When reading the plethora of articles online educating you on how to write the perfect CV, you’ll note that they all include the dreaded “identify your key strengths.” What? How do you answer something so vague without direction? Well, in this article we’ll tell you exactly how to identify your key strengths and how to incorporate this effectively into your CV.
We’ll split this into 3 main sections; how to identify your strengths, picking the best out of these for the specific job role, and how to incorporate them into your CV.
First, let’s actually think and write down all the strengths you have. It’s important to remember that having a strength does not mean you are the best at the skill or even possess above average talents, a strength can be almost anything when worded correctly and put in the appropriate context - so, note everything down for now. What would you say you can do effectively or well.
Here are some good examples;
Next, you should ask your family and friends - they’ll likely pick up on some key strengths you may have missed yourself. Add those to the list and you’ll start building up a nice portfolio of skills you’re good at. If you’ve had a job previously, you can also ask your past employer - assuming things ended on good footing, they won’t bite and may have that employer insight your CV could benefit from. Once you’ve got a pretty bulky list, let’s move onto the next stage, picking the best ones for your specific job role.
It’s probably a bad idea to put all of the skills you’ve listed in your CV, it’s important to pick and choose the best of the bunch. You don’t want to be detailing your excellent skills in blindfolded water skiing in an application for an office job, for example. However, you will want to choose hard working and friendly for a call centre - so think about which of the skills you’ve listed will be the most beneficial to your job role.
Shorten down your list to three or four of the most essential strengths for your chosen job role - these should be the skills you believe will give you the competitive edge against your peers. And again, be specific, the last thing employers want is a CV that could be for any role in any industry, we like to see tailored answers to the job that’s up for grabs.
You’ve got your list of essential strengths and you’re ready to knit them into your CV, but don’t simply write them out like a shopping list as again; context and tailoring are key. With each of your chosen strengths answer the question of why this skill is important to have in the job role. This ‘why’ is the bit you need to include in your answer to the strengths question.
For example, you’re applying for a customer service role, why is being friendly an important skill to have? Because it’s crucial the customer leaves feeling happy with their interaction with you and have a positive opinion of the business you’re working for so, write something like this: “One of my key strengths is my ability to stay calm and friendly in any situation. This means if a customer comes to me in a distressed state due to an issue they are having, I’ll be able to effectively diffuse the situation and, upon solving their issue, ensure they leave happy, maintaining your positive brand image.” Ta-da! Do this for each of your chosen strengths and you’ll be off to a great start with your CV and put yourself in with a good chance of getting that dream job.
Now you’ve got the perfect CV, you need somewhere to apply to so why not submit your CV to us. At Prestige, we’re 100% committed to supporting our candidates. offering an ethical, professional recruitment service from the moment they step through our door.
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