Road map to Employability Skills
Simply put, employability skills are those skills necessary for getting, keeping and being successful in a job. These are skills that enable employees to get along with their colleagues, to make critical decisions, solve problems, develop respect and ultimately become strong ambassadors for the organization.
As a recruitment consultant, I have come across a lot of C.Vs that are well structured at the beginning but when it comes to the skills section, the skills there are misplaced. What I mean is that, looking at the candidate’s career background and the skills they have stated there is a disconnect between the two.
It is very important for a candidate to note that different roles require different skill sets and abilities, hence the importance of reading and understanding the job description (Kindly have a look at our February blogs)
I am going to take you through 8 common skills that recruiters look for when they are recruiting candidates for specific roles:
Interpersonal skills are the skills we use to interact with other people. Good interpersonal skills allow you to participate effectively as a member of a team, satisfy customers and clients’ expectations, negotiate, make decisions, manage your time efficiently, take responsibility, and work effectively with other employees.
Examples of interpersonal skills are: Negotiation skills, Decision Making skills, problem solving skills among others.
This is the ability to communicate both verbally and in writing with a wide variety of people, maintain good eye contact, write clearly and succinctly, demonstrate a varied vocabulary and tailor your language to your audience.
Similarly, active listening skills involve not only hearing but gaining and understanding information. Listening is a basic requirement leading to fewer mistakes and a greater understanding of the needs of employer and client.
Leadership is the ability to influence others toward the achievement of a goal.
Leadership skills involves: having strong self-confidence, being a team player, willing to work in a group to achieve the best results for their employer and showing social skills by respecting the thoughts, opinions and ideas of others.
This is very key especially to people that are looking to find senior positions or even a promotion at their current work place.
Critical Thinking Skills
Requires one to gather reliable information, evaluate the information for a variety of solutions and select the most appropriate option based on the criteria and situation.
It is here that creative thinkers are needed as they are innovative and inventive and are more likely to devise new ways of doing things that add value to the work environment, making systems and procedures more efficient.
This skill is very beneficial to the employer as it saves time and money.
Presenting information clearly and effectively is a key skill in the work place and presentation skills are required in almost every modern employment area.
Whether you are an administrator, manager or executive, you should expect to present your ideas and findings to your work colleagues and external stakeholders. Presenting information does not just include making formal presentations – information could be presented in the form of notes, reports, research findings, business plans, scenario planning, risk assessments and strategic documents.
Time Management Skills
Have you ever wondered how it is that some people seem to have enough time to do everything that they want to, whereas others are always rushing from task to task, and never seem to finish anything? Is it just that the former have less to do? No, it’s much more likely that they are using their time more effectively and practicing good time management skills.
Time management requires the investment of a little time upfront to prioritize and organize yourself. But once done, you will find that with minor tweaks, your day, and indeed your week and month, fall into place in an orderly fashion, with time for everything you need to do.
Once again it is important to note that for employer’s time is money and hence every time wasted counts.
Numeracy Skills (Number Skills)
Numeracy involves an understanding of numerical data, statistics and graphs, and is also part of making decisions and reasoning.
Having competence and being confident in working with numbers is a skill that can be used to your advantage in a wide range of employment settings. For example, knowing how profitable a company is, understanding value for money when purchasing and ordering supplies, following a budget or just calculating your holiday time. Being able to understand and analyze data in different formats is considered an essential skill in many organizations.
These type of skill is mostly used for candidates who are in the areas of: Accounting, Sales and Marketing, Engineering and Statistics
Most people need some IT skills to find work today. Acquiring basic IT skills and being familiar with using a computer may open up a wide range of employment opportunities and increase your marketability in the workplace.
It is likely that a modern job will require you to be familiar with at least some computer applications. Computer literacy means understanding what computers can and cannot do.
It is worth while to learn some of the basics of computer packages, for example: Microsoft Word, Excel spread sheets, Publisher, PowerPoint, how to send and receive emails and use the internet effectively.
Lastly, just like the conclusion of a paragraph that basically informs us in short what the whole story was about, ensure your skills section does the same justice to your C.V.