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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Williams

How do I improve my skills?

Starting or moving forward in your career can be daunting if you have a gap in your CV, don't have experiences similar to the roles you want to move into and or haven't had any relevant work experience so far. The good news is that through CLU we are helping to reduce these barriers to entry. But in order for us to get you interviews with the companies you want to work for, you need to be able to articulate what your transferable and technical skills are. So what are transferable and technical skills?

  • transferable skills - also called soft skills, are the type you pick up through life experience, like communication

  • technical skills - also called hard skills, are necessary skills for specific jobs and are gained through work, learning or training

When identifying what skills you have, how experienced you are in them and deciding and what skills you want to develop, you should look at what transferable skills and technical skills apply to the jobs you want to work in. To help you identify your current skills, you could:

  • think about your current situation - what job or experiences have you had and what skills did they include

  • talk to people who know you well personally - an outsider's perspective can help identify what skills you have

  • write down a list of the things you're good at and then think about what skills you need to have in order to complete them

Improving your skillset Improving your skills set can help you develop your skillset and may help you decide on what career path you want to take in the future. You may find skill areas you need to improve, like:

  • digital skills

  • working with people

  • out of date qualifications - find new training opportunities to update your qualifications

  • your English or maths

  • interview skills

Think about your education and employment history and any training you have had. What were the things you enjoyed the most and what did you enjoy the least? When developing your skillset around the jobs you want to apply for, knowing what makes you happy, what you're good at and what you want to be better at will help you ensure you end up in a job that makes you happy. Make a plan and set goals Set realistic goals. If you have not been employed for a while, you should be realistic when setting yourself goals and deciding your next steps. You should focus on a job or qualification which is available and accessible to you and your skill level. You can gain new skills by:

  • doing some work experience

  • taking part in courses and training opportunities

  • volunteering

  • Taking a course does not have to be a full-time commitment. There are flexible ways to learn like:

    • online learning

    • short course

    • evening classes

You should think about the time you can give to your goals, think about how it will affect your personal circumstances and work and personal commitments. Be flexible with your career plan Develop your plan with a long term aim and short term goals so you can break up your time. The most important thing is knowing where you're going but giving yourself the flexibility to take some different routes if needed. If you know how you want to develop, it'll be easy to stay on course regardless of which direction you have to take. You should bear in mind that your volunteering and work experience opportunities may not always be the exact role you want to undertake. But the more experience and training you have, the more skills you can demonstrate and the stronger your job applications will be for the future.





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