Job seekers often don’t know what they know or what skills they already have until they sit down and write a list. I encourage you to make your own list, which will come in handy when preparing your résumé, filling out job applications, and preparing for interviews. Take an inventory of your skills by following these steps:
Great Answers From Kerry (Photo courtesy of Kerry Hannon)
Don’t restrict yourself to skills you developed on the job. If you
volunteered as treasurer for your local parent-teacher organization, for
example, you have experience with financial management and budgeting.
If you raised children, you have experience in child-care, scheduling,
and training. How you developed your skills is less important than the
fact that you have the skills and that you can present those skills in a
way that meet an employer’s needs.
For additional ideas, search the web for “job skills list” or “jobs skills checklist.”
The U.S. Department of Labor’s CareerOneStop has a Skills Profiler that
generates a list of skills in several categories based on the job type
and work activities you specify. Check it out at www.careerinfonet.org/skills.
Although you may need
additional training and skills to pick up a new job or navigate a career
change, many skills are transferable — the knowledge and skill
required are the same, but you’re applying it in a new way or to a
different situation. The ability to manage projects, for example, is a
transferrable skill. In the publishing business, you may use this skill
to coordinate efforts with writers, editors, graphic artists, and page
layout personnel. In a shipping business, you may use the same skill to
coordinate pick-up and delivery schedules. Same skill, different
Look at your skill set and past experience as
transferable to diverse fields. If you’re switching industries, you’re
“redeploying” skills you already have in place.