When it comes to applying for jobs, or writing a CV, you'll likely be faced with the challenge of outlining your skills. Listing them all can be tough, especially if you've never had to think about them before. This means you'll likely find yourself facing the question "What skills do I have?"
Don't worry, you've got them. And we've written this post to help you realise your key strengths and we've even provided a list of skills to help you identify which ones you have. Before we get started, check out this video from the National Careers Service about how to identify your skills:
Making the transition from school to work can sometimes feel like a big step. At school, you get used to a certain way of doing things and many students wonder how they'll be able to apply their knowledge and abilities to a working environment. However, it's easier than you might think.
'What skills do I have? What have you learnt at school which you can apply at work?'
At school, you will have developed a number of transferable skills that you can apply to jobs, the key is to consider them in a different context. Take a look at our list of skills below and see which ones apply to you.
Being able to operate a computer is one of the most important key skills you can have today. No matter what job you do, there's a very good chance that you will need to be able to carry out a range of IT tasks. The good news is that you probably already have excellent IT skills without knowing about it, some of which could include:
- Word processing using Microsoft Word.
- Using spreadsheets in Excel.
- Researching using the internet.
- Some of you may even have computer coding skills.
Most employers expect candidates to be able to work as part of a team. Regardless of what job you do, there will always be a time when you need to work closely with other people to achieve a common goal. The chances are that you already have really good teamworking skills that you've developed at school. Some examples of how you might currently use your teamworking abilities, include:
- Group activities in the classroom.
- Sports clubs.
- Extra-curricular activities like clubs etc.
- Group presentations/projects.
For more information on teamworking, check out our post on how to improve your teamwork skills.
This a big one. Having good communication skills is extremely important in the workplace. At work, you'll be communication with people over a range of different levels and it's important that you're able to adapt your communication style to fit your audience. For example, the way that you speak to a colleague would be different from the way you speak to the CEO of the company. At school, you use your communication skills every day, whether you're talking with friends, classmates, or teachers. Some examples of when you might need to demonstrate good communication at school, include:
- When working as part of a team.
- When delivering instructions to classmates.
- When answering questions verbally.
- When giving presentations.
Time management skills
Being able to organise your time effectively will really help you at work. In many jobs, you'll be responsible for your own workload and therefore you'll need to be able to prioritise tasks accordingly. At school, the most common time that you'll need to use time management skills is when it comes to studying for exams. Some examples you can give on your CV of your time management skills, include:
- Revising for several subjects at once.
- Organising a study timetable.
- Prioritising important tasks first.
- Breaking down studying into manageable chunks.
A crucial addition to your list of skills is problem solving. It's inevitable that you'll come up against obstacles from time to time, and being able to think your way around them creatively will help you achieve more and stop you having to ask others for help – and your boss will love you for it! As well as tackling problems you face, thinking of quicker or better ways of getting things done could help your employer perform better overall, which is great news for everyone.
Ways you can demonstrate this on your CV include:
- Practical projects which involve turning a concept into reality, such as in design and technology.
- Being the strategist on the sports team.
- If you're an ideas person, taking part in Young Enterprise or a similar scheme shows you can solve business problems.
- Coding or computer programming.
Now it's time to find out which employers value the most by taking a look at our guide to key skills.