The first phase in preparing for a job interview is to gain a better understanding of your own interests and single out what you bring to the table. This is a critical first step.

You will be surprised how many opportunities you will have to showcase your unique skills during the interview. These skills will help you to get hired. Thinking about this ahead of time will help you present a confident attitude and image.

Skills are simply the things you learn and do that enable you to perform certain tasks. By knowing your skills, you will also be able to communicate them to others when you do things like compose your resume, consider a job opening and interview for a job. Later, this is helpful when you create your performance goals with your supervisor, ask for a raise, apply for a promotion or even change careers

 
 

There are five ways to identify your career skills that will make you stand out.

Make a List of Your Past and Current Jobs

Make a complete list of all your positions including the company name, title and years worked for each position. This is same information that you typically list on your resume, in chronological order.

Jot Down the Tasks Associated with Each Job

A task is simply your job duties or responsibilities that you carry out and get paid for. Describe, in detail, everything you did in each job. This will help you in the next section with what you accomplished while performing each task.

List Accomplishments

What were your biggest accomplishments with those tasks? Look at each task and describe any accomplishments that had an impact on the department or organization. What was the problem, the result and how did you improve the situation in any way? This is an accomplishment.

Identify Your Strengths and Passion by Answering These Important Questions

First, what are your three greatest strengths? What do you enjoy doing? What skills do you use regularly? What activities do you do that make you feel strong? What do you find easy to do that others find difficult? Finally, what do you naturally find yourself wanting to spend time doing?

Compare to the Top 10 Skills

Once you identify your skills, strengths and passions, it’s good to know if you are in alignment with what employers are looking for. Here are 10 skills that most employers want.

Verbal Communication: Ability to verbally express your ideas clearly, concisely, and confidently.

Teamwork: Ability to work cohesively within a group.

Initiative and Self-motivation: Ability to act on initiative, identify opportunities and practice in putting forward ideas and solutions.

Written communication: Ability to express yourself clearly in writing.

Internet Communication: Ability to communicate on the Internet, including sending emails.

Flexibility: Adaptability to changing situations and priorities.

Problem Solving: Ability to gather information, establish facts and problem solve.

Drive: Determination to get things done, make things happen and look for ways to make things better.

Planning and Organizing: Ability to plan activities and carry them out.

Time Management: Ability to manage time, prioritize tasks and meet deadlines.

Now that you have identifed your skills, you are able to create your own skills checklist. You will never be in doubt again about who you are, and you will specifically present and communicate your unique skills – with confidence – to help you prepare for that interview and get hired!

What skills and strengths make you unique? In doing this exercise, did you discover that you had any new or overlooked skills? Why do you think you are a good candidate for a job in your 60’s? Please join the conversation.

Brenda Ferguson HodgesBrenda Ferguson Hodges is an entrepreneur, speaker and author. She is a former Fortune 500 HR Director and Certified Image Consultant. Brenda helps women dress for the job they want, at any age. Her mission is to help women create a fabulous first impression by tapping into their own authentic style. You can visit her website here.

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