Identifying Your Skills

Think about how you react when someone congratulates you on a job well done. Do you look them in the eye and say, “Thanks, you’re right, I AM good at that!” Chances are, you don’t! We’re bashful about stating our accomplishments. The problem is, if you don’t mention your skills to an employer, who will?

The first step in recognizing the skills you hold is through learning about two types of skill sets: job content skills and transferable skills. Once you understand each of these categories, you will be able to better identify and discuss your own personal skill set on your resume, in your job search, and during an interview. 

If you are having trouble thinking about the skills you have, complete the Transferable Skills Survey on the next few pages. Once you think about the skills you possess and how they can be applied, it will become easier to explain to someone else how you can be a valuable contributor to an organization.

 

Job Content Skills

Job content skills are related to job-specific tools and tasks. They usually have a vocabulary of their own. Technical skills rarely transfer from job to job because they are too specific.

Example: In her work-study job, Susan became familiar with a database used for storing student information. Knowledge of this program is job-specific and may not transfer to her next position as a consultant.

 

Transferable Skills - Transferable Skills Worksheet

Transferable skills are common to a number of jobs and can be adapted to a particular employer's need. Transferable skills are learned in one environment but can be used in any given number of job settings.

Example: Jen is the president of her sorority and she’s gained conflict management, leadership, and presentation skills. These transferable skills would undoubtedly be easily transferred to her first job as a teacher.