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.