Your skills describe what you like to do and what you are good at. You develop skills by training and experience that improve your ability to do tasks. Being able to identify and describe your skills allows you to answer key questions at job interviews such as What can you do for my organization? and What problems can you solve?
In the workplace, there are two kinds of skills: technical skills, and soft skills. Both types are essential for success.
Your ability to accomplish specific tasks like cooking, computer programming, or teaching, are called technical skills. They relate to a particular occupation. You may have learned technical skills from past work experience, school or training. These skills are often included in job listings to describe the tasks of a position. Examples are:
- build a cabinet
- read an image
- operate equipment
- paint a portrait
- write computer code
- teach a lesson
- investigate a scientific question
- sell products to customers
Employers also want employees who fit in and get along well in the workplace. That requires soft skills. These are so valuable that soft skills are often the reason employers decide whether to keep or promote an employee. Some soft skills can be taught in school. But most you learn in everyday life and can improve at any time.
- communicate well
- think critically
- participate as a team member
- determined and persistent
- quick learner
- on time
Check out these sources to help you identify your skills and find the kinds of work they relate to:
- The Skills Matcher helps you identify your skills. Use the Skills Matcher to create a list of your skills and match them to careers that use those skills.
- Enter your previous occupation in mySkills myFuture to see types of careers your skills and experience will transfer to.
- Look up your strongest skills in O*NET to see which occupations match them best.
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1400 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.” He is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council. “No BS JobSearch Advice Radio” was recently named a Top 10 podcast for job search. JobSearchTV.com was also recently named a Top 10 YouTube channel for job search.
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