After you have learned and started to build an expertise with skills in your skill set, you are ready to present them to potential employers, co-workers, peers, and clients; each of them benefits by knowing your functional capabilities. This is the presenting stage of a skills based approach, where you share your level of expertise with the skills in your skill set. You make your skill set accessible in web services, search engines, and your professional website. In the next series of blogs, I will discuss ways you can present your skills and how to maintain your skill set across various platforms.
A skill set can be referred to as your “rational value”, a functional representation of what you have learned through your experiences. One of the main benefits with the use of a skill set is that it is searchable on various platforms, both externally and internally: externally meaning the search is conducted from another platform, such as a Google search; and internally meaning the search is conducted from the same platform, such as a search on a professional website. In the presenting stage of a skills based approach, you make your skill set accessible to your target audience and there are five ways you can present a skill: tagging; listing; explaining; demonstrating; and summarizing.
Tagging is a popular way to make content searchable. You take a block of content, like a blog entry, and assign tags – two to three word phrases; these tags are indexed and when someone searches on them, the content block appears. Skills can be assigned in a similar fashion. Assign skills to your professional experiences (so they will appear on your professional website), and use them as keywords for your professional website (so they will appear with a Google search).
Listing refers to simply sharing your skill set in a list format, where you can provide information regarding your expertise with the skill (such as your years of experience with the skill) and references or endorsements. This is LinkedIn’s current approach; they dedicate a separate section of your profile, where you list your skills and add another layer of sophistication by letting your connections endorse them.
Explaining means to describe how you have applied your skill set in your employment and educational experiences – like the presentation on a traditional resume. In your explanations, you reference the skill whenever possible. The content structure of a professional website, LinkedIn profile, and MonsterJobs resume is similar to a traditional resume, so you have the opportunity to explain how you have applied the skills in your skill set.
Demonstrating a skill is usually the most effective way to present a skill and for some skills it is a requirement; for example, you should demonstrate the skill of graphic design so someone can make their own decision regarding your creativity in developing graphics. According to the survey Skills Based Approach, the best way of validating an expertise with a skill is by providing a sample of work.
You might also create a summary statement where you mention your top few skills. This statement might be called your “mission statement” or “objective statement” or “elevator pitch”. To be authentic, you want to deliver a message that discusses your functional value – a skill set of your core competencies.