As an employer, I am not just looking for someone with the most experience. There are some things that you just can’t teach someone. For example, you can be the most proficient at admin skills but if your personality is sour and you rub people up the wrong way you are not going to be an effective part of any team.

Personality plays a big part in determining if you are the best candidate for the job. Skills like problem-solving and creativity can play as big a role in career advancement as training or education.

The good news is that even young people with no job experience at all will possess at least some of these skills, and that’s what they should focus on when writing their resume.

1. Communications Skills (listening, verbal, written)

Being a clear, concise and effective communicator is critical in the workplace. Think of this as your “first impression” skill.
Having the ability to listen, write, speak effectively and facilitate communication is critical in whatever profession you are engaged in. The bottom line is that if you can communicate well – and have the ability to showcase this – you have a leg-up on the competition.

Resume Hint: Tell me about a project you have worked on, maybe at school or with a sporting team that required you to use good communication skills.

2. Self Motivation

Every employer wants staff that is reliable, take initiative and works hard without having to be told the same instruction over and over again.

Showcase your work ethic. Demonstrate that you can work without supervision and fulfil your commitments. Show up on time and be someone your employer can depend on.

Resume Hint: Tell me about your school attendance record or demonstrate your commitment to a sporting team, have you gotten up at 5 am 2 mornings a week to train without missing a morning in 3 months.

3. Interpersonal Skills

These skills are a way for employers to see how you relate to other people within your team as well as people outside of the organization. This can be measured by how you handle yourself in stressful situations, how you treat people and what your level of emotional intelligence is. Given that we spend majority of our day in the workplace, it is crucial that you possess the ability to relate to your co-workers, inspire others and minimize conflict.

Resume Hint: Tell me about a time you had to deal with conflict, maybe you had a difficult customer in a part time job?

4. Teamwork

Teamwork is all about being able to operate smoothly and efficiently within a group. That requires leadership and decision-making skills, as well as the ability to follow instructions and play your role in a group.

Resume Hint: Team sports are a great way to show this on your resume. Volunteer work or group projects at school are other good examples.

5. Planning/Organizing

This deals with your ability to effectively plan, organize, and execute within an allotted timeframe. It also involves goal-setting. Employers seek a results-driven achiever with a strong sense of detail orientation and time management.

Resume Hint: Tell me about a time when you had a deadline to work to and how you organised yourself to reach that deadline?

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