Build Your Skills Toolkit

Identifying your skills is essential for communication with potential employers, as well as developing one’s own skill toolkit. Being aware of the contents of this personal toolkit is extremely important when building a successful job application—the more relevant your skills, the more likely you are to get the job. 

Personal skills that are valued by employers fall into three categories:

Hard Skills are very specific to a task: operating a forklift, familiarity with specific computer software, fluency in specific languages.

Soft Skills are harder to teach and define. They are interpersonal and intrapersonal abilities involving how we work with others and how we manage ourselves. Teamwork, communication, time-management—these are just a few of a long list of soft skills. (link list)

Transferrable Skills are the list of skills you possess that grows from experience to experience. All your skills that can transfer from one role to the next do not only include experiences in paid work and at school.

Traditionally, people assume that hard skills are most valued by employers. This assumption is often proven false since many employers state that they want to hire people who are hard-working, innovative, personable, and who value lifelong learning (all soft skills). People who demonstrate strong soft skills such as these can easily be taught the hard skills they will need to be successful on the job.

And the most important thing to know about your skill set? Through experience, education, and training, you can keep improving the skills you possess and develop new ones throughout your life.

Browse through the resources on employABILITY and take some time to list the skills you possess and the ones you wish to develop. Saving a document like this will not only help your goal setting, but you can also pull from it when developing documents for your next job application.