Know Your Work Skills

A skill is the ability to do a certain task well. Skills can be a natural ability and can also be learned over time. You can gain or expand your skills with practice or training. It is important to assess your skills at all phases of your career since you develop new skills at work, school, and through extracurricular activities.

There are different ways to group your skills.

  • Transferable skills: These are skills that can be used in almost every industry and in a lot of different jobs. There is a short list of common transferable skills on the next page, but you should explore other online skill assessments. Check out our blog post on this topic.
  • Technical skills: These skills are specific to occupations. Welders need to work with special equipment. Nurses need to understand medical terms. The descriptions of occupations will list required skills. View the Essential Skills Profiles for occupations that match skills.

List Your Skills and Match them with Occupations.

Use Match Your Skills to Occupations (pdf) to write down your skills. Also, write down 5 - 10 occupations that are a good fit with your skills.

Common Transferable Skills

To get started, read over these skills and think if you have or need to gain any of them. Start your skill assessment by looking at these groups. Ask people close to you for feedback.

Skill Set Description Examples
Basic Skills These are skills needed by almost all workers. Writing, for example, is a basic skill that gets you into a good job. Not having it can keep you out of a good job.
  • Able to follow directions
  • Able to learn
  • Able to listen
  • Able to remember
  • Able to write
  • Punctual
  • Honest
  • Math skills
  • Organized
  • Able to remember
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Able to sort
  • Proactive
  • Able to work alone
People Skills These are some of the most needed and wanted skills. They're sometimes called "soft skills." These skills help people to work well with others.
  • Empathic
  • Coordinate with others
  • Help others
  • Negotiate
  • Persuade
  • Teach others
  • Dependable
  • Cheerful
  • Conscientious
  • Cooperative
  • Patience
  • Diplomatic
  • Tolerant
  • Generous
Management Skills All workers need these skills, not just managers. Employers hire people who can keep track of projects, money, and their time.
  • Manage money
  • Observing
  • Flexible
  • Courageous
  • Supervise people
  • Manage things
  • Manage time
  • Take directions
  • Give directions
  • Listening skills
  • Problem solving
  • Communicating
  • Researching
  • Planning
Technical Skills Technology includes computers and equipment. People in all occupations should know how to work with technology.
  • Choosing tools
  • Quality control
  • Install equipment
  • Install computer programs
  • Check equipment
  • Operate equipment
  • Repair equipment
  • Troubleshooting
  • Painting
  • Welding
  • Helping patients or clients
  • Caring for a child
  • Playing an instrument
  • Processing X-rays
  • Filing
  • Arranging flowers
  • Cooking
  • Software knowledge
  • Typing

You can take free skills assessments online at:

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