Can you define your key competencies? The labor market has changed and now we have to face more competition. What will help you break through the crowds of other candidates are your core competencies. Matching them to what the employer is looking for may determine your hiring.
WHAT ARE KEY COMPETENCES
Key competencies are those competencies that make you effective in your work. They are needed to perform the most important tasks and responsibilities. It is thanks to them that you achieve your goals and success in your position.
Your competencies are mainly created by the knowledge and skills you have. But that’s not all, because in order to be perceived as competent, you should be able to use them effectively.
Each position requires different competencies – both hard and soft. Hard competencies are knowledge and specialist skills such as programming, machine operation or language skills.
You acquire these competencies through your school, university or formal training. Hard competencies are very easy to verify – you either know how to drive a car or you don’t.
It is different from soft skills – it is difficult to learn them and measure their level. For example, soft skills include clear communication with others, coping with stress or problem-solving.
Soft skills are often linked to your personality traits and innate predispositions. It happens that soft skills determine employment in the case of candidates with comparable hard skills. This is because it is much easier to train a person who is good at dealing with stress in technical subjects than the other way around.
EXAMPLES OF KEY COMPETENCES
Hard competencies are often specialized technical knowledge and skills that are necessary to work in a specific position. Below you will find an example of 3 key competencies that every employer will appreciate. They can be especially useful now, when most companies are switching to remote employee management and the use of online tools.
KNOWLEDGE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES
Companies are constantly expanding their ranges, entering new markets outside our country. The ability to communicate freely in a language other than the mother tongue is therefore a valuable competence today. Literally, because knowledge of a foreign language usually increases the salary by several hundred zlotys.
Knowledge of a less popular language, such as Finnish or Hungarian, can additionally distinguish you quickly from other candidates.
KNOWLEDGE OF COMPUTER PROGRAMS
It is difficult to find a job today that does not use a computer and some system, program or application. More and more positions require a deeper knowledge of programs, e.g. accounting, logistics or IT.
Technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, virtual and augmented reality, and robotics will make companies more resilient to future crises and pandemics. Anyone who helps companies take advantage of these technologies will be in a great position.
CREATING CONTENT / WRITING
The number of e-mails, presentations and documents, where the creation of content is crucial, is countless today. Anyone who can write clearly and concisely has valuable skills that will be useful in almost any job.
The ability to write persuasive content – be it an e-mail, presentation or sales page is very important today. We consume huge amounts of information, so it is increasingly difficult for companies to get through with messages to their customers. You can also recharge this skill with the ability to touch the keyboard quickly.
SOFT KEY COMPETENCES
One of the key competencies of our time is the ability to quickly adapt to a new situation. The world is changing so fast that what was certain yesterday is now the past and you need to quickly switch to the new. There are always new programs and technologies that need to be learned.
Someone who succeeds in the post-coronavirus world will need to be able to adapt to an ever-changing workplace and constantly update their skills.
According to the World Economic Forum, in just five years, 35% of the skills deemed essential today will change. This means that in order to keep up with these changes, we will constantly have to learn new things.
The good news is, learning skills has never been easier. Today, it does not take many years of study or a lot of money to gain valuable knowledge and competences. There are over 12,000 free online courses available to help you improve your skills.
Today, almost every position in the company is related to others. Even positions with a lot of independent work require collaboration with others. The ability to work well in a team is therefore embedded in almost every job.
Teamwork is often quite a challenge. It requires good planning and coordination of your goals with others. Companies strive for greater integration, so the ability to work well with a wide variety of colleagues and clients is also important. Working with others and openness to other points of view is conducive to coming up with creative solutions.
WHAT COMPETENCES ARE THE EMPLOYERS LOOKING FOR
According to LinkedIn, the 5 most sought-after competences by employers in 2020 are:
- Ability to persuade others
- Emotional intelligence
- Cloud Computing
- Analytical Reasoning
- Artificial Intelligence
- UX Design
It is not yet known how the labor market will change with the coronavirus under control, but it is unlikely that everything will return to what was before. Our jobs will change, and so will the skills that companies will require.
So far, we can see that wherever possible, companies are shifting to remote work. This calls for a requirement that we should now fully engage in virtual reality. Suddenly, we were faced with the challenge of acquiring not only digital skills in a short time, but also improving supporting skills such as collaboration, creative problem-solving and openness to new ideas.
HOW TO DISCOVER WHAT COMPETENCES A FUTURE EMPLOYER LOOKS FOR
Although there are key competences that every employer will appreciate, companies are also looking for a specific set of skills and knowledge. This is due to the fact that each company has its own goals which require different competencies to be achieved.
Most of the key competencies an employer is looking for can be found in the job advertisement. However, this is not the only source of knowledge about future work. It is worth visiting the company’s website to find out more about the future employer. Look for information that tells about what skills, attitudes and values the company values.
WHAT ARE THE BEST KEY COMPETENCES FOR A CV
How do you know what are the best key competencies for a CV? You need to look for hints in the requirements of your future employer. You will find them in the advertisement, job description or on the employer’s website. The best key competencies for a CV are those that combine the employer’s expectations with what you know and can do.
Just remember to prepare examples of how to use these competencies in practice. The employer will definitely want to check that you actually have them. So don’t overdo it and don’t colorize it – you can read more in the post about mistakes in your CV.
HOW TO DEFINE YOUR KEY COMPETENCES
Okay, but how do you define the key competencies you have? All you have to do is look at your CV, where your professional history is recorded. Look at the positions and jobs you’ve been doing.
What 3 tasks did you perform every day at each of these positions? Consider what skills you used while doing these tasks. Remember what knowledge you used then. Make a list and mark the 3 most common skills.
Here are your 3 skills that you have developed the most. The more years of experience you have, the more complex tasks you have performed, the more competent you are likely to be.
KEY COMPETENCES TO KEEP WORK IN THE FUTURE
The 5 competences of the future according to the World Economic Forum are:
- Judgment and decision-making
- Quick ideas
- Active learning
- Learning strategies
It is difficult to predict exactly what key competencies will be valued by employers in 3 or 5 years. One thing is for sure – we will have to face the changes and learn completely new things.
The key is to start thinking about where the job demand will be greatest and adapt your core competencies accordingly. It will definitely be useful to observe trends in the market and the industry.
The more you are aware of your key competencies, the easier it will be for you to follow changes. It will also be easier for you to update and adapt them so that they become your career capital, which will always provide you with a job.