When you’re looking for a new role, the most important task, before you even consider working on your CV, is to do a skills assessment.
Assessing your skillset will help you to learn something about yourself, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and provide you with the valuable content needed for both your CV and resulting interviews.
You can use your assessment to compare yourself against the candidate requirements for the roles you’re looking at, and highlight any areas for improvement. If you’re lacking in certain skills needed to pursue that new role, you can work on these and in preparation to present yourself as a valuable candidate for the new role you’re applying for.
So, how do you perform a self-assessment?
It’s time to work through the skills that you already have. Separate this into different groups; skills that you excel at, skills you’re average at but could improve at, and skills you feel you’re lacking in. It might help to consider your current role, and what skills you feel make you perform well in the job, and what tasks you find yourself struggling with more.
Now you have your list of skills, it’s time to analyse them further. Think of a few examples of times when you put each individual skill into action. By breaking the skills down like this, you should find a range of other skills that you didn’t necessarily consider at first. For example, if one of your skills was negotiation, you may find that in those situations when you applied negotiation you also used relationship-building skills and flexibility to a situation.
When you feel you’ve covered off all your skills, it’s time to start comparing these to those required for the new role that you’re aiming for. Take a look at several job advertisements for the role to see what different employers consider to be the required and desired skills for the role. Do your skills and experience match up to those in the adverts? Are you in a position to step straight into this role or is more training and skill development needed to prepare for the new role?
Knowledge is power, no matter what level you are in what sector. People often underestimate the knowledge they hold, especially when transferring from one industry to another. From technical know-how and product knowledge, to understanding particular markets and customers; the knowledge you have could be valuable to a future employer and you need to make the most of this.
If you don’t feel you have enough relevant know-how for the new sector or role you’re aiming for, then this can be rectified. Make this your next step; to get up to date with the level of understanding required to undertake your new role.
You have an idea now of what the employer needs from you, but what are YOUR requirements from this new role? This means everything from salary expectations to working environment, team, training and benefits. What about your current role is making you want to change? What do you then want to be different in your new role?
It’s always helpful to get a second opinion, and the people who work with you daily are the best people to give you feedback on the skills, knowledge and value they feel you hold. Obviously this depends on where you are at with your career progression and whether you want your future plans to be known at this time, but if you can get feedback from others it will help to give a more rounded assessment.
When you’ve completed your assessment, you should now feel well-equipped to prepare your CV and start selling yourself to new potential employers. If you need any career advice, feel free to contact our friendly career advisors; email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 018404075 for more information.