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Assessing Skills

Employer surveys have determined that over 90% of all job candidates interviewed cannot explain their skills. These individuals may have the necessary skills to be successful in the position, but they cannot communicate them effectively. The first critical step in preparing for the interview process is to determine your skills and qualifications and to become familiar with the best possible method for presenting them to employers.

Skills are generally classified into one of three categories - Personal Skills, Transferable Skills or Work Related Skills. Listed below are definitions and examples of the three skill types.

The first skill type we are going to discuss are personal skills. Personal skills are similar to personality traits. These skills describe what you are like as a person and how you would naturally do things. They manifest themselves while you are carrying out the tasks of your workday. Examples of personal skills include:

-Punctuality. Do you arrive to work and/or meeting at the appointment time?
-Honesty. Are you a man or woman or your word?
-Reliability. Can you be trusted to handle assigned task and produce excellent results?
-Dependability. Can the leadership, department, etc count on you to get the job done?

An interviewer is likely to place a lot of weight on these skills when deciding to hire and will be looking for such traits to emerge during the interview.

The second type of skills a interviewer looks for are work skills. Work skills relate specifically to certain types of jobs or job fields. These skills are easily recognizable, however, because they are so specific they are difficult to transfer from job to job. Examples of work skills include:

-The ability to operate a specific machine or equipment
-Knowledge of specific computer programs
-Departmental processes
-Licenses and certification (i.e. a license to sell insurance )

Work skills are particularly important when seeking new work or advancement in the same field. Lack of such skills may disqualify you for an entry level position in your chosen career since without the related work skills, you must prove that you have other skills that you can easily transfer to master the job.

The final type of skills are transferable skills. Transferable skills are those skills which can be easily taken with you from one environment to another. Most people are unaware they have developed useful transferable skills through interests, hobbies, and work. Examples of transferable skills include:

-Effective communication
-Problem solving
-Data analysis

They are your greatest asset because employers value their portability.

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About the Author

Katrina Brittingham, VentureReady LLC
102 Margate Road
Upper Darby, PA 19082

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