Demonstrating your value
How to prove you have the core skills that employers value
Whether you're applying for a new role, or looking to push yourself further in your existing position, being able to demonstrate your worth to an employer is a crucial skill, and one worth getting comfortable with.
At REED, we reward our co-members for a variety of things, including demonstration of several core skills, listed below. If you can prove yourself to have these qualities, you're one step ahead when it comes to proving yourself to an employer.
Demonstrating core skills
You want to be able to show your motivation and "can-do" approach, so consider the ways you do this in your role currently. Do you make suggestions for improving results or processes, and follow these through? If so, be prepared to talk about the steps you took to deliver that change.
Do you help others to achieve their objectives, and foster a culture of high performance in your team or department? For more senior positions, employers will look at not just your own performance, but how you influence good performance among others, so be prepared to talk about this.
Attitude to colleagues
Working effectively with colleagues is essential in almost all jobs, moreso at senior levels when you may have to regularly interact with co-workers from outside of your immediate team. Make sure you can give examples of being able to act as a mediator or chair during discussions of conflicting views, ensuring all opinions are listened to and respected.
Can you talk confidently about your ability to manage upwards (as well as downwards) to achieve desired results? Does your ability to manage projects and engage individuals from different teams towards a common goal mean you are respected as a leader? Be prepared discuss your actions in this process, and what made you successful in it.
Communication & Relationship Building
You may not be aware of how much and how well you communicate currently. Can you give examples of researching and presenting information relevant to your audience, with all necessary supporting information? Were you able to provide impartial advice on the best options and why? Thinking about this in relation to a senior (executive) audience is also very valuable, so do try to get this exposure of this in your current role if you haven't already.
Do you foster a culture of open expression of ideas in your team and value all contributions? Be confident in talking about how this leads to more effective working within your department.
Creativity & Innovation
Coming up with new and fresh ideas is very important in all aspects of business, to help improve overall performance. Can you give examples of ways in which you've generated new approaches or opportunities in your current role? How did you come up with the idea? What was the implementation process and how do you measure the results?
As well as new ideas, can you demonstrate your ability to challenge the status quo to deliver a positive outcome? This can be in anything you come across at work, particularly when there are set ways of doing things in your organisation. Are you someone who can suggest and implement innovations successfully, as well as encouraging others to do the same?
Customers, whether you serve them directly or not, are the lifeblood of any organisation. But even if you're not in a traditional customer facing role, you probably do have customers for the function your team provides, so think about how you serve them. What actions do you take to improve relationships with your customers, either to increase loyalty, sales improve service levels or feedback? Have your actions resulted in measurable changes or added value to your organisation? Give specific examples where you can, with as many details as possible, and think about how these would translate to your desired role.
Have you inspired a customer-focussed environment within your team or department? If so, how did you do this, what results did it have, and what did you learn in the process?
You may have knowledge and expertise in a specific area of work, whether that's being able to follow correct or successful processes, understanding and confident use of specific language or jargon, knowledge of certain rules or regulations, or other specialised, job-specific skills. How have you been able to excel in your role because of your technical expertise? How do you manage the sharing of this knowledge among team members for the benefit of the organisation as a whole?
Be prepared to talk about your learning process (which may involve formal qualifications), and how you intend to develop or extend your knowledge or practice. Also consider the bigger picture – how does the effective use of your technical expertise benefit the organisation as a whole?
For more information about researching companies before making an application have a look at these articles:
Or explore the full range of articles in our company culture advice section here.