This is a short list of basic skills which are required in today’s job market. Ensure you mention them on your applications, on your CV or covering email/letter. You need to be able to demonstrate them and think of examples when you have achieved something significant.
WRITTEN COMMUNICATION – Being able to think through in advance what you want to say; having report writing skills; showing you can gather, analyse and arrange date in a logical sequence; avoid jargon and adopt your writing style for appropriate and different audiences and be able to briefly summarise your written content.
NEGOTIATING AND PERSUADING – Demonstrating you can develop a line of argument, using tact and diplomacy and handle objections to your discussion; make concessions to reach agreement and show that you can challenge points of views expressed by others; be able to emphasise the positive aspects of your point of view and understand the needs of the people you are dealing with.
VERBAL COMMUNICATION – Making effective use of speech, conduct, dress and body language; the ability to present to an audience [using visual aids, building rapport, getting your message across, etc]; accurately hearing what people say to you and being able to clarify and summarise what they are communicating without interrupting; being able to help others define their issues and having excellent telephone skills.
CO-OPERATING (TEAMWORK) – Understanding your strengths and weaknesses and how they contribute to a team; being able to contribute ideas effectively in a group and taking a share of the responsibility in a group; accepting and learning from constructive criticism and giving positive, constructive feedback to others; being assertive rather than passive or aggressive and concentrating on behaviour that could be improved.
INVESTIGATING AND ANALYSING – Being able to clarify the nature of a problem before deciding what action to take; being able to collect, collate, classify and summarise data and formulate questions; showing that you can gather information systematically and find where the required information is available; be able to use results effectively using text/graphs/tables/pictures; have impressive decision making skills; be able to formulate questions and condense information to produce notes.
LEADERSHIP – Being able to set objectives; organise and motivate others; take the initiative and persevere when things are not working out; being able to take a positive attitude to both frustration and failure; being flexible and prepared to adapt goals in the light of different situations; demonstrating you can accept responsibility for mistakes and wrong decisions.
PLANNING AND ORGANISING – Demonstrating that you can manage your time effectively and use action planning skills to prioritise tasks effectively; being able to set achievable and measurable objectives and identify steps needed to achieve goals; being able to use lists ad complete work to a deadline; having effective time management skills and be able to work effectively under pressure whilst managing stress.
NUMERACY – Being able to use simple statistics; calculate percentages; multiply and divide accurately; read and interpret graphs and tables; use a calculator and being able to manage a limited budget.
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