How to show your skills in a job applicationHays: Working For Your Tomorrowon December 22, 2023 at 3:17 pm Career advice | Career tips


Recent trends indicate that organisations are putting more emphasis on the skills you have, rather than the qualifications or past experiences you possess. At Hays, we believe this trend, known as skills-based hiring, is going to continue in 2024. 

This can be good news for jobseekers, with the door being opened for candidates to show what value they can bring to a company, when previously they may have been put off by the experience required. In this blog, we’ll show you how to show off your skills in a job application, to stay ahead of the competition. 

What is skills-based hiring? 

Skills-based hiring is a process where the recruiting business puts more of the emphasis on the skills a candidate has. What degrees, qualifications or past work experiences you have are less critical in their hiring decision. 

Why is skills-based hiring on the rise? 

There are a number of reasons why companies are looking for skills over qualifications.  

Reduced time to hire – In a report by TestGorilla, 91.4% of businesses saw a reduction in their time to hire, by sending candidates skills-based tests. Reduction in costs – Skills-based hiring can eliminate the need for external recruiters and CV screening software. Expanded talent pools and improved diversity – We don’t all have the same opportunities to access higher education. Excluding those who don’t have a degree, closes the door to a diverse range of candidates who can plug skills gaps. 

How do I show my skills in a job application? 

All of this points to exciting opportunities for jobseekers and candidates looking to advance their career. Here’s how to show your skills in a job application. 

Know what skills to put on your CV 

The starting point is to update your CV. When it comes to what skills you should showcase, be sure to include your hard skills and soft skills. What does this mean? Your hard skills are those that you have gained throughout your career or through training. These include programme skills like Microsoft Office or Sage, as well as technical skills such as copywriting. You should always tailor your CV and cover letter to include specific skills related to the role, like coding for a Software Development role. Look out for key words in the job description to help you. 

Your soft skills are your personal attributes that allow you to work well with others. At Hays, we’ve seen that agility, resilience, emotional intelligence, adaptability and creativity are amongst the top soft skills employers are looking for. To learn more about soft skills, click here. For further advice on creating a winning CV, click here.

Consider your transferrable skills 

If you do lack experience and are finding it hard to list what you think are relevant skills, think about the transferrable skills you have picked up in other roles, or whilst studying. You may have honed your listening skills, presenting ability and collaboration with others whilst at university. Perhaps you taught yourself how to use WordPress whilst writing your personal blog. All of these skills are transferrable to many open job roles and can be highlighted during the application process. 

Validate your skills with real life examples  

It’s always great practice to provide tangible examples to the hiring manager of your skillset. If you’ve gained an online qualification or certificate that is relevant to the position, mention it. If you’ve increased sales or website leads in another organisation by implementing some of your technical skills, put the percentage increase on your CV and/or cover letter. Real life examples show the hiring party that you can back up your skills claims and helps paint a picture of what value you can bring to their organisation. 

Upskill yourself 

You may find yourself in a position where you feel you are lacking some core skills to move forward in the career you want. Be sure to look online for courses that are relevant to your ambitions and set aside time each week to complete them. Adopting a learning mindset, where you want to continuously upskill, is another soft skill that employers find attractive.  

All of these tips will help you stand out from a crowded marketplace when applying for jobs. The trend of skills-based hiring is here to stay and should be something that all candidates and jobseekers embrace. 

Are you ready to embrace your skills and apply for a new challenge? Click here to find job openings in your country

The post How to show your skills in a job application appeared first on Viewpoint – careers advice blog.

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