Posted: 25th Jan 2021

Presenting Yourself as the Skill Gap Solution

Boost your job search in 2021 with the OA’s series of expert careers advice.

 

Employers recruit for one simple reason – to fill a skill gap in their organisation. This week, we’re answering the critical question:

How do you present yourself as the skill gap solution? 

Why do organisations employ people? Are they looking to hire to be socially conscientious and responsible for the greater good of society? In a word, No! It’s to fill gaps in their organisational capability. Put yourself in their shoes; why are they recruiting, what are they looking for, what do they want to achieve?

 

Change the way you think

As Zena Everitt says in her excellent book 'MindFlip – Change the Way You Think and Reinvent Your Future', employers care about their problems and want to know how you can fix them.

Ask yourself what you have to offer? Figure out the unique value you provide, which will explain why someone should hire you. Fundamentally this is your expertise, your unique skill set and your emotional intelligence. It is what you know that others don’t. Identify what you most enjoy doing and what you are best at, as this will help create opportunities and make you feel valued.

 

Times are changing

The world of work is changing – fast. To keep up, organisations need to train their employees for the future rather than developing highly skilled experts in roles than may cease to exist in a couple of years. Organisations must help their employees build comprehensive skill sets relevant to roles that will eventually be in high demand, due perhaps to COVID-19, Brexit or the IoT.

 

Focus on soft skills

That means focussing on soft skills such as adaptability, cultural fit and collaboration, empathy, strategic decision-making, critical thinking, problem- solving, emotional intelligence and ethical thinking - all critical skills that the military has in abundance.

 

Present yourself as the solution

Presenting yourself as the solution to an employer’s skills gap is the precursor to gaining an interview. You’re invited to interview because the employer thinks you can fix their problems. The interview itself is more about personal fit and your desire and motivation for the role. We are all naturally reticent to promote ourselves, so talk about what you have done and what you can do rather than about yourself.

Stop selling yourself - sell what you can do for other people. Present yourself as the solution to the organisation’s problems and explain the value of what you do.

 

You are the solution

The result is the value you bring; you are selling a solution, and the answer is you.

 

Look out for the fourth part of our '6 Steps to Job Success' series next week, when we'll be telling you all you need to know about 'How to Connect With the Right Employers'. In the meantime, don't forget to...

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