Identify Your Skills


Identify Your Skills

  Identifying Your Skills
Unless you can successfully identify and communicate your skills to a potential employer, the odds are against you in getting the job for which you are applying.
A skill is something you can do - right now, and that is what the employers are buying from you when they hire you. Your skills tell the employer if you have the necessary background and related experience to do a good job.
Employers basically look at three types of skills: job-related, transferable, and self-management. These can come from your life, your work, and your educational experiences.  
Job Related Skills
When identifying your job related skills, special emphasis must be given on how you handled data, people, things, and ideas.

Data: This includes any type of factual information. Numbers of any sort (percentages, volume, area, frequency, measurements, lengths of time, monetary value, etc.). Data also includes: specifications, codes, surveys, drawing interpretations or any other type of research or data based information.

People: There are two questions to ask yourself when evaluating your people skills.

  • With what type of people were you involved (supervisors, customers, vendors, etc.)

  • What do you do with, for, or to each of them ?

Things:Every occupation uses some type of tool, machine, or piece of equipment. No tool or piece of equipment should go overlooked. Remember, people are paid to answer the phone, drive nails and dig up dirt with shovels.

Ideas: This is the most overlooked part of peoples' evaluation of their own work and educational experience. It's also one that might be the most valuable. Ask yourself if you've ever come up with a good idea to make the job easier, more profitable, safer, etc.

Now take a few minutes and make a list of the job specific skills that you have used in your various jobs. Keep this list in your career portfolio and add to it as you learn and use new skills.
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  Transferable Skills
Transferable skills may be used in many occupations, regardless of the type of work. They are a soft skill that you can transfer from one type of work to another without much training from the employer. We've made it easy on you. Just pick the skills that apply from the list below. ( Be aware of one thing - you may be asked when you have used a particular skill, so don't pick one that you can't back up.)
Look at the following list of transferable skills and choose those that apply to you.
act/perform copy information gather information
adapt to situations correspond w/others gather materials
advise people create generate
analyze data delegate guide/lead
anticipate problems deliver handle complaints
appraise service demonstrate handle equipment
arrange functions design handle money
assess situations detect illustrate
audit records determine imagine solutions
bargain/barter develop implement
be cost conscious direct others improve
be responsible for dispense information improvise
budget money distribute inform people
build do precision work initiate actions
buy products/services do public relations work inspect products
calculate numbers draft install
chart information drive instruct
check for accuracy edit interpret data
classify information encourage interview people
collect money endure long hours invent
communicate enforce inventory
compute data estimate learn
conceptualize evaluate learn quickly
conduct examine liaise
construct buildings exhibit lift (moderate)
consult w/others expand listen
contact others expedite locate information
contact w/others explain log information
control costs explore make/create
control people file records make decisions
control situations find information make policy
converse w/others fix/repair manage a business
coordinate activities follow directions manage people
cope w/deadlines follow through measure boundaries
mediate problems recruit people supply
meet the public rectify support
memorize information reduce costs survey
mentor others refer people synthesize
monitor progress rehabilitate people tabulate
motivate others remember information take instructions
move materials remove tend equipment
negotiate repair test
nurse replace think ahead
nurture report information think logically
observe research tolerate interruptions
obtain resolve problems track
operate equipment restore train/teach
order goods/supplies retrieve information transcribe
organize data review transfer
organize people run meetings translate
organize tasks schedule travel
own/operate business seek out treat
paint select troubleshoot
perceive needs sell tutor
perform routine work separate type
persuade others sequence understand
plan service customers unite people
plant service equipment update information
prepare materials set goals/objectives hand/eye coordination
print set up equipment use words correctly
process information set up systems verify
process materials sew visit
produce shape visualize
program signal volunteer
promote size up situations weigh
protect property sketch work quickly
provide maintenance socialize write procedures
question others solve problems write promo material
raise money sort write proposals
read reference books speak in public write reports
recommend study write technical work
record data supervise  
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These are also soft skills. They tell the employer whether or not your personality fits the personality of the company, the bosses, and the co-workers. Many employers would rather hire an inexperienced worker with good self-management skills than an experienced worker who might cause problems. We've made it easy on you. Just pick the skills that apply from the list below. (Be aware of one thing - you may be asked when you have used a particular skill, so don't pick one that you can't back up.)
academic active accurate
adaptable adventurous affectionate
aggressive alert ambitious
artistic assertive attractive
bold broad-minded businesslike
calm careful cautious
charming cheerful clear-thinking
clever competent competitive
confident conscientious conservative
considerate cool cooperative
courageous creative curious
daring deliberate democratic
dependable determined dignified
discreet dominant eager
easygoing efficient emotional
energetic enterprising enthusiastic
fair-minded farsighted firm
flexible forceful formal
frank friendly generous
gentle good-natured healthy
helpful honest humorous
idealistic imaginative independent
ingenious industrious informal
inventive intellectual intelligent
lighthearted kind leisurely
loyal likable logical
meticulous mature methodical
modest mild moderate
open-minded natural obliging
organized opportunistic optimistic
painstaking original outgoing
persevering patient poised
polite practical precise
progressive pressure resistant punctual
productive rational realistic
reliable resourceful responsible
self-confident sensible sensitive
serious sharp-witted sincere
sociable spontaneous spunky
stable steady strong
strong-minded sympathetic tactful
teachable tenacious thorough
thoughtful tolerant tough
trusting trustworthy unaffected
unassuming understanding unexcitable
uninhibited verbal versatile
warm wholesome wise
witty zany  

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 To successfully manage your career, you need to first know yourself, your strengths and priorities, and be able to communicate these to others. Unless you have spent time assessing yourself, you may have difficulty defining and achieving goals, and selling yourself to a potential employer.

Bill Notarfrancisco


Get job search assistance in our Career Centers

Writing Your Skills

Identifying, listing and describing your skills isn't an easy task. However, it's critical to job search success and you should plan to invest the time needed. Listed below is an outline for skills identification that has been successfully used by many job seekers:

  • List by title a job you've held. Start with your most recent employment and work backwards.
  • Write a detailed description of four to five major duties.
  • Think of the skills needed to accomplish each duty you've listed. Write those skills down on a piece of paper. Remember to look for both job and self-management skills. Be sure to include tools used, machines operated, knowledge applied, etc.
  • Repeat the above steps for each activity you anticipate describing to an employer either on an application, in your resume or in an interview. Use this process for other work-related activities including hobbies, volunteer work and community experience.

Once you have completed this process you should have a long list of skills. A list too long to tell an employer. Go through the list and select those skills that match your job goal(s). These are the skills you will use in your job search effort.














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Bill with his new laptop