Turn Your Experiences Into Solid Reasons to Employ You

A career search best practice is to turn your experiences into a personal skills & knowledge inventory. A skill is simply something you know how to do, such as analyzing data, utilizing Microsoft Office productivity software, or performing searches on the Internet. Knowledge is something you are aware of, such as facts, data, processes, or interrelationships. According to research by the

Gallup Organization, the average person has more than 500 skills, and possesses a vast storehouse of knowledge. Identifying your specific skills and knowledge before you begin your career search will aid you ability in more effectively communicating your qualifications and abilities to potential employers. As a first step in this process, you’ll want to create a personal skills inventory.

Here are six areas from which relevant experiences can be drawn include:

1. Employment. All work experience develops relevant skills. If you are a student or very recent graduate, begin with the different part-time and summer jobs you worked while in high school and college. If you are an experienced worker, they you have a number of years on-the-job from which to identify your skills and expertise. What specific accomplishments did you achieve? How do these accomplishments exemplify your work ethic, teamwork, attitude, grasp of the employer’s objectives, and effectiveness in performing high-quality work?

2. Internships. Internships are excellent sources of relevant experience for students or individuals returning to the workforce after a prolonged absence. Whether unpaid or paid, internship experiences enable you to demonstrate your effectiveness in accomplishing the objectives of the internship. Ask yourself the same questions as in item 1 above.

3. Volunteer Activities. Your participation in volunteer activities demonstrates your willingness to give back to the community. They are a source of gaining of valuable experiences which could prove beneficial to a prospective employer, not to mention a great place to build important network connections. Again, ask yourself the same questions as in item 1 above.

4. Work-Study Programs. For students, work-study programs combine coursework with real-world experiences in order to bring the traditional classroom setting into the workplace. Usually a semester in length, students are graded on projects associated with the curriculum taught in conjunction with the work-study program.

5. School Activities. Don’t overlook the valuable and relevant experiences from your high school and college sports, clubs, and school activities, which could be of interest to a prospective employer.

6. Military Service. For the hundreds of thousands of people enlisting in the armed services each year, many choose the service over college as a place to get training in essential skills. Depending on the length of one’s enlistment and active/reserve status, decades of experience can be gained. For many, the armed services are employment.

When building your skills inventory, it is not enough to list the skill by itself. You’ll need to be able to cite several examples of how you utilized each specific skill in order to benefit others, your employer, or to reach a goal. These examples will make compelling stories to share during your interviews, and give your interviewer confidence that you possess the skill.

Boyer Management Group works with employers and job seekers alike to help both become more successful. For job seekers, we offer the world’s first assessment to measure an individual’s knowledge and awareness of current and emerging career search best practices, along with the educational programs to support higher ed curriculum, career coaches and individual job seekers. For employers, we offer world-class B2B selling, training, selection and onboarding tools and programs. To find out more, please visit us at www.boyermanagement.com, email us at info@boyermanagement.com, or call us at 215-942-0982.

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