Hidden Skills, and How You're More Employable Than You Think!

By Susanna Quirke

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Superman’s not the only media rookie with secret abilities. You, too, can use your hidden talents to master the world of work. Whatever your industry, you’re packing more heat than you think. Let us show you how.

 

I’m not sure I have any skills, let alone hidden ones!

You’re wrong; everyone has hidden skills. You just have to find them.

Hidden skills are generally ‘soft’ – less tangible than hard skills like coding or writing, and usually to do with personality or interaction style. Are you the girl who books nights out for her friends, two weeks in advance? They call it ‘organised fun’ – we say plain ‘organisation’. Do you love being the centre of attention, talking over everyone and bathing in the glow of the spotlight? You’re a presenter in the making, an articulate public speaker. Do you find it hard to relax, taking every insult and set-back to heart? You’re serious and caring, with a desire to please.

For every social pitfall, there is a hidden skill waiting to be uncovered. Check out this page for a masterclass in spin, or look at this amazing website which promises to help you! As a wise man once said: twist and ye shall convince.

 

Alright, so I might have some vague talents… How can I use them?

Don’t be hesitant to bring out examples of hidden skills on a CV or at interview. Talking about how much you love drum and bass may not hook an event manager’s attention, but that club night you ran at uni certainly will.

Give anecdotal evidence of times when you exhibited soft skills. That night you turned up to a party wildly overdressed and didn’t really care? You take a pride in your appearance. That time you organised your best friend a surprise birthday party and she loved it? You’re a thoughtful person who pays attention to those around her.

If you have a learning disability or perceived natural disadvantage, focus on the pros. Individuals with dyslexia may fall behind when it comes to writing, but their sensitivity to visual anomalies is often superior to that of ‘normal’ people. Dyspraxia hides many skills that can be tailored to a work environment. The cot-to-benefit ratio of employing people with disabilities has been repeatedly found to work out in the employer’s favour. So take that flaw and make it work for you; you are valuable just the way you are.

 

I got the job. Now what?

Now party! Responsibly and not on a week-night, of course.

When you’re placed within a company, hidden skills become even more important. A ‘cheerleader’ – somebody naturally upbeat, to whom friends and family come for support – can produce wonders within a working environment. The ability to enthuse a team and sustain morale in the office is not something managers overlook; when that important contract comes in, you will be credited accordingly.

There are all sorts of ways to make your hidden skills work for your career. Are you a social butterfly? Make yourself the office favourite, and get to networking events pronto. Are you the shy type? Demonstrate your self-drive and independence, pushing through tasks solo and harvesting the credit.

There’s no excuse – everyone has something to offer. Soft skills help you stand out from the crowd in a subtle but effective manner.

 

Okay. I’m convinced. Leave me alone now.

You know that question on every job application? ‘What do you do in your spare time?’ There’s a reason employers ask it.

It’s not just professional experience that develops our skillset. You learn as much from the interactions of your social circle, or those banjo lessons your take on the weekends, as you do at your desk. I’m not saying ditch work to binge-watch Bake-Off. But interviewers love people with interests. It shows that they are developed, all-round personalities, with the hidden skills to match.

So don’t just stand there. Get spinning.

 

Inspiring Interns is a graduate recruitment firm which specialises in sourcing candidates for internship jobs and giving out graduate careers advice. To hire graduates or browse graduate jobs London, visit our website.

 

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