The skills recruiters look for and how to get them - The Careers Group, University of London
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The skills recruiters look for and how to get them - The Careers Group, University of London



Understanding the skills or competencies recruiters are ...

Understanding the skills or competencies recruiters are
looking for is vital when it comes to making successful
applications and doing well in interviews. By giving examples
to show that you have the skills they require, you are more
likely to convince them of your ability to do the job.



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The skills recruiters look for and how to get them - The Careers Group, University of London The skills recruiters look for and how to get them - The Careers Group, University of London Document Transcript

  • Launching your career COMPETENCIES AND SKILLS The skills recruiters look for and how to get them. Understanding the skills or competencies recruiters are looking for is vital when it comes to making successful applications and doing well in interviews. By giving examples to show that you have the skills they require, you are more likely to convince them of your ability to do the job. Start with the job advert. For example, if it says, ‘We’re looking for a hard-working Accounts Officer to join our busy team’, then ‘hard-working’ indicates they want someone who is committed and determined, and ‘busy team’ infers the candidate is likely to need to be a good team worker. Looking at the job description and person specification will explain the skills they are looking for. If you see an ‘E’ or ‘Essential’ listed next to a specific skill, you must have this to succeed, so evidence it clearly in your application. ‘D’ is for ‘Desirable’ – try to cover as many of these as possible in your application as it could set you apart from another candidate. Giving examples of your skills on applications and at interviews gives employers evidence of your ability to do this element of the job, as the grid below shows. Skills sought Examples of evidence? Written and verbal communication Is your writing fresh and succinct? Do you talk to people in different and appropriate ways depending on the situation? Via my weekly London marathon blog, I wrote about my training and why I decided to race. This encouraged friends – and even strangers – to donate to my selected charity. Teamwork Can you work with other people? Can you work towards a team goal rather than personal glory? In my role as marketing officer for the Law Society, I organised the Committee to deliver an effective membership campaign. Commercial awareness Do you know what’s going on in your chosen industry? Can you spot a lucrative business opportunity? I participated in a business challenge, which provided an insight into a variety of factors affecting a business. Attention to detail Is your work thoroughly checked without being late? Can your boss be confident that what you’ve written is correct? I wrote a short product review during a summer internship to a tight deadline. Time management (organisation) Can you prioritise your work and balance work life and social life? I managed a final-year project, volunteer schedule and ran a small business. Decision making Can you select the best course of action from multiple alternatives and justify your decisions logically? I decided to cancel one of two related fundraising events after reviewing options, and explained this to students. Adaptability and flexibility Are you thrown by changing circumstances or are you able to switch from one thing to another? I was asked to take on the role of team leader on a volunteering project at the last minute. Responsibility and reliability Can you be trusted to take on important work from day one? As a part-time sales assistant, I took on responsibility to train new members of staff at the department store. Leadership Can you lead a team? Can you delegate and motivate effectively? I led and motivated a new tennis team to train at weekends, and created the post of vice-captain to support scheduling work. Research and analysis 10 What does this mean? Can you find information and process it for different purposes? I used various research methods in my dissertation. THE CAREERS SERVICE GUIDE London 2014
  • Launching your career HOW TO GET AN EDGE Do something you enjoy Create your own opportunities. As well as looking to gain work experience and internships with companies, there are a number of things that you can do yourself to gain practical experience, develop your skills and boost your CV, making you stand out from the crowd to employers. Why not try the following to boost your skills and interests? Be a committee member of a club or society, or set up your own – this shows leadership and ability to motivate others. Independent travel can demonstrate practical problem solving, organisational and planning skills, as well as cultural understanding and sensitivity. Become a class rep, or stand for Student Union positions – these are useful ways of gaining responsibility and developing leadership skills. Start a blog or submit articles to websites, magazines and newspapers. Being able to write clearly and concisely in a way that is suitable for the intended audience is important in every industry, but particularly in marketing and PR roles. Part-time work – don’t forget how a retail or restaurant job can help you develop commercial awareness, understand how to deal with customers and work in a team to meet targets. Run a fundraising event or campaign – this shows your organisation and planning skills. Start a business – sell Put on a play or gig to develop event management and marketing skills. products on Ebay, start turtoring, sell cakes to gain practical business skills at a grassroots level. Enter writing or business competitions. Volunteer – build a database or website, develop a marketing campaign, write information leaflets... the opportunities are endless. Getting involved with other projects outside of your course shows initiative, drive and enthusiasm, which are all important to recruiters. Employers aren’t just looking for academics – they want real people with interests and skills, so do something you enjoy or try something you have never done before. At the same time this will help you develop skills such as communication, team-working and negotiation. If the experience is linked to the industry you are looking to get in to, it also shows dedication to that area of employment. Start your own media or publishing project – approach the media or communication sabbatical officer in the Students’ Union for advice. THE CAREERS SERVICE GUIDE London 2014 11
  • Launching your career As well as boosting your skills and experiences, the activities on the previous page also allow you to: • develop your contacts, which will be useful for future networking. • make informed job choices, as you can consider what skills you have developed and which activities you enjoy to help you choose your next step. • fill a gap on your CV. If you need to develop your commercial awareness, leadership or project-management skills, for example, get involved with activities where you can build experience in that particular area. Most importantly, sell the skills that you have gained in a way that will be attractive to employers. Don’t just focus on any routine tasks that you undertook; ask yourself what you actually learned from the experience. What skills have you developed, and how has your understanding of the sector increased? 12 Entrepreneurship for all Many students start their own businesses, ranging from selling cakes to building websites, either when they graduate or even during their studies. This can be great experience as running a business develops skills such as innovative thinking, leadership, business planning and the ability to deal with the unexpected – all of which are valuable to future employers as well as your future business ventures. Even a failed first business looks great on a CV, as employers (often entrepreneurs themselves) will value the skills demonstrated. Most universities offer support to budding entrepreneurs and there are local and national sources of finance available to students who do so. Most students starting a business work on it part time during the weekends and holidays so they can concentrate fully on their studies during term time – after all, working for yourself means working the hours that suit you. And, if they sell something they can use the money raised to contribute towards the cost of their studies. If you are interested in starting your own business, why not enter a business challenge or business idea competition to get your commercial awareness up to scratch? Many large companies run their own business competitions and your college may run its own competition or challenge too. THE CAREERS SERVICE GUIDE London 2014 Another good idea is to join your college’s Enterprise Society and check out these links for further information and ideas: Business in You: offers: • a finance finder (searchable database) • information on business support schemes • access to a mentor, events, workshops and seminars in your area • case studies and blog for updates • an email sign-up facility, so they can send resources targeted to your situation. Shell Livewire: provides: • advice, funding, a discussion forum and events focused on the 16 to 30 age group • a video lounge for information and inspiration, including elevator pitches, case studies and ‘how to’ guides • an excellent range of easy-to-read information on topics from generating ideas to marketing and promotion • advice on e-commerce, employing others and setting up a work space. HMRC: gives you: • everything you need to know about finance, VAT, National Insurance and tax • additional support available through webinars, YouTube videos and workshops.