5 Skills You Should Look for in Every CV

5 CV skills

If you happen to be a recruiter or an HR professional or really, anyone who is looking to hire the right person for the right job, you need to scrutinize the CVs of your potential recruits meticulously. Of course, there is the need to look for skills relevant to the job. For instance, it wouldn’t really make sense if you hired a Computer Science graduate for the Accountant position. No recruiter would make such a huge error, but let’s say, something like the requirement of knowing a specific programming language cannot be overlooked when looking for a software developer.

However, there are a number of other skills too, which might not always be immediately apparent, but might end up playing an integral role in making the recruit a successful one in the long run. Identifying these skills in a potential hire requires that the recruiter looks beyond the required industry-specific skills, towards skills that can be translated into success no matter what position they are in. Which is, ultimately, what really matters. A combination of the right technical and soft skills is what your winning candidate should ideally possess, but here are some skills that are worth looking deep into a CV for:

1.   Positive Attitude

Positive attitude

This one’s a no-brainer. It’s no secret that a positive attitude is valued very highly in the recruitment process. It’s essential for any employee who’s in a team and more so for a team leader. A positive attitude helps teams to resolve the most mind-boggling situations at work. Nobody wants to work with a Debbie Downer. If your team leader can stay optimistic during a stressful project phase, you would want to do the same. Optimism is contagious and very important to have in the workplace.

This is a skill that’s easier to identify in interviews, however, the candidate may have provided specific instances in the questionnaire or in his/her CV. Look for a CV that gives a positive, energetic impression right off the bat.

2.   Strategizing Skills

The skill to strategize is not exclusively for employees formulating core marketing or finance strategies for your business. It is as simple as being goal-oriented enough to formulate a clear plan as to how you’re going to achieve a certain goal. The quickest way to judge this is by going through the applicant’s work and educational history, which reflects greatly whether they’ve had a general action plan for their life. Even if there are oddities such as a 180o career change, the applicant’s growth in the new career is a good indicator of his/her strategizing abilities.

3.   Team Skills

Team skills

No organization can function without teams; an organization is, in essence, a huge team, comprised of smaller teams! Be it any department in any domain, the ability to be a team player is essential. Team performance always comes before employee performance.

An applicant’s CV should reflect how they’ve made positive contributions to teams and groups they’ve been part of, Instances of when they’ve assisted a colleague with achieving a shared target or helped a client to meet theirs. Team dynamics play a huge role in the success of an organization and you want to find an applicant whose CV suggests that she’s a good choice to have on a team.

4.   Problem-Solving Skills

In all honesty, it’s more about creative problem-solving than simply problem-solving but any instances of the candidate successfully tackling problems are welcome.  Look for specific examples of the applicant’s problem-solving skills. If they have simply mentioned “problem-solving” under the “Skills” heading, it’s not enough. A better applicant would have taken the care to articulate it better. For example, saying “Increased email open rates by 25% by switching to X software” with actual numbers to back it up, is much more attractive than vaguely mentioning that you possess problem-solving skills. An efficient problem-solver’s CV will reflect clarity and logic, and a propensity to define goals effectively.

5.   Communication Skills

Communication skills

You’d be surprised at how evident someone’s ability to communicate successfully is on a CV or resume. Assuming that the applicant has not outsourced the task of writing the content in the CV to a professional CV writer (and if they have, it will be pretty evident too), there’s a good chance you will be able to glean the necessary insights into his communication abilities.

The grammar and sentence structure affects the tone of the entire CV. Bad grammar and run-on, rambling sentences are easy to avoid. The ideal candidate has the foresight to check for the same. The candidate’s ability to communicate in written form comes through in her CV, and more often than not, it can be a reliable indicator of her oral communication skills too. So, make sure you don’t overlook this very vital aspect of an applicant’s CV!

There you have it! The aforementioned five skills are not hard to identify in a CV if you look closely. For any potential employee, these are strengths that can translate well in any role. If you have a good eye, you won’t let a CV with two or more of these skills get away. Candidates with those CVs might just be your next star employees!

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