What are skills?
You know when people use a word so much it starts to lose its meaning? We here at Debut feel that way about the word ‘skills’. There’s been too much talk about how to get them, and which ones to get, but not enough about what they actually are. This guide will help you nail those graduate job applications by helping you build a strong foundation you can build your CV and cover letter on. Let’s get stuck in.
A skill is the ability to use knowledge to effectively execute a task. For example, cooking is a useful skill. Or being able to navigate a forest with no map. Or even being able to hold a crowd’s attention without faltering.
Different employers will look for different skills for different open positions. Which, at first glance, seems terribly unhelpful. How would you know which skills you’ll need for the job application?
We covered dissecting job descriptions in our guide to tackling job applications. Basically, all the information you need to figure out what skills you might need for a job can be found in the job description – if it’s detailed enough.
Otherwise, you could compare and contrast different job descriptions for similar roles to see if there’s any overlap. Usually, there will be! For example, most marketing roles will require both hard technical skills such as being able to use Google Analytics, and soft skills such as organisation and time management. Speaking of…
Hard skills vs. Soft skills
If, like us, you’ve ever found it difficult to define hard and soft skills, don’t fret. It’s actually pretty easy to distinguish between the two.