Is it time for a skills health check?

Skills shortages, skills gaps, over-skilled, mismatched skills, life skills, employability skills….it can all get a little confusing, right?!

The world of work is always changing, as are the skills requirements of employers. There has been a lot of media hype and dramatic headlines about skills shortages in recent years, especially with the increase in job creation in the UK. Employers are on the lookout for people with the skills they need to develop their organisations – you may very well have some of those sought after skills and not even realise. There is no better time to evaluate your skills and abilities – these are valuable assets unique to you, which shouldn’t be overlooked.

“We’ve seen real progress with job creation in the region over the past few years; the UK is creating jobs at a faster rate than any other EU country, which is fantastic news. Now the challenge is to get the right skills into local businesses and boost productivity.”

 Steve Griffiths, Business Development Director – S2 Recruitment

Here are 5 great reasons to take a skills health check:

  • Make better career decisions
  • Uncover new work opportunities
  • Increase your self-awareness and confidence
  • Perform better in interviews
  • Identify what skills you need to develop in order to progress in your career

So, let’s make ‘skills’ a little less ambiguous….

Put simply, a skill is something you’ve learned how to do. The types of skills you need for work can be split into three main categories – technical, transferable and personal.

“We get feedback from employers that a high proportion of applicants they have interviewed cannot explain their skills. In many cases, these people will have the necessary skills to be successful in the job but struggle to communicate them effectively”.

Michele Ridland, Business and Corporate Services Manager – Supertemps

Very often, people will focus on their technical skills as they are the easiest to identify. Though these are important, employers want a person for more than just their ability to perform a specific task. In the changing world of work, transferable and personal skills are becoming increasingly important. If you have a clear understanding of your skills, it helps you to be more confident when you approach employers.

How to carry out a skills health check:

It’s very simple to review your skills, as long as you have clarity on the different types of skills and can match your own experiences to them. It does take a little time and patience to identify, list and describe your skills, but you should plan to invest the time needed as it can be critical to your job search success.

Online Tools: There are many tools online which can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, the National Careers Service offer a comprehensive skills assessment online for free, which will give you a report to download at the end (each section takes around 10-15 mins, so make sure you set aside enough time to do it.)

Self-Assessment: If you’d prefer a quicker and more simplistic method, our parent brand, Supertemps, has created a simple ‘skills health check’ form for you to fill out. You can download it here. We’ve included some handy information and tips to guide you through the process.

​Remember, you have control over your entire job search process. Life and work decisions are always most satisfying when they fit with the values most important to you. Reviewing your skills, values and competencies in a structured way can really help you to identify the type of work that is best suited to you, as well as highlight career options you hadn’t previously considered.

For more advice on the type of skills that are currently in high demand locally, or if you need guidance on evaluating your own skills, do contact us and we’ll be pleased to help.

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