When you look for a job in Canada, on a given job posting you may know many skills that are mentioned. However there may still be other transferable or soft skills that employers expect from a new hire. With knowledge of what employers are actually looking for, you can work towards enhancing those skills. Also focus on customizing your resumé, cover letter and even your job interviews. Employers will give your resume a second glance only if you exhibit an understanding of their needs and the range of skills expected of the position.
Some of the top skills that hiring managers look for in Canada are:
1. Communications expertise
Candidates possessing great writing, speaking and listening skills are always sought after for every position. The ability to communicate effectively is in demand. Therefore, show them that you are a strong communicator and it will help you get ahead. You will need to work hard at it though, specially if your first language is not English.
- Make sure your resumé, cover letter and Social media ( Linked-in ) work are synced. All of them should state that you are a strong communicator. Do include examples and testimonials. Be prepared to walk the talk at the interview, if you want to get a foot in the door. Also, knowing Canadian idioms and metaphors, like ‘foot in the door’ is a big plus.
2. Analytical and research skills
Employers need problem solvers. Use your prior experiences to assess difficult situations, and try to find a simple solution. These skills are valued by businesses and are very important to help you to move ahead
- Highlight this in your resume (Canadians don`t use the term `CV`) through examples [real stories] of problems that you have analyzed and solved in the past. Use the STAR technique, one of the most effective methods to crack the behavioral interview.
3. Multicultural awareness
Canadian workplace and society in general are becoming more diverse than ever before. If you can demonstrate your informed knowledge of other cultures, it makes you a compassionate and appreciative member of society and the organisation.
Appreciate diversity – there are many right ways of doing things accepted across the globe, the Canadian workplace is becoming more multicultural every day.
- If you see someone behaving biased, try to subtly find out the reason. and try to appreciate their point of view and maybe educate them. Being easily offended will not really help the team.
4. Leading and managing teams
The ability to motivate and lead others can make or break organisations. An employer wishes to see a focused leader who can work well with others.
- Share your success stories in team supervisor mode during job interviews. Reference the STAR model, above.
5. Planning and organization
Everyone needs to work together to manage big dreams with limited resources. This will not work without proper planning.
6. Team player
Most jobs require people to work effectively in teams, so employers certainly look for previous examples of teamwork in your profile. As a potential employee, you must communicate and demonstrate that you have the ability and experience of working effectively with other people in a professional manner to achieve common targets and goals.
- Show how you have been a resourceful team player in your previous assignments. Have references and testimonials of people appreciating you for building trusting relationships with customers and colleagues
7. Internet and social media
Just about every job today requires a basic understanding of the internet. Since it is a valuable source of information, networking and promotion, master it. Internet and Social media usage and online public communication is gaining as much relevance as basic computer and software knowledge did a couple of decades back.
- Keep a watch on your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profiles. Be thoughtful and creative with your presentation of thoughts.
- Staying on the topic and communicating to the point always helps.
- Being clear and assertive without offending needs some practice. Try it. A bit of wit and ability to laugh at oneself never hurts.
8. Be adaptable, prioritize and multi task
The business environment is constantly changing therefore you need to be quick on your feet. People who can think independently add immense value to the team.
- Share success stories from the past to show that you are adaptable.
9. Interpersonal skills
Wherever in the world you work, you will work with people. Therefore, how you relate to colleagues, clients, customers and others will always make a difference. Above all, employers will take a keen interest in your ability to share, inspire, manage conflict and develop people around you.
- Let your resumé speak about co-working, group participation and facilitating teams. Where possible include positive feedback from peers, supervisors and employees alike.
10. Be reasonable
The ability to apply reason and yet resolve issues creatively will make you a very valuable member of any team. Therefore, this is the “go to” skill while dealing with clients. Add to this a balanced use of reason and novelty, and employing the right options will facilitate resolution of many issues.
Blog Authored by: Angshuman Hazra