Career Advice

How to Use Your Skills to Find the Perfect Job

Male Photographer Working In His Office

It’s a job seekers’ market. That’s right, you’re the driver’s seat and have your pick of hundreds of thousands of open jobs. To land the perfect job, you’ve got to hone in on your skills. In addition to having the right skills for the jobs of today (and tomorrow), you need to be able to present those skills clearly and confidently in your resume. After all, a recruiter needs to know what tools you have in your toolbox in order to properly evaluate whether you’re a fit for the job.

“Wait, what are my skills?”

If you’re asking yourself this question, you are not alone. Even if you are a seasoned pro, it can be tough to list your skills and match them up with a job description. That’s why we’re here to help.

Most people start their job search by searching for job titles, but with so many new types of jobs popping up every day, you might miss out on a great opportunity by limiting yourself to a certain title. Instead, identify your skills and what responsibilities you want and search using those keywords.

What Skills You Bring to the Table

To identify your ideal job, think about your current responsibilities at work. Ask yourself, “What are the things that I’m going at doing that help me achieve my core responsibilities at work?” These are your job functionality skills and can be things like writing, analysis, problem-solving, vendor set-up, or reporting.

Next, consider your technical skills by asking yourself, “What tools do I know how you use that help me do my job even better?” These technical skills or tools can include Python, Adobe Suite, SQL, Excel, R, or Access.  It’s important to know what your technical skills are and align those with the job description. Often times, these are non-negotiables in the job search process. If needed, consider taking additional coursework if you notice that your skills don’t align with the requirements outlined in job descriptions.

Last, but not least, consider what you bring to the table in the space of soft skills. From the ability to listen, verbal communication, critical thinking, and leadership to conflict management, delegation, and collaboration, these are all in-demand soft skills. To develop this list for yourself, ask yourself, “What are personal attributes that help you do your job even better?”

Now that you have your skills outlined, it’s time to figure out what you want to be doing with those skills in your next job.

What Responsibilities You Want

One of the most significant aspects of a job description is the portion which outlines the job responsibilities. Concise and reader-friendly, this section gives give candidates the specific responsibilities of the role, and criteria that they will be evaluated against. It also gives you insight into the day-to-day responsibilities.

“What are the things from my previous roles that I would be happy to keep doing or want to do more of?” This is the first question to ask yourself as you consider how to apply your skills to your workday. Think about the daily responsibilities that excite you and motivates you to come to work and do a great job.

Next, consider how you’d like to stretch yourself in your next role. Give some thought to the new skills, tools, processes and functions that you would like to learn in your next job. These are the growth opportunities that should be considered part of your day-to-day responsibilities. As you look for the perfect job, ask yourself, “What are things that I haven’t done in the past, but would like to start doing or grow into?” This question is particularly important to ask yourself ays think about your overall career and where you ultimately want to go. If you’ve got your eye on the C-suite, make sure that you’re clear about the kinds of stretch assignments and challenging projects you want to take on.

Finally, make a list of the responsibilities you’d like to avoid in your next role. You know, think about those tasks and activities that you didn’t enjoy in your last job that you’d absolutely like to steer clear of in your dream gig. Need some help? Ask yourself, “What are the tasks that I would prefer never to do again or do less of in my next job?” While you may not be able to avoid these responsibilities, by listing them out, you can be mindful of them. When you’re in an interview and the hiring manager requires 3 of the 4 responsibilities you’d like to avoid, you’ll know that this may not be the job for you.

Each of these questions will help you evaluate your skills and by asking yourself these probing questions, you will be able to create a snapshot of your ideal job.

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