Posted: 10th Jan 2021

Identifying Your Skills and Strengths

Boost your job search in 2021 with the OA’s series of expert careers advice. Over the next six weeks we will deliver the core elements essential for job success, starting with the fundamental question:

How do you identify your skills and strengths? 

“Great companies don’t hire great people and motivate them; they hire motivated people and inspire them” says Simon Sinek of “Start with Why” fame. 

  

Love what you do 

When thinking back on your career to-date there will undoubtedly be some highlights that spring to mind. When you question why these moments standout, the chances are they signify times when you felt inspired, motivated and that you were performing to your best potential.  These moments are where skills are most likely to thrive and develop, and honing in on them will enable you to identify the strengths that make you stand out from the crowd. 

 

Be your biggest advocate 

Believe us when we tell you that military training builds skills such as problem solving, negotiating, influencing, decision-making and stakeholder management that far exceed those of the average civilian.  List your skills, interests, values and motivations and decide which ones you want to carry forward and those you’d prefer to leave behind. 

 

Past performance predicts future potential 

Your CV needs to focus on the skills you feel confident using and do exceptionally wellYou should demonstrate how these strengths have helped you in previous roles and attribute a measurable outcome to each examplehighlighting the positive impact of your actions.  

This reveals how your past could predict your future; something that employers will be looking for in your CV and at interview. If you’re committed to developing new skills, outline how you’re doing this. Demonstrating your capacity to learn quickly gives employers confidence in your selection. 

 

What is your WHY? 

“Great companies don’t hire great people and motivate them; they hire motivated people and inspire them” says Simon Sinek of “Start with Why” fame. 

Your WHY statement shoulencapsulate all the qualities you want an employer to know about you in a single sentence, demonstrating your motivations and ambitions both personally and professionally. Your personal WHY should convince an employer WHY they should hire you. 

 

Make sure the feeling is mutual 

In “Self-determination Theory”, authors Edward Deci & Richard Ryan suggest that people seek out relatedness, competence, and autonomy above all else. Does this resonate with you? 

Your next role should inspire you and you should know you can commit to sticking with it without the need to look around again.   When we “Start with Why” we will know if we resonate with an organisation’s cause. If we do, we will then buy into WHY they do WHAT they do. 

Knowing your own WHY will drive you to further your career in a direction that gives you a sense of purpose and fulfilment. 

 

Look out for the second part of our '6 Steps to Job Success' series next week, when we'll be telling you all you need to know about 'Identifying Growing Industry Sectors' in these ever-changing times. In the meantime, don't forget to...

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