Friday, April 13, 2012

The 9 Essential Skills for Any Job

Working for the Government of Canada for the past 8 years has opened my eyes to so many free resources.  Well, are they actually free or did we all pay for them....

One resource I keep going back to is a 2007 HRSDC (Human Resource and Skills Development Canada) Essential Skills project.  The gist of the project was to identify skills that are universal, skills that in some way every job requires.

This can be an excellent tool for employers for the standardization of hiring.  If every job requires these skills, then every assessment of a job seeker (resumes, interviews, reference checks) should include all the essentials.

For a job seeker, this can be an equally powerful tool.  When crafting a linked-in profile or an untargeted resume, a job seeker should ensure that all the 9 Essential skills are addressed.  These "portable" skills will increase your chances of looking like a fit for any job.

The 9 Essential Skills are:

1. Reading Text
2. Use of Documents
3. Writing
4.  Numeracy
5. Oral Communication
6. Thinking Skills including problem solving, decision making, critical thinking, job task planning and organizing, significant use of memory, finding information
7. Working with Others
8. Computer Use
9. Continuous Learning

To integrate these skills into your on-line profile or untargeted resume, focus on past situations that exemplify your skills (known to HR professionals as behavioural-based assessment).  You will need to:

A.  Describe the situation (be specific as it make the situation more real)
B.  Talk about the actions you took (additionally, you can show why you chose those actions)
C.  Describe the results of your actions (most organizations are results-based so don't leave this out).

Here is my example for Essential Skill #5:

- developed and delivered presentations on the internal government job board to employees and managers.  This increased usage of the tool by both parties and has resulted in 300 users and over 10 staffing solutions in the last year.

To access the entire guide, visit:

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