Article from the Edmonton Journal
Hope is not a strategy in today’s tight market, write Jeff Griffiths and Janet Lane.
As many as 100,000 Albertans have lost their jobs because of the fall in oil prices. It would be easier for them to find good, meaningful work if they had a way to prove what they can actually do.
Most of Alberta’s job seekers have earned certificates, degrees, tickets and diplomas in the past, but have no way of proving what they are capable of actually doing now. Their resumes will talk about their credentials, and the work they have done over the years and in many cases will show remarkable accomplishments. But they will not list their competencies — the things they can actually do and how well they can do them.
Competencies are rarely unique to one occupation. Many of our competencies — the knowledge, skills and attributes we have gained over time — make us good employees in one job but also capable of moving between occupations.
As anyone who has looked for a job for a long time knows, the job market, and especially this one, does not reward those who are passive. One thing that might make a difference is to build a resume based on competencies.
Canada does not have a formal system for assessing and credentialing competencies gained outside of formal schooling (and really doesn’t do a particularly good job of recognizing those either). As a consequence, we often forget to acknowledge them or even include them in resumes or job postings.
Other jurisdictions, including our major trading partners in the United States, the European Union and the Asia Pacific region, have these frameworks or are developing them. Canada lags behind.
Here are the skills for the 21st century: problem-solving, collaboration and team work, empathy, decision-making, verbal and written communication, planning skills, digital skills, leadership skills and business acumen. Most employers are looking for them, top performers have them at high levels, but not all employers or job seekers can articulate them well.