How to identify your competencies

We talk about them all the time. Competencies. These are your core products in the job search - your marketable items. Learn more about the 3 competencies, so you can pitch yourself in the application and job interview.


What is your competency and how do you target it right?

In order to land a job, you need to know the answer to those questions – but those questions aren’t always easy to answer. Matching what you have learned during your studies, through voluntary work, a student job or something else with what companies are looking for can be challenging, especially for new graduates.

If you’re not sure about what you can do and what you want to do, you won’t be able to present it clearly to potential employers who place great emphasis on YOU being able to tell them about what competencies you have that are relevant to the specific job.

It’s therefore necessary that you clarify what your competences are before you begin writing a CV and cover letter. Competence assessment is the foundation of your job search.

Pitch your skills

In this video we cover the definition of a pitch, how to deliver your skills with examples and to whom.

The three types of competences

We distinguish between personal, social and professional competences.

Your professional competences are the most important part of the material you send to the companies, and those competences are what they are looking for. Professional competences cover the specialist knowledge you have from your studies and work experience within natural science, technology or IT.

Your personal competences are curiosity, power of observation and creativity, for example.

Your social competences are collaboration, communication and coordination, for example. You won’t be called in for an interview because you “think creatively” – this is too fluffy and unspecific. You’ll be called in for an interview because you clearly presented the professional competences that the company needs. In our experience, those are the competences that IDA members have the most difficulty highlighting.

Identify, prioritize and target your competences

In this video, we will take you through skill clarification, partly in order for you as a new graduate to focus on your skills and not doubt what you have to offer is relevant. The focus is on professional competences in the job search material.

Competence profile

One of the ways you can get an easy overview of your skills and compentences is by listing activities with columns where you can detail what the task entailed along with types of skills you applied to the activity and what results you made. This is what we call a competence profile. We have made an example for you to download and take inspiration from to make your very own competence profile.

Be diligent and list all types of activities from your studies, student job, hobbies and so on. It can take some time, but it is well spent. At the end you are left with a document that you can use in various job seeker situations, like skills and results to highlight in your cover letter and in the research process for unlisted jobs. Listing your competences gives you a concrete sense of what your skillset is and how you apply it to various tasks. And this makes it easier for you to match your competence with job listings and interview situations.

Here is the example for the comptence profile.

Need help figuring out what your skills are and how to target them?
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