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Finding a Job

How can I identify my skills? How do I match my skills to a job description?

How do I match my skills to a job description?

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Once you’ve identified your skills and created a skills list, you can move on to the next important task. You can start matching your skills to the job you are applying for.  

You must be able to show the employer – on your CV, application form and at interview – that you have the right skills for this particular job.

Step 1: Find out what skills the employer wants

In most cases, this should be fairly easy. Even if the employer has placed just a small advertisement in a newspaper, or on a recruitment site, they’ll set out what they are looking for in the advert or job posting.   

What if it’s not clear from the advert?

From time to time you’ll see a job advert that doesn't outline the skills required or what the job involves. If it isn’t clear what you would be doing, or who for, don’t apply.

However, if the advert gives you the basics, and you just need a little more information about the job and the skills it needs, read the relevant job profile on Planit. Look for the job title in Careers A-Z. The ‘What does it take?’ section sets out the skills, qualities and interests you need for each job.

If the employer is a large business or organisation, they’ll usually give you more detailed information about the job, and the ‘competencies’ (the skills and qualities) you’ll need. Typically, they’ll provide a job description (or job profile) and a person specification. Some employers may combine both sets of information on one sheet.

You can usually download the documents from their website, or they might send you an information pack.

Read the information carefully, highlighting the skills, keywords or phrases. Write down a skills list for the job.

Step 2: Compare your skills with the skills needed for the job

Once you’ve listed the skills for the job compare the list with your own skills list. How well do the two lists match up? Home in on the skills you and the job have in common.

Remember, you are trying to persuade the employer that you are the ideal person for the job. Think about how you can show them that you have the skills and qualities they are looking for.

Set aside plenty of time to complete your CV or application form.

Not sure how to describe your skills, and personal qualities, on your CV or application form?

You can download our Skills Words and Qualities Words lists at the end of this article to help you get started.  

Downloads

Qualities Words
Skills Words
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