What is competence?
Competence is more than your education. You acquire skills from education and work, as well as from leisure activities, organizational work, voluntary work, military service and care of others. If you think about what skills you want to achieve or improve when you are a student, and how you can accomplish this, it will make you more prepared for a job seeking process and working life itself.
Be aware of your competence
In order to get a job, it is important that you know how to to describe your own competence. Think through the following:
• What proffesional skills have I learned through my studies?
• What skills have I achieved that are transferable to many different types of jobs?
• In what areas have I grown as a person (professionally)?
• My professional strengths - what I master well
• What do I want to learn more about?
Job experience, volunteer work and leisure activities:
• What have been my previous work tasks?
• What responsibilities have I taken or been given to me ?
• What have I learned?
Do you have experiences that do not seem relevant at first sight - think about the skills you have achieved that are transferable to the jobs you are applying for.
• How do I work with others andwhat role do I take in a team?
• What increases my motivation and my commitment?
• How do I handle stress?
• What are my personal strengths: Am I accurate, good to communicate, like to convey, creative, etc.?
Hard skills vs. Soft skills
Hard skills are specific for a job and often listed in job descriptions. They are the skills acquired from education or training courses.
Soft skills are transferrable skills and describes how you can interact with others. Examples of softs skills are communication, flexibility, networking, motivation, problem solving, creativity, critical thinking, time management, teamwork, leadership, decision making.
Consider what of your skills you want to accentuate. Different skills may be more relevant for different jobs. Be sure to provide specific examples from your experience when describing your skills. Merely a listing of good qualities is not sufficient.