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What Skills You Have to Offer Employers

Identifying your skills, knowledge and personal attributes
All of us have skills and abilities to offer an employer. The task we have is to identify those skills/abilities to an employer when doing our resume or conducting an interview.  We may have all the skills in the world but  how does an employer know what they are unless we identify them.  Many times it’s difficult to identify these attributes in ourselves and even harder to record this on paper.

Employers expect graduates to recognize the skills that they have - in particular those that are needed to complete the requirements of the position. Let's look at some of the skills we need to identify for the employers.

They are looking for people with skills and traits such as:
•Communication
•The ability to work as part of a team
•Time management
•Problem solving
•Flexibility

The following is a list of some of the skills which employers of graduates need and expect from job applicants:
•Research - an indication of an ability to research yourself, a particular job or organization, or the employment market generally. Have you established clear & realistic goals which match what you have to offer?
•Analysis - identifying key needs & assessing your ability to meet them.
•Decision Making - what is & isn’t relevant to include.
•Planning & Organizing - preparing a clear, concise & relevant document.
•Communication - use of appropriate language. Getting information across convincingly & making a good impression.
•Clerical/Technical - demonstrating an eye for layout & design by presenting a document which is balanced and easy to scan or read thoroughly. Must also have perfect grammar, spelling & structure.

Personal skills & experience
The following is an example of what a 21 year old student has had successful experience in as outlined in their resume.

Financial management & administration:
Kept books in association with accountant
Controlled income/expenditure - bank transfers, loan repayments
Monitored/reconciled cash flows & bank balances
Filed documentation
Prepared wages, PAYE, GST returns
Taken responsibility for cash register balances

Analysis, planning & decision-making:
Set up a computer based cash management system
Researched and analyzed literature and statistics
Evaluated irrigation systems proposals
Controlled farm inventories & bar stock
Arranged investment mortgage finance
Organized machinery maintenance
Planned cultivation & harvest cycles
Scheduled work & met deadlines

Communication:
Listened & contributed in meetings & classroom discussions
Capital property transactions
Made public presentations to groups of 30+ people
Handled enquiries & complaints
Trained temporary staff
Wrote reports, essays & proposals
Negotiated direct sales with retailers for purchase of stock
Worked effectively in group situations & followed instructions

Leadership & Supervision:
Employed services of lawyers, trades people & contractors
Organizer & office holder in various clubs - including the set up of an investors’ club
Supervised full & part time employees
Coached/trained sports teams

Computing:
Microsoft Word
Excel
Power Point
Quantitative Systems for Business
Microsoft Outlook
Microsoft Access
C ++
Java
Minitab
SPSS

Competencies - the following are examples of what you could include in your resume:
Analytical skills (ability to) -
•identify key components of an issue or problem
•relate practical applications to technical & theoretical knowledge
•recognise alternatives, problems & opportunities
•test assumptions & revise conclusions in the light of new experience

Skills in innovation: (ability to)
•anticipate needs
•bring in fresh perspectives & new ideas
•identify & develop opportunities to increase effectiveness
•think creatively, imaginatively & in abstract terms

Decision making skills: (ability to)
•identify & give appropriate weighting to all relevant factors
•make logical & considered decisions & support with appropriate evidence or rationales
•ensure that decisions made are consistent with goals

Research skills: (ability to)
•obtain information efficiently
•identify & use appropriate sources of information e.g. people, literature
•access scientific literature
•take & catalogue notes
•prepare bibliographies

Manual skills: (ability to)
•use tools of trade safely & competently
•observe good work and housekeeping practices
•undertake the variety of tasks required of the job
•maintain equipment & tools of trade

Organization skills: (ability to)
•establish priorities & plan and organize work according to those priorities
•delegate work & allocate resources appropriately
•organize work either on an individual basis or as part of a work group
•monitor & evaluate performance & adjust to changed circumstances

Clerical skills: (ability to)
•use appropriate office equipment as required
•follow common formats & layouts for correspondence & reports
•devise & access filing systems

Job knowledge:
•understanding of terminology, principles & practices applicable to the job
•able to follow required industrial regulatory or technical guidelines
•knowledge of issues, problems or necessary changes appropriate to the job
•demonstrate organizational and interpersonal skills
•recognize an employer’s needs

Specialist knowledge:
•detailed knowledge of equipment, systems or administrative procedures
•tertiary qualifications necessary to undertake duties of the job
Environmental knowledge -
•understanding of trends & attitudes prevailing in industry & the community
•knowledge of the industrial relations climate of an organization

Interpersonal skills: (ability to)
•gain the co-operation & acceptance of others - clients, colleagues & other professionals
•make an effective contribution as a member of a work group, team or task force
•represent & negotiate on behalf of an organization
•provide sound leadership & motivate staff to produce results
•focus on performance rather than personality when relating to others
•be socially, culturally & ethically sensitive

Maturity: (ability to)
•do a thorough job with limited supervision work within the constraints of an organizations rules and regulations
•work effectively & remain clam and flexible under pressure
•seek assistance from others when required
•share & encourage the sharing of information about problems, successes & decisions
•be adaptable & make independent judgments

Motivation: (ability to)
•set goals and reach them
•take the initiative and maintain a high energy level
•demonstrate a positive attitude to self and others
•enjoy challenges and take reasonable risks

Technical skills & specialized knowledge:
•typing, shorthand, speed-reading
•product knowledge
•EEO regulations
•basic accounting/budgeting
•wage law & employee benefits
•computer programming
•real estate appraisal
•legal experience

Communication skills:
Written
Leadership

•clear concise & accurate reports
•inspiring enthusiasm in others
publicity materials
•handle crisis & emergencies well
letters & proposals
•willingness to take responsibility
speeches/presentations
•initiating new ideas & procedures

Verbal/Interpersonal/Human relations skills:
•clarifying issues in logical & concise manner
•ease in obtaining information from others
negotiating issues
•counseling/coaching on individual basis
giving clear instructions
•ability to influence others to see your point of view
•asking clear direct questions
•understanding & using organization politics
training others
•resolving personal conflicts with others
•conducting interviews
•justifying your actions to subordinates

Administrative/planning and organizing skills:
•ability to implement decisions
•developing, implementing & controlling a budget
•attention to details
•scheduling a sequence of events
•gathering accurate pertinent data
•knowing how to evaluate priorities
•developing time saving working procedures
•defining departmental goals within organisational goals
•ability to co-ordinate large numbers of diverse activities or events in a short period of time
•creating & maintaining files, data records, financial information
•gathering information and arranging it in a clear interpretable form
•ability to meet deadlines under pressure, work at a fast pace.

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