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Hey, I Can Do That...


Weve all been there: you cant get a job because you dont have experience, and you cant get experience because you dont have a job. Even if youve never had a job before, you still have valuable skills that employers are looking for. You just have to learn how to recognise the skills and how to market yourself.

Employers want someone who is going to be a good fit for both the position and their organisation. Your experiences in school, extracurricular activities, volunteering, hobbies, and interests can all showcase the types of valuable skills required. Here are some of the highly marketable skills and qualities you already have that can land you that perfect summer job youve been dreaming about:

Teamwork Skills - From group projects youve worked on in school to the sports you play, being a team-player shows an employer that you can work well with others, achieve a common goal and contribute your fair share of the work.

Enthusiasm Being proactive in organising activities, volunteering your time and having goals show an employer that you are genuinely interested in the actions your pursue. Your level of interest in a job translates into how agreeable and co-operative you will be to other employees.

Responsibility - Ever been trusted to baby-sit? Taken care of a neighbours pet? Do you always arrive on time, stick to a schedule and ensure that deadlines are met? Examples like these show an employer that you are reliable, trust-worthy and can handle pressure when the going gets tough.

Willingness to Learn - Trying new things, asking questions, practising a tough subject or sport and good study habits all indicate to an employer that youll try hard on the job and always do your best.

Organisational Skills - If youve got a busy life (and who doesnt) it takes some planning ahead and time-management to get everything done in a day. For an employer, your ability to organise your time and priorities demonstrates that you can multitask and wont be overwhelmed by a fast-paced work environment.

Problem-solving Skills - Think of the times when youve used your creativity, resourcefulness, and analytical skills to tackle anything from a physics assignment to building a craft project. An employer needs you to be able to think on your feet and many jobs in retail, hospitality, and offices make strong use of your math skills.

Communication Skills - Your communication skills include reading, writing, listening and speaking. These skills are essential for understanding between you, your employer, and your co-workers. Some of the best ways to highlight your communication skills arise during the hiring process. Submit a carefully crafted resume and cover letter. Speak clearly and articulate during follow-up calls and interviews. Remember past comments from teachers on presentations, drama classes or debate clubs.

Technological Skills - Experience using word-processing and spreadsheet programs is common practice in the workplace and being able to use the Internet is increasingly important. Highlight if youve taken any computer or keyboarding courses at school. Many employers look for applicants that know their way around a computer. Provide a link if youve designed your own webpage, just make sure the content isnt questionable or you could affect the hiring decision in a negative way.

Using the above list as a starting place, also think about including any of your own relevant and unique skills in your job applications. The more information you can provide about how well-rounded and suitable you are for a position, the better chance youll have of landing the summer job youve been looking for.

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