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Understanding your skills

Before you start to apply for jobs, you need to think about the skills you have that will help you to get and keep the type of job you want.

Employers don’t just look for people who can perform a set of tasks. They are interested in your skills and abilities.

Your skills could have come from previous roles, unpaid work experience, voluntary work, training or your personal life. Knowing what your skills are is one of your greatest strengths.

Skills can be broken down into two areas:

  • Hard skills – these are skills that can be measured and learned, through education, work or life experiences. Examples include qualifications, the speed at which you type or the ability to speak another language. These skills will be described on a job description, so personal experience can be matched to the essential knowledge the employer is looking for. For example, if they want someone with some bookkeeping experience, this is very easy to show on your CV
  • Soft skills – sometimes known as interpersonal skills. These are personal and social skills you need to be able to do most jobs. The best thing about soft skills is you don’t need qualifications to get them.

Transferable skills are skills developed in one situation that can be transferred to another situation. For example, someone who has been out of work while caring for young children may have skills such as organisation, time management and negotiation as you need all three to care for a child. If you have played team sports you are likely to have teamwork as a skill.

For more information about how we can help you find work, visit our Recruitment Hub