Key Skills to Boost Your CV
When you apply for a job, your resume or CV is a sales pitch for you as a talented prospective member of staff.
If you want HR teams and managers to take notice whenever your information appears on their desk, then you need to pad your CV with plenty of attractive skills.
Some of the talents on your CV will take years to accumulate. These include the degrees that you spend years in college or school for and the certifications that you’ve earned through nights of exhaustive study.
Other points in your personal sales pitch will come from the efforts that you make in your personal time, designed to make you more appealing in any role.
What Are Marketable Skills?
Every job comes with specific requirements to consider.
For instance, a position in accounting will be more likely to go to a candidate with plenty of financial skills or a background in dealing with money.
Your experience and your unique talents will go a long way towards getting you the career that you deserve.
However, there is also a selection of soft skills and extra abilities that can add something special to your resume when you’re trying to get that dream job. These are marketable skills.
After all, while most people applying for a role in engineering will have an engineering background, the extra knowledge that you have in things like customer communication, or office support could be what sets you apart from the crowd.
So, how do you give your CV that much-needed boost?
Start with these marketable skills that you can learn at home.
Communication skills are a must-have in virtually any business. Even if you’re working in the backend of a company and you rarely interact with clients, you will need the right skills to stay on the same page with your colleagues.
Communicating goals clearly and understanding what your manager or client needs can help defer many hours of wasted work.
There are various ways that you can highlight and improve your communication abilities at home. A good first start is to improve your reading comprehension and writing skills. To achieve that, you can take a course on things like the English language and literature.
Further, consider learning a new language that’s relevant to the industry that you want to get involved with. For instance, if you know that your sector does a lot of business with the Chinese market, it might be worth learning a few phrases.
Along with learning a language, make it a goal to learn something about the culture as well, as some cultural differences can lead to dangerous misunderstandings.
The better you highlight your ability to communicate on your CV, the more your future employers will know that they can trust you to work well in any team.
We’re living in a new digital world where employees are evaluated by their LinkedIn profiles, and virtually every career demands some extent of tech knowledge.
You don’t need to become a coding expert in your spare time if you want to make your CV stand out. However, it can be helpful to work on learning some of the basic digital skills that could be helpful for your team.
For instance, if you’re looking for a job in marketing, could you take an online course about Search Engine Optimization, or how to use Google Analytics?
Maybe it would be helpful to take a course in fintech and Blockchain if you’re working in the financial sector?
Look at some digital tools that are becoming more prevalent in your area of interest and learn how to use them.
Project Management Skills
Project management is quickly becoming an essential skill in every environment. If you know how to break complex projects down into more actionable steps, your business leader can rely on you to guide the rest of your team.
You could even combine your project management skills with knowledge on how to use crucial tools like Slack and Asana to engage a team and keep everyone on the right track.
As businesses look for more self-sufficient people who can take the initiative and achieve results without micromanagement, showing that you have what it takes to solve problems on your own can be an excellent way to make your resume stand out.
Tools like Microsoft Office and G-Suite are frequently used in businesses to help with projects and managing documents. Although many modern companies use things like PowerPoint for presentations and Microsoft Word for creating documents, many people don’t know how to take full advantage of these tools.
Replacing filler terms on your resume with certifications that you’ve gained in everything from Microsoft Excel to Outlook could be essential to capturing the attention of employers.
With Office skills, you can show that you’ve got the knowledge required to work autonomously, with very little support from IT and other leaders.
Basic Computer Skills
Finally, speaking of reducing the workload on IT maintenance, why not show your future employer that you know how to fix the common problems you can encounter in a digital world on your own.
You can learn how to troubleshoot and fix a range of issues, and even offer to mentor your colleagues in the same skills, so that your business IT team can spend less time putting out fires, and more of their efforts on things that grow the business.
You can even take the time to find out what kind of software and operating systems your business uses so you can expand your skills and show off your knowledge in those specific areas.
Make Your CV Stand Out
While pursuing specific skills for your industry is always a good idea when you’re trying to get your dream job, it’s essential not to overlook the power of a few simple marketable skills.
Regardless of which of the skills mentioned above you decide to tackle, your willingness to learn new things in your spare time will be another signal to your potential employees that you’re a serious applicant.
Building your knowledge in everything from communication to essential IT skills could be the perfect way to make sure that your job application doesn’t get lost in a sea of candidates.
Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate techie. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie devours the news on the latest gadgets and binge-watches his favorite TV shows. Follow him on @bmorepeters