Work on being above average

In a competitive job market how can you separate yourself from the pack? When everyone has the same technical skills, and experience, what makes an employer choose you over a rival?

According to Mark Berlese of Sarina Russo Job Access, you need something extra.

''That difference is employability skills. They are the set of skills that allow people to do their jobs well under all circumstances. They are over and above technical skills required to do the job,'' he says.

''Employability skills such as the right attitude, energy and urgency are important no matter where young people work or what work they do.

''There are eight key employability skills that jobseekers must be mindful of in their phone calls, cover letters, job applications and interviews.

''Become an above-average person and work on yourself.

''Develop an above-average handshake, an above-average smile, above-average skills, above-average passion, and an above-average walk.

''In such a competitive job market, if you demonstrate how you have developed and use these employability skills, you'll be well on the way to getting that job.''

Get the skills:

  1. Communication - Customer-focused attitude.
  2. Teamwork - Ability to build relationships with other employees.
  3. Problem solving - Think outside the box when solving a problem.
  4. Initiative and enterprise - Can-do skills and a will-do attitude.
  5. Planning and organisation - Do ordinary things extraordinarily well.
  6. Self-management - Take ownership of your tasks.
  7. Learning - Search out training in the skills and tools you need to do the job well.
  8. Technology - Don't fight change. Embrace it and use it.