If you are an experienced job seeker, you may be familiar with a skills profile, as well as what it can do for you. A skills profile is a comprehensive list of skills attained throughout your entire job history. Further, a skills profile provides three examples in support of each skill using a Situation, Task, Action and Result, also known as a STAR statement.
Your skills profile is an extremely useful tool that will help you achieve the following:
- Identify all of your skills
- Gain clarity on career and job goals
- Produce a CV that is targeted to the job goal
- Concisely relay skills to people in your network
- Respond effectively to behaviour-based interview questions
- Make informed decisions regarding job offers
Step 1: Organising your skills
Begin by putting your skills in to three categories: job-related, transferable, and self-management. Job-related skills are those required to do a particular job; for example, ‘created and managed staff scheduling using Excel’. Transferable skills are those acquired from past or volunteer work, and life experience. Transferable skills can be applied to a wide variety of work; for example, ‘organised and facilitated financial planning workshops’. Self-management skills are skills that ensure we obtain and maintain work, including accountability, adaptability, initiative, flexibility and punctuality.
Step 2: Supporting your skills
Develop a statement that provides evidence for each of your skills by asking yourself the following questions:
- When and where did I perform this skill?
- How, and how often, did I perform this skill?
- Why did I perform this skill?
- For whom did I perform this skill? Or with whom?
- What was the outcome of my skill for the company/organization/business?
Step 3: Writing it down
Review your answers to the questions and highlight what is really important. Then, write a statement that reflects both the quality and quantity of that skill. For example:
Assisted clients in resolving concerns through active listening and problem-solving strategies.
An example of a statement involving quantity is demonstrated by this statement:
Saved company £5,000 by securing contracts with less expensive suppliers.
Apply these three steps to each skill until you have completed the entire process.
Once you have reviewed and recorded your job-related, transferable and self-management skills, you will be amazed at just how much you have to offer a new employer. The process of writing your skills and their supporting statements may seem daunting, particularly to those who have an extensive and varied work history. However, the payoff is substantial. A skills profile is something you can continue to draw from each and every time you require it, and it will greatly ease the task of writing an effective covering letter and CV. Knowing yourself and how your skills, experience, and education fit in with the type of work you desire, is the key to obtaining it. A skills profile will support you in the search for a job that fits your needs.