Guided by the job description
When applying for a job it is important for an applicant to read the job description as thoroughly as s/he possibly can before submitting the application; because a lot of what employers are actually looking for in their potential associate is written right in the job description and requirements. In fact, an applicant should review his/her resume against the job description and requirements listed in order to make sure that s/he has covered everything the employer is looking for.
If you, as a job applicant, can address all requirements of a potential employer with the information included on your resume or in your cover letter, you will be on the right track for getting that job. However, there is a whole list of skills employers look for that are never spelled out in the job description. These are a category of skills which can be described as inherently employable, which are certain skills beyond your technical knowledge and qualifications that make you a great professional in your field.
Inherently employable skills
Don’t panic because you already have inherently employable skills, although you just may not think of them as critical for getting a job. These inherently employable skills have been grouped in eight categories:
- Communication skills
- Teamwork skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Initiative and enterprise skills
- Planning and organizing skills
- Learning skills
- Technology skills
Now that you have read the categories you are probably thinking to yourself, yes, I do have those skills! But did you ever think to list them on your resume? Most people focus on their professional achievements and responsibilities, and they often skip these skills in favor of those which are job specific. However, more and more employers look for these skills on a resume. Your potential employer wants to know that you are a team player, that you communicate well, and that you will show initiative when needed.
Showcase all your valuable skills
While you may think this is implied by your interest in the available position, employers like to see these skills to be specified on your resume or in your cover letter; and the best way to demonstrate these skills is through your experience and under your qualifications. Point out the initiatives you have participated in that required you to work in a team environment, under a deadline, or as a self-starter. Demonstrate your loyalty through pointing out your accomplishments at an organization and how they benefited your team as a whole (not just you).
You can showcase these inherently employable skills in your cover letter by openly showing your enthusiasm for the available position; stating your commitment to your career objective; indicating your motivation and your integrity; and showing that you are, above all, unselfish and credible.
These skills are as critical to your ability to do a great job as your professional experience and education are; and employers often look for someone who will be a great fit on their team and in their organization; someone who works well under pressure but also has a sense of humor and a good balance between their personal and professional life.
Above and beyond the job qualifications
Review your existing resume! Does it contain any inherently employable skills? If not, make revisions to incorporate this category of skills you believe are innate strengths. If you are unsure, ask your friends or family for an objective opinion so that you can get a better idea of how you are viewed as a person as well as a professional by people around you see you.
Keep these attributes in mind as you compose your resume and your cover letter, and especially as you are taking part in interviews. These skills can be the difference between the ability to do a job you qualify for and exceeding goals to grow in your career.