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Do You Know Your Skill Set? 

What is a Skill Set?

Do you know what your skill set is?  A skill is simply something that you are able to do. A skill set is the combination of abilities that connect to a particular job.  One person may possess many skills in many areas. However, he or she may be good in a few areas, average in most and have poor skills in some areas.  It is important for you to be able to identify your skill set and match it to the skill set of the job that you are applying for.  There are three types of skill sets:

Transferable skills are skills gained through your previous jobs, hobbies or even everyday life. These skills can be used, or transferred, to another job. Review your past jobs to see if there are skills that can be transferred to the current position that you are seeking.  Next, review your personal activities like volunteering, coaching, or handling adversities to see if these activities can be used as skills in your next job.

In life, volunteering, or your previous work, you may have acquired transferable skills such as planning events, motivating others, and assessing your work and the work of others. Here are some ideas to consider for your transferable skills. We bet you have more than one.

  • Have you ever helped organize a yard sale for home, synagogue, or church? You may have transferable skills in project management, delegation and budgeting.
  • Do you manage your household budget successfully? You may have skills in dealing with obstacles, paying attention to detail, and time management.


Personal skills are skills that come naturally to some, but they can also be learned. Examples of these skills are honesty, punctuality and being team-oriented. Employers’ top interview questions are “Tell me about yourself” and/or “How would your coworkers describe you?” They ask these questions because your personality and attitude toward your work affect everything you do.

Taking a close look at your personal relationships helps you identify personal skills.  Here are a couple of examples.

  • Have you ever had to inspire family members to take on a large household task?  Clean up the yard? Or, maybe inspire the whole neighborhood for a larger cleanup job?  If so, you’ve demonstrated personal skills in inspiring participation and cooperation, and possibly managing conflict with those folks who disagreed with one another on the best plan of action.
  • Have you ever faced a medical obstacle that required you to stay flexible and positive?  Say a broken bone and a cast?  If you approached this situation with a can-do attitude about recovery and getting through life, then you have demonstrated a positive attitude.  


Work-specific skills
are skills used to do a particular job such as driving a truck, designing websites, or accounting. You can gain these skills through your work experience as well as by attending seminars or other training opportunities to increase your knowledge or expertise in a certain area. Work-specific skills are probably the most obvious skills.  Go back through every paid and unpaid job you’ve ever had and think about how you spent your day, and what skills you used.

This is going way back, but did you ever deliver groceries or newspapers?

  • This means you accepted and managed inventory (food, newspapers).
  • You planned your route and delivered your inventory.
  • You probably tried to grow your route by inviting new customers.
  • You collected money, made change, and kept records of financial transactions.
  • You were a combination of inventory clerk, delivery driver, cashier, bookkeeper, and salesperson.

 
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Think About Reinventing Yourself

According to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average tenure of an employee is 4.4 years. This means that the average person will probably have 7 to 10 different jobs in his or her lifetime. With that in mind, it is not surprising that only a few people end up actually doing what they did at their first job or what they studied in college, and an even smaller number will have one job for life.

In today’s job market, you have to reinvent yourself to stay competitive by turning your current skills into new and different positions. Instead of starting all over again, you can start by building on what you already know. The skills that you have been using in your past work experiences can still be of value to you in a new career. By identifying your skill set, you can turn your current skills into a new career.

Identify and Assess Your Skills Using the WorkSearch Assessment System

The WorkSearch Assessment System will help you identify the types of jobs you may be best suited for based on your work interests, personality characteristics, and the work and life skills you already have.  The WorkSearch Assessment System offers free “Essential Skills” courses as well as fee-based courses.

Once registered, you can access this system 24/7 from any computer as many times as you wish to continue to reassess your skills, search for a job, or continue with online training. 

Register to use WorkSearch Assessment System.

Try mySkills myFuture

CareerOneStop has created a great tool, mySkills myFuture, that helps laid-off workers and other career changers find new occupations to explore. Users can identify occupations that require skills and knowledge similar to their current or previous job, learn more about these suggested matches, locate local training programs, and/or apply for jobs. We have made it easy for you by attaching mySkills myFuture to this page. Get started by typing in your current or previous job.

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