might be time to broaden your horizons.

John Adams was the leader of the American Revolution and was the U.S. president in 1797, and I love his famous quote of the time; which is just as relevant today: “With challenge always comes opportunity.”

While Covid-19 has cut jobs in some sectors, others are growing.

Growth is happening in public services, I.T. and tech (especially online sales and transactions), project management, as well as industries which have switched to ‘online only’ of late such as digital, communications and media, as well as online tutoring and virtual customer services.

But if these sectors which are currently growing feel a million miles away from your current skill set or knowledge, this does not mean that you won’t have a chance of securing a new role in a new industry.

A recent study found by Robert Half found that 42% of people who apply for a new job don’t have the skills listed on the job description. What’s even more encouraging is that 84% of companies are willing to train up applicants who lack the required skills if they have other ‘must-have’ attributes. The study was conducted in the U.S., but this trend is the same in the U.K. too.

A positive ‘can-do’ attitude goes a long way when applying for a new role.

So what are these ‘must-haves’ that employers are looking for? They are the skills you already possess – it’s about presenting them in the right way; let’s take a closer look.


Utilising Your Skills

No matter what line of work you have primarily worked in, you will have built up a repertoire of skills, and now is the time to call upon them.

Let’s look at the way you can use your previous experience to your benefit in the post-pandemic job market.

Hard Skills

Your hard skills are the skills you have been trained in.

Your hard skills will be the abilities you feel most comfortable using in your job every day, and will probably be the area in which you focus your job search. This is fine if your industry has not been badly affected by Covid-19, but we understand that in many sectors, job availability feels tight at the moment.

Many applicants get caught up thinking that these skills are the only ones which employers are looking out for, but this is not the case anymore; increasingly, employers are looking for soft skills.

What can you do if jobs in your preferred Sector are few and far between and you are not getting anywhere with your applications?

It’s time to showcase your soft skills to employers.

Soft Skills

A 2019 survey by International talent and outsourcing company Yoh found that 75% of employers are more likely to hire an applicant who has soft skills, rather than the exact experience or qualifications, in case you were wondering how vital soft skills are in landing you a new role.

So what are soft skills?        

  • Enthusiasm

  • Communication

  • Dependability

  • Flexibility

  • Emotional intelligence

  • A growth mindset

  • Active listening

  • Work ethic

Your soft skills denote what kind of a person you are, what your character is like and how you work on a day-to-day basis.

A candidate who is personable, emotionally aware with a great attitude and a hunger to learn is always worth a second interview - employers know they can teach skills, but they cannot teach attitude.

Transferrable Skills

Similar to soft skills, these are another set of invaluable attributes that you can focus on to give you the best chance of securing a job in an industry which you aren’t explicitly trained.

Transferrable skills include -

  • Creative thinking

  • Time management

  • Leadership

  • People skills such as delegation and negotiation

  • Literacy and numeracy skills

  • Research and analytical skills

For a more in-depth look at transferrable skills, check out Reed’s transferrable skills guide by clicking here.

Great candidates with a range of hard, soft and transferrable skills are always of value to any employer and hiring managers will be looking out for the candidates who can bring extra value to their organisation.

 Do you want to know how to use these skills to develop and progress your career? Click the link below to access the full recruitment report:

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