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36% unsure of skills needs to progress their career, Michael Page reveals

New research released today reveals Brits are being held back in their careers by not having an understanding of the skills they need to progress. Michael Page surveyed 1,203 workers to get their views on the job application process and found over a third (36%) have held back from applying for a new job because they didn’t understand which skills were required for the role.


The survey revealed the extent of the confusion experienced by workers when it comes to knowing which skills they need to show off in job applications and interviews. Almost half (46%) of respondents stated they find it hard to know which skills to focus on, or talk about, in job applications and during interviews while almost one in 10 (8%) wouldn’t check, or wouldn’t know how to check, which skills were required for a job role.


This knowledge gap around skills has resulted in a lack of confidence amongst job seekers. According to the research, more than a third of workers (36%) don’t think they would stand out in an interview based on the skills they have, while almost half (46%) have actually left an interview worried about how they performed.


With job seekers needing a confidence boost, experts advise that candidates need to first identify and appreciate their skills before they can assertively convey them in language employers find convincing and exciting. John Lees, career strategist and author of How to Get a Job You Love, commented, “These findings demonstrate the need for candidates to not only understand which skills they currently possess, but also be able to do two things: match these skills to the needs of organisations, and talk confidently about them at interview.”


In light of this confusion Michael Page has developed the Skills Checker, an online tool which allows both employers and potential employees to search job roles and find out which skills are required. Advising on mandatory qualifications, technical competencies and personality attributes, the Skills Checker aims to help job applicants get ahead of the game.


Nicholas Kirk, UK managing director at Michael Page, added, “We hope our Skills Checker tool will help job seekers better understand the skills needed to take the next step in their careers and feel more confident discussing them to help get their dream job.


“And it isn’t just job seekers that need to rethink how they approach skills; it’s clear businesses could be doing more to clarify the skills required for a role. Employers are potentially missing out on talent as a result of unclear job listings and must ensure they’re hiring in the most efficient way by listing the specific skills needed for each role.”


Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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