Career

Glow Up Your Resume With This Simple Skills Audit That Will Unlock Your Potential

By Emma Edwards
19th Oct 2020

a young woman works on her laptop while in bed. She's covered by a peach blanket and there's framed photos on the wall behind her.

2020 has wreaked havoc with most of our plans in life, including for many of us, our careers. Unfortunately, the dreaded task of job hunting comes with the equally dreaded task of fixing up your resume. If you’re in the market for a new role, this handy skills audit will help you unlock your potential and give your resume the ultimate glow up.

The Skills Audit Matrix

Yeah, we said matrix. Pull out your coloured pens, people. In your matrix, draw two intersecting vertical lines so you have four areas to write in.

What Are You Good At?

In one section, have a think about the things you are best at, at work and in life. You can be as professional or as trivial as you like. If you’re really organised, write that down. If you’re a gun at replying to emails at supersonic speed, write it down. If you’re great at leading a meeting, write it down. You might need to contribute to this over a few days as things come to you, as it can feel difficult at first.

When you’ve got your list, do some online job searches for roles you’d like to move into. Highlight the things you wrote down that are the best match, and make sure those are front and centre in your job experience section of your resume.

What Do You Do In A Day?

Then, in the next section, write down the typical tasks you do in your current or most recent role. State the obvious, that’s the point here. If you’re currently working, it might be helpful to note down every task you complete in one day in real time, to get a rounded view of just how much you actually contribute to your workplace.

The thing is, when we’re on the ground doing the same job day in, day out, we get used to it, and we become blind to our proficiencies. By actually stepping back and writing down the things you do in a day, you can see in black and white all the things you actually do—and probably do really well!

What Systems Do You Use?

Remember that system or program you used on your first day of your job that felt like another language but soon became second nature? Over time, you probably became a pro at it without even realising. List down all the programs or systems you use or have used at work in the third section, scoring yourself out of five for how confident you would be using them in a new position.

What Are The Gaps?

In the fourth section, have a think about things you’re yet to learn. You can do this by looking at job listings online of roles you’d like to move into, and looking for areas where you fall short. It could be that the next step up for you requires leadership skills, and you’re not quite confident in leading yet, or perhaps you need to know the Adobe Creative Suite, but you’re not proficient in doing so yet. Next to each thing you write down, brainstorm some ways you can work on filling that gap. 

That might be hitting up Skillshare or YouTube to familiarise yourself with how a program works,  it could be digging into some leadership books, or it could be flagging it at your next interview as a system you’re willing and eager to get stuck into. Remember, owning your areas for improvement is often very attractive to employers, and it shows you’ve done your research and that you’ve worked on your skills as best you can. 

Applying Your Skills Audit To Your CV

Once you’ve got your skills audit laid out, marry it up with your resume by including the most relevant aspects to the job you’re applying for. Adjusting your resume for each job is tedious, but taking five minutes to make sure the key skills and proficiencies are included could be the difference between getting the job or missing out. 

Go over your skills audit before interviews, too. Making it clear that you’re really in tune with what you’re good at and where your areas for improvement are shows you’ve really done your homework and that you’re applying to jobs with intention. 

Phew! With all those interviews you’ll be raking in, here’s how to crush a Zoom interview and get hired. 

Emma is a finance blogger at The Broke Generation and a reformed spendaholic. She shares hot tips on saving, property, tax, career and investing for millennials who want to break the spending cycle and get financially confident.

Image Credit: Vlada Karpovic

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