How to show off your skills and abilities

  Orfeo & Majnun ¬ 20161126.0301

‘Demonstrate your passion, energy, drive and commitment’  ‘ Show how you can stand out from the crowd’.  ‘What are your unique selling points?’


When it comes to job descriptions there are often those requirements that employers ask for.  This can involve some deep breaths and head scratching before thinking what to say in reply. How can you demonstrate such qualities in your applications without seeming fake or being too cheesy? In this blog we will dissect some of  those terms and consider how to respond to them in an application .

Studying a degree subject you have a passion for is fine but is that perhaps to be expected of any student?  Also there are lots of other people doing the same thing.  Key advice would be to let your experiences speak for you and demonstrate these qualities with good strong clear examples that show interest and enthusiasm. It is the unique blend of skills, abilities and experience that each person offers that makes them look different from the others. Reflecting back on key experiences is really helpful with showing this.

So what can you offer in terms of…

Paid employment

  • What about any paid work you have done? Even if it is unrelated  to the course or career area you want to get into it is still very important.
  • How can you show a passion for this work? Most students will need to work in low level part time jobs to pay the bills but being able to dig out and show drive, enthusiasm and commitment in anything will show you in an excellent light.
  • If you have worked in say fast food  delivery did you show excellent customer service ?  Did you help  your team mates and employers? How did you do this? What did you do? Expressed in the right way this can  show passion, drive and commitment.
  • Paid work in a related  field  is even better and it is worth making as much of  this as you can. Did you do a placement or summer internship? Make it really sing out on your CV and clearly show the knowledge and skills gained. Be ready to say more about it at interview.

Communicating and sharing the message  with others

  • Do  you read avidly about a subject  and perhaps share ideas  with others e.g. writing a blog or contributing to  a website?
  • Do  have a website of your  own?  If not can you create one to help show off your work?
  • Can you show this on your application and at interview ?


  • Have you done any volunteering? Who was it for? What did you do? Who did you work with?  What have you achieved with this? Any key roles or events you have taken part in? Is there anything within that experience that can demonstrate drive? Commitment can be shown by sticking with something and keeping what you said you would do. Again is there a passion for some area of work that can be shown with this experience?
  • Do you belong to a student society? Again have a good look at this and think about what role/s do you play in this? Have you organised an event for others to join in and learn more about what you do?

What else can you do?

  • Your referees will also be able to help with this so make sure you let them know what you applying for.  If you have a LinkedIn profile and have recommendations these can also show off some of these personal qualities.
  • If reading this you feel there is not much you can demonstrate a passion for and your CV is also looking a bit thin then take a look at the Careers Service website. This has lots of ideas on how to get involved with all kinds of ways to gain experience, develop key skills and also.


 Lieven SOETE via Compfight




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Pamela Coppola • 22/03/2017

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