Recently Stuart Parkin wrote a great article on “What makes you more employable”1. Stuart has 10 different points he discussed. The University of Central England’s Employer Satisfaction survey2 asked recruiters to rank 60 skills in order of importance and the top 12 were listed. Furthermore The Association of Graduate Recruiters3 also conducted research and came up with 12 required skills.

1. http://www.twine.com/item/13489p0cq-1hc/what-makes-you-employable-in-2010-advertising-age-talentworks

2. http://blogstreet.typepad.com/blogstreet_from_jobstreet/2009/08/what-makes-you-more-employable.html

3. http://jobsbd.com/career%20service/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=40:what-makes-you-more-employable&catid=11:graduate&Itemid=13

UCE’s ESS says that employers want “intelligent and enthusiastic individuals who can organise and plan their work and interact with others effectively” and also note that your job applications will be better considered if you can show development and use of your skills in a range of situations that are important to the employer.

Rightyo you say – list them out, let’s see what I’ve got and what I have to go to Target to buy!! But as I look at all of the lists I am a bit overwhelmed. The human brain can process and remember 7 or 8 items in a list, but 10 or 12 qualities we are meant to display – how do we remember them all and which are most important and what if I don’t even know what some of them mean? Not only that – but some of them seem the same, just labelled differently, so how do employers even define what is important? And how do I remember what it all means?

Now in our experience at www.smsthejob.com.au, these are skills that naturally demonstrated by some people and they are easily learned skills for others – if explained clearly. So this is my aim over the next few blogs - I am going to give you my take on these lists!! Remembering that as a Manager, I too have instinctively looked for these skills and attributes in potential staff members. And whilst I have never sat down and done a tick box list, the skills I will list in the coming blogs are apparent when you meet people who have taken the time to work on them!!

So let’s start with #1: SELF AWARENESS

Here is something that seems pretty simply right? We know ourselves don’t we? We know if we like the footy, or going to the movies, or brussell sprouts, or spending time with our families. Right? Wrong!! Self Awareness is about 1. being able to identify AND communicate our personal strengths, skills and values, and 2. Knowing and admitting to our weaknesses, with the view to personal improvement. What do I mean?

Here are some Strengths:

  • tenacity: the ability to stick with something when the going gets tough
  • objectivity: being able to take a step back and see things from a rational and non-emotional perspective
  • dependability: being able to meet commitments you have made

Here are some Skills:

  • data entry at 80 words per minute
  • accounts to General Ledger
  • ability to manage different personalities

Here are some Values:

  • Honesty
  • Kindness
  • Understanding

Now of course my list isn’t exhaustive, but the idea is to get you to think about your Strengths, Skills and Values!! Write to me with any that you have and we can discuss where they fit in!! I also mentioned weaknesses, didn’t I? and this is important. Someone who has a good sense of self worth, but no understanding of their faults is not a valuable employee. None of us are perfect, but we all have habits or actions that could be improved upon – owning up to that and making an effort is viewed very well by employers. For me, I am terrible at telling the time!! I am pretty much always late (except on my Wedding day. My hubby promised me if I was on time he would never nag me about being late again – I should’ve known better!!); also I over commit, I think things will take me less time than they actually do. But here is what I do – I aim to turn up to events 30 mins earlier (thereby HOPEFULLY being on time) AND if a project is not going to be completed in the time I first stated I make sure that I let people depending on me know how I am going, why I am running behind and how I intend to make up for it (well… mostly!).

I’m going to give you some homework with each of these blogs, so that you start to think in concrete terms about your “Skills” when applying for jobs! For Self Awareness, grab a sheet of paper and write down the 3 headings SKILLS, STRENGTHS, VALUES. Now start to list yours (and let me know if you need any help!). Leave a little space at the bottom of the sheet and in smaller print (trust me, the psychology behind it is important) write the things you would like to improve about yourself (only 2 or 3 here max, this is about awareness not self flagellation). Once you’ve done the exercise, you can file the bit of paper – it is not for you to memorise, but for you to get familiar with the concepts!

Next blog will be about #2 ADAPTABILITY!! Stay tuned!

Have you increased your chances of finding your perfect job in Australia? Register with www.smsthejob.com.au and we’ll email you with the jobs that meet your criteria (here’s the link for you: http://www.smsthejob.com.au/myjobs/signup.php)!! Or we offer a free registration service for you; email Hayley at Customer Care hayley@smsthejob.com.au.

We’d love to hear your questions and comments! Keep up to date with the latest job hunt advice and assistance here!

SMStheJOB is a new way to receive and apply to job ads................................Smarter not harder!

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