Employer Branding Talent Acquisition

6 Skills That You Should Look for in Every CV

As a recruiter it’s vital to be able to pinpoint relevant skills from an applicant’s CV, looking not only for industry-specific requirements but those strengths that can transition into any position.

A recruiter needs to be able to go beyond the skills listed in an applicant’s CV, reviewing the candidate’s achievements, experiences and the results they have documented to uncover core skills that are fundamental for any role.

These are 6 skills you should be looking for in any candidate’s CV.

1. Drive

A candidate’s drive will be reflected in all aspects of their CV, through the way they detail their previous experience, their ambition to progress and develop as well as their motivation to achieve in any role they undertake.

Look for result driven examples that document how they have contributed to company goals or achieved as an individual previously. This drive will not only be limited to work examples so also assess their educational or extra curriculum performance.

You want to find a candidate who is passionate to deliver so look for highlights of previous accomplishments and how the applicant plans to replicate these types of results within a new role.

2. Teamwork

The ability to work effectively in a team will be featured in a candidate’s CV through examples of how they have contributed to teams and assisted colleagues or clients to reach a shared target.

Look out for a candidate’s aptitude to not only express their own responsibilities or achievements but instead link these to how their actions affected the overall team or organization.

Don’t just consider direct examples of group projects, work within a team or club involvement to identify this strength but instead evaluate how any work they have undertaken as an individual has supported the team or impacted other team members positively.

3. Relationship building

Rapport building is a strength that is easy to assess in a phone or face to face interview, but you don’t have to wait until these stages to detect whether an applicant has the talent to build successful relationships.

When searching a CV, look out for times in which the candidate has formed relationships that have in turn been able to benefit them and their career, this could be through formal networking or through working across departments or teams.

If the candidate has provided a link to their LinkedIn profile as part of their CV, also consider reviewing testimonials or endorsements to verify their ability to forge productive relationships.

Observe how a candidate has used these relationships to enhance their career or to gain further exposure to new fields or ways of working. Collaboration is central to any position so as a recruiter it’s important to be discovering applicants who have been able to demonstrate this proficiency.

4. Strategy

Whether planning actions for a team or at an individual level;  a candidate being able to plan their own workload and develop actions to ensure the success of goals or targets is crucial, and a skill you should be looking out for.

Pay attention to examples of project work where a candidate has devised strategies and exhibited a clear timeline of results or potentially teamwork where they have implemented a new process.

Thinking strategically and the ability to work in line with a dedicated action plan should be evident throughout an applicant’s career and educational history.

Consider situations where a candidate has shown their capacity for individual growth in their career and ways in which they have evaluated this long-term strategy.

5. Problem-solving

Problem-solving can be demonstrated in a variety of ways, so as a recruiter you need to recognize how an applicant has shown this characteristic, review occasions where a candidate has worked through challenging factors to provide a solution.

For example, in instances where an applicant has identified a problem and been able to bring forward new methods or ideas to overcome the issue.

A strong problem solver will also be able to effectively define goals, assess alternatives and evaluate situations so you should be considering this when examining an applicant’s CV.

6. Negotiation

Negotiating isn’t a skill just reserved for sales roles. Whether a candidate can negotiate with clients, suppliers or internal staff, the capacity to negotiate is a sort after skill. Identify occasions where the candidate has been able to bring a discussion to a successful conclusion whether this has taken place in team meetings, presentations or consultations with a client.

Although, most candidates may not directly add this skill to their CV, especially if they aren’t applying for sales related positions, look for examples where the candidate has worked to find solutions or has overcome obstacles to obtain a required outcome.

By Andrew Fennell

Andrew Fennell is an experienced recruiter, and founder of CV writing service  StandOut CV. He also contributes to a number of leading career pages such as The Guardian, Business Insider and Huffington Post.