Skill Statement Part 2

“Hello, my name is Calvin Stewart. For the past year I’ve worked in a production machine shop using high-powered drills, sanders, and a CNC machine. One idea of mine saved my employer thousands of dollars in production costs.”

Important Skills to Include

These skills are used on many jobs. (For instance, almost half of all jobs require keeping records and maintaining files.) Employers will be looking for these skills when they hire. If you have these skills, include them in your skills statement:

  •         Use a computer
  •         Keep records and maintain files
  •         Apply interpersonal communication techniques
  •         Use computer keyboard
  •         Follow/give instructions
  •         Use correct grammar, punctuation and spelling
  •         Provide customer service
  •         Use word processing software
  •         Use spreadsheet software
  •         Prepare reports

Now Create Your Own

Now it’s time to create your own skills statement. If you have some of the skills listed above, include them. Here’s the three parts of your skills statement:

Part 1: Identify yourself.

Part 2: State briefly the skills you have or results you produced on past jobs that are important to the employers you are calling.

Part 3: Show how you have fit into other companies in the past or the personal qualities you have that are important to the job you want.

Skills Statement Practice

Once you have created your skills statement, it’s time to practice using it. Here are some ways to do that:

Sit with a positive and caring friend. Explain what a skills statement is and why you need one. Have your friend pretend to be an employer. Start by reading your skills statement. Repeat this process until you feel comfortable just saying it.

Use a tape recorder. Find a quiet place and pretend you are speaking to an employer. Imagine the details: the company name, the employer’s name, the job you want. Doing this makes this practice more effective. Now say your skills statement into the tape recorder. Repeat this several times before you play the tape back.

Stand in front of a mirror. Pretend you are speaking to an employer. Practice your skills statement until you feel comfortable.

Ways to use your skills statement

  1. At the beginning of an interview. A skills statement is a great ice-breaker.
  2. When an employer asks: “Tell me a little about yourself.” A skills statement describes you and your skills in a way that relates directly to an employer’s needs.
  3. When you do follow-up calls to employers. By repeating the skills statement, you refresh the employer’s memory.
  4. When you sit down to prepare a resume. Since your skills statement contains information that will be useful in a resume, it can help you get started.
  5. When you are on your way to an interview. Repeating your skills statement to yourself is a good way to get “pumped up” for an interview.

Contacts: How Part 3

  1. Have your partner make the following statements so that you can practice responses:
  •         We don’t have any positions open at this time.
  •         I don’t have any openings and I’m too busy to meet with you.
  •         Why don’t you check back with me later?
  1. Practice giving the employer brief examples of how you gained the skills mentioned in your skills statement.

Getting through to decision makers

The interview is the path to the job offer. Employers do not hire resumes, applications, or phone calls. They hire people they have met. Setting up these face-to-face meetings is the one reason you are contacting employers.

You are not calling employers to find:

  •         If they have any openings
  •         If they are accepting applications
  •         If they will look at your resume

You may find all this information in a very short phone call, but that’s not the main reason you are calling. You are calling to arrange a face-to-face meeting with the decision maker. But first you have to reach the decision maker. Here are some tried and true methods of getting through to the person you want.

When you know the decision maker’s name:

Bob Williams wants a job as a checker in a supermarket. Here’s how Bob handles his call when he knows the decision maker’s name:

Them: Hello, Low Price Market, may I help you?

Bob: This is Bob Williams calling for Alice Fenton.

Them: Hold on please.

Alice: This is Alice Fenton.

Bob: Hi, this is Bob Williams. I have six months experience at a food store as well as two years’ experience serving the public. I am fast and accurate and able to work a variety of shifts. I am calling to set up a meeting with you to discuss how my skills might match your company’s needs. Would Wednesday or Thursday be better for you? (This is Bob’s skills statement)

Alice: Thursday in the afternoon would be best.

Bob: How about 1:30?

Alice: That’s fine. I’ll see you then. And bring a copy of your resume.

But what if Alice had said:

Alice: We don’t have any positions at this time.

Bob: That’s OK. I’m not expecting you to offer me a job that doesn’t exist. But I’ve found that when I have had five or ten minutes to talk about my skills, people often think about someone else who might be interested in hearing about them. With that in mind, could we meet briefly?

What if Alice had said:

Alice: I really don’t have any openings and I’m just too busy to meet with you.

Bob: Well, thanks for your time today. I wonder if you know of anyone else who might be interested in hearing from a skilled worker?