Additional skills and qualifications you should include in a job application
We have all found ourselves halfway through a job application staring blankly at the ‘additional skills and qualifications’ segment. You have already written about all of the talents and accreditations relevant to the job role in your personal statement, so what on earth are you supposed to put here? Your 50 meter swimming badge from school?
Many applicants skip this section as they feel they have already talked about everything they need to in the main body of the application, but often this is done to their detriment. Many of us do have some extracurricular skills or qualifications that make us more eye-catching to employers, even if they’re not related to the job we’re applying for. In a tie between two equally qualified candidates it could be something hear which turns the tide in your favour. So, just what kind of things should you include?
If English is not your native tongue then you will already have included details of your English proficiency and any ESL certificates you hold. However, in this increasingly globalised world employers are always pleased to see additional language skills. So be it French, German or Welsh be sure to include information about your prowess in other languages. They could come in handy.
One word of warning: be honest with yourself about how good your language skills are. A 30-year-old GCSE French certificate may not mean much unless you have practiced the language since you left school. It would be very embarrassing to realise you can’t hold a conversation with someone from the French office, as Alex Macdermott, from the Hunter Technology Team says “Things like extra languages can be useful but only if you are very competent at it. If it is something you picked up in School and have mostly forgotten it is not worth having it on your CV.”
Teaching and training
Employers will always be impressed by candidates who offer demonstratable experience in training and teaching. Now, this could be a work-based certificate in development, but there are other ways you can prove your experience. Perhaps a coaching and training certification you received from helping out with your child’s football or by volunteering with a charity.
Experience in development is a highly transferable skill so think laterally about the experience you have in training people and how it could apply to your new job.
One in six jobs in the UK require applicants to hold a full driving licence. Despite this, it is always wise to include a driving licence on a job application if you have one, even if the job does not call for one. Include details of the categories of driving licence you hold as well as information about additional qualifications such as an Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) certificate. Georgina Seward a Consultant with Hunter Selection’s Facilities, Fire & Security team states that “It is always important to include that you have a full clean driving license especially if you are applying for a field-based role as this is very important to clients.”
First aid and Fire Marshal experience
It goes without saying that if you currently hold an unexpired First Aid at Work certificate that you would include it. However, any employer will be interested to find a candidate who has other experience in being a first aider or fire marshal. This is because it demonstrates a willingness to learn these essential skills.
If you don’t have a valid certificate you could talk about things such as volunteering with St John’s Ambulance or training you have received in another capacity e.g., through coaching, or prior employment.
IT skills are such an essential part of day-to-day life that candidates often forget to include their technological proficiencies on their CV. While it’s true that any employer will expect you to have at least a rudimentary command of the Microsoft Office suite if you’re applying for an office-based or technical role, employers will be particularly impressed by advanced IT skills. So, make sure you include any experience you have in things like coding or cybersecurity.
Ben Watkins of Hunter’s Engineering & Manufacturing North West Team adds “I would say any computer and IT skills are big ones to include. In all types of job role, the likelihood is IT will be used at some point. Whether it’s a specific qualification, or just experience of using software/packages such as Microsoft Office it shows a current employer you can use IT within the workplace and importantly learn new skills within that area as well. If you have any experience or qualifications on specific software that is relevant to your field that will also differentiate yourself from other applicants.”
In many career paths, progressing the ladder to positions of authority and leadership will require you to partake in various forms of public speaking; from presentations and meetings to giving talks at industry events. Fear of public speaking is a common phobia with up to one in four people afflicted by it (https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20170321-is-public-speaking-fear-limiting-your-career). The BBC reports that a lack of confidence in public speaking could be limiting people’s careers.
As such it’s always a good idea to include evidence of experience in public speaking, even if applying for a role that has no call for it. This is because it shows your potential for progression. Many people have experience in public speaking but just do not realise it: examples of things you might want to include are amateur dramatic involvement, being a school governor or trustee, some form of community involvement or even hosting a pub quiz.
So, in summary, somethings to always include in the additional skills section of a job application (if you have them are) additional languages, first aid and fire marshal experience, driving licences, IT skills and public speaking experience.
One final thing to remember is to be as specific as you can about the qualifications you hold As Hunter Selection Consultant Joe Ingram reiterates “Make sure you put down any qualifications with the exact titles and number from your certificate, as employers are interested. This is especially important with things like electrical qualifications. If you’re a recent graduate include details of the specific modules you completed on your course, as this may help differentiate you from other applicants.”
The additional skills component of a job application is an important part of the document. If you’re struggling to fill yours out, why not contact Hunter Selection to see if we could help point you in the right direction?