When seeking employment, focusing on your strengths is always advisable – after all, who is going to hire someone who lacks confidence in their own abilities?
Employers and recruiters such as Randstad recruitment receive an unprecedented number of applications for every position they need to fill. This means skimming through written application and CVs to scope out those that might survive the next stage of interviews. At this stage, if the applicant hasn’t made an effort to point out their strengths, the employer will not take the time to find out what they are.
Knowing Your Strengths
You can’t expect to point out your strengths to a potential employer if you’re not sure what they are. Things that employers recognise as strengths include leadership qualities, problem solving skills and initiative. Below is a list of possible strengths you might be able to identify with and should consider including on your CV:
- People Management
- Taking ownership of problems
- Respect for deadlines
- Determination (seeing a project through to the end or finding a solution to a problem)
- Quick learner
- Able to see the big picture and work with smaller details
- Strong at a given skill required by the job (like Java programming, project management, teaching, writing, web design, customer service, phone manner, maths, public speaking, etc.)
- Good people skills
- Good team player
- Ability to help influence change
- Good at finding ways to improve existing business processes
- Good at resolving conflict
When presented with a job spec, take the time to read thoroughly and understand what is required for the role then see how your own strengths match up to each of the points. If sending a written application, try to use examples of when you’ve proved these strengths in previous projects.
Each of us is blessed with different gifts inside and outside the workplace, while you may assume that your affinity for charming anyone you meet is only good for after work drinks, you could be a godsend to your potential employer who lacks anyone who can win round a particularly difficult client. Your skills and strengths are transferrable no matter what they are. Point out something you’re good at that isn’t mentioned in the job description and you could be presenting the interviewer with a vital skill they hadn’t realised they needed.