When you send your graduate CV off to employers, the key thing they will look for is whether you have the relevant skills required for the role.
Every graduate has a degree, however not every graduate has a strong skillset to offer employers.
One of the trickiest parts of writing your CV is how to include your key skills.
Many graduates go wrong by simply listing skills and using clichés that employers see time and time again. This isn’t going to impress anybody.
If you want to really impress employers, you’ll need to include some of these desirable skills. More importantly, you’ll need to prove that you have them.
Tips on how to include your key skills:
Communication and people skills
Excellent communication skills are required for a large number of graduate roles but do not just say that you have them.
Instead, think of an example of when you have had to use your communication skills.
You may have had to persuade a sceptical audience, give a presentation or clarify a problem.
Customer service skills
If you are applying for a role that involves dealing with clients or customers, the employer will want to hear about your good customer service skills. These may be face-to-face or over the phone.
E.g. have you ever had to deal with a dissatisfied customer?
If so, you may want to use this as an example and talk about how you dealt with the customer.
Team work skills
Show off your team work skills by talking about a team project you have taken part in.
Rather than just focusing on the success of the team, be sure to highlight your key areas of responsibility and how you contributed to the overall results.
Commercial awareness skills
Employers want to see that you are business savvy.
Use your work experience to talk about how you have expanded your business knowledge and don’t be afraid to use practical examples.
Time management skills
So, you met all of your university deadlines, that’s great! But how did you do it?
Did you break your workload down into smaller tasks and estimate the time needed for each one? Did you assess where you could save time?
Give a clear example to prove that you are able to manage your time effectively.
Think about problems that occurred during your time at university and how you came up with solutions and overcame them.
Problems occur in businesses all the time, so being able to come up with solutions is a valuable skill to have.
Using your initiative
This skill sometimes goes hand in hand with problem-solving.
Using your initiative is all about being able to act independently and take charge of a situation.
Think about a time when you have had to use your initiative and what the results were.
When have you taken on a leadership role? Or when have you displayed qualities that show good leadership?
Qualities such as decisiveness and being able to listen are great examples.
How many skills should you include?
Top tip: You should ensure that you include all the key skills that are listed in the job description.
If you can’t write about them in as much detail as you would like on your CV (remember this should only be 2 pages) then you can always expand on your examples within your covering letter.
If you show that you have some of these fantastic skills in your CV, then you’ll have plenty to talk about in your interview.
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