While soft skills like problem solving and time management can help you get a job, it’s often the hard skills that really capture the attention of employers. These are more practical skills rather than personal traits and as a result they are more quantifiable. Many can even be backed up with certification. Such skills don’t always have to be complex and may be fairly easy to obtain. In fact, you may possess several of these skills already. Here are just a few examples.
Driving can be a valuable skill when applying for jobs. In fact, it’s believed 30% of all jobs out there require some form of driving ability. Even if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t require you to drive, it could still be a useful bonus when commuting—rather than being limited locally or having to take public transport, you may be able to consider areas you wouldn’t otherwise consider. It’s worth getting your license for, even if you have no desire to drive in your free time.
2. Digital Skills
‘Digital skills’ is a bit of a blanket term for any skills involving a computer and could include something as basic as being able to use Microsoft Word to something as complex as being able to code in Java. Many digital skills can be self-taught, but you may find it beneficial to get some form of certification to prove your knowledge such as taking the 300-115 Cisco test. With almost all jobs now incorporating digital technology, digital skills have never been more valuable – most job adverts now look for some form of digital skill.
3. Foreign languages
There’s great demand for those that speak a second language. Because this skill is so sought after and yet so rare, such jobs that require a second language are often very well paid. This could include being a translator or a teacher. As with digital skills, having a qualification such as a Spanish DELE certificate could help to provide proof of your knowledge. Some people may already speak a foreign language due to their cultural background.
4. First aid
By law, any company with employees needs a trained first aider on site. If you’ve already got first aid training, you could be a valuable asset to the team by helping to tick this box. You’re best off pursuing an official qualification such as a Red Cross first aid certificate to give proof of this skill. There’s no need to get complex medical training unless you wish to work in the medical sector, so don’t feel that you have to go all out.
Everything from cars to kids’ toys now contain electrics. The amount of electrical engineers and technicians needed to build and maintain our electrical world has increased dramatically and many related jobs may look upon this skill favorably. Obtaining an electrical license is no easy feat, but it can lead on to great opportunities.
Most people can write, but not everyone can write well. The move to a digital world has only increased the demand for professional writing – some jobs are reliant on an ability to write emails and web copy. When applying to a writing job, it’s worth having some form of writing qualification behind you. It’s worth noting that there are many specialisms to writing such as legal writing and medical writing, typing and traditional calligraphy.
Being able to draw is also a useful skill in many careers. Many design jobs require technical drawing skills, whilst there are a number of illustrator jobs. You may be able to prove that you’re good at drawing simply by showing an employer a portfolio of your work. You can however back this up with some form of drawing qualification such as a BA drawing degree.