Skills that will give you an edge as a job seeker

Tuesday February 20 2018


Employers will always want to make a contribution by bringing in the best at every recruitment drive.

A job is not about filling a vacant position. It is about getting the best talent available that will have exceptional additions to the company.

Beyond the basic requirement of qualifications, job seekers are expected to have other add ons that give them an edge in a highly competitive market.

Such add ons can be as basic as choice of clothes, style of speaking or conduct, which are not necessarily a job requirement.

According to Ibrahim Ssenyonjo, a human resource manager at Tidy Cleaning Services, having such skills helps you to have an edge as well co-existence especially in diverse communities.

But more importantly, he says, such skills make you stand out which is likely to propel you into leadership roles.

“For example, if I interviewed a potential employee, and during the interview I discover they are well motivated, I will most likely hire that person compared to the one who lacks self-motivation,” Senyonjo says. Yvonne Musmenta, a graduate of Information and Communication Technology from Uganda Christian University, has been searching for a job and she has used this opportunity to engage top professionals from whom she has learnt a lot of this.

“I had a conversation with one of my former lecturers who advised me to, apart from my degree, learn other skills that will appeal to companies I am seeking jobs,” she says.

This, she says, made her search within herself, which eventually introduced her to the world of writing.

“I have developed my writing and editing skills over time. And I use my social media accounts to write short stories that are appreciated by my friends and followers,” she says.

According to Rosemary Nakiyemba, a human resource practitioner and a career coach, many people front books as a requirement of employment forgetting that there are hundreds of other people out there with similar qualifications.

“Being handy for instance with computers are skills that your prospective employer may not require on paper, but they will surely set you apart,” she says.

This and other skills, she says, gives you an edge and the confidence, which can potentially propel the interviewing panel to select you ahead of others. These skills include:

Computer knowledge

The world is currently driven by technology. Many of the manual process are being eliminated from the job requirement.

Therefore, according to Nakiyemba, you need to learn a few basics such as preparing a power point presentation, working with excel, and other computer programmes.

“Apart using computer you must be conversant with social media and attendant programmes such as blogging, among others,” she says.

Proficiency in different languages

Beyond the basic languages that many people speak it does not not hurt to learn other languages, according to Musmenta.

“Everyone would want to deal with a person who speaks their language. So learn them even if they have no immediate use,” she says.


Many people have the ability to do different tasks with similar intervals and this always sets them apart.

“Employers like to work with people who can do things beyond their job requirement,” Nakiyemba says.

Respect and values

The work place is a mixture of characters and in there you find all sorts of people which makes respect and values an important aspect.

“A job seeker with values, respect and good work ethics can easily be identified. The way they speak, reply to questions and such tells of the character of the person,” Ssenyonjo

Creativity and good writing skills

At the work place you will be required to write something once in a while. But if you are going to present a shabby write-up, then you have a problem.

“Write something readable and in a creative way, this what every employer would want from an employee,” says Nakiyemba.

Even if you work in an environment where there is little writing, she says, learning how to write and being creative does not harm you in any way.

“There is no two way about this, one should be able to communicate effectively across the different platforms,” says Senyonjo, who also emphasises that proper communication improves one’s confidence and value to the company.