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This activity will take you approximately 10 minutes.

Your skills are the things you’ve learned to do well arising from talent, training, or practice. 

Alexi works as a cook in a college cafeteria where he often needs to use his math skills. He must estimate the quantity of food and ingredients for each menu item that will likely be consumed. Occasionally, Alexi finds a good receipe that uses imperial measurements that he has to convert to metric. He needs to keep records and receipts of purchases made for the accounting department. He has to understand how the price of ingredients will impact the costs of the dishes offered at the cafeteria, so he creates a weekly budget. As a cook, Alexi has to understand how the cash that is received is part of the income that maintains the culinary program at the college. 

Alexi
Cook
  • Talent - you may be born with some abilities that you will be naturally good at. These may be your strong points on which you can build your other skills and abilities.
  • Training - you can learn new skills from taking a course or from self-instruction.
  • Practise - you can practise and improve your skills whenever you choose to do so.

According to the experts, the average person has up to 700 skills ready to be used at any time!

You don’t need to excel at a skill to claim you have it. If you feel you’re competent or you perform the skill as well as most people, you have that skill.

There are 76 skills in the following lists, grouped by category. Think about the skills you described in your significant experiences and select those skills from the lists.

  • To select a skill, click the checkbox beside it. You do not need to select skills in every category.
  • If you don’t see skills you described in your significant experiences, type them in the text boxes at the bottom.

Check out Develop Your Core Skills and Traits or contact Alberta Supports if you would like more information.

Danesh strolled into the weekly staff meeting 10 minutes late. He appeared to have dressed in a hurry: his hair and beard weren't combed, and his shirt wasn't buttoned properly. He flopped into a chair and started eating a donut and gulping down some coffee. As the meeting continued, his supervisor noticed Danesh yawning, doodling, and not looking up when others were speaking. When his supervisor had to repeat a  question to him, Danesh noticed she was frowning, and using a clipped manner. He could tell from his co-workers body language that they were also annoyed. He thought about what his own body language might be projecting to them. He realized he better pay attention to his own non-verbal cues in the future. 

Danesh
Data Analyst

Yoshie wanted to make a better life for herself and her family. Her options were to stay in her current job and hope for a promotion, find a new job, or follow her dream of being an interior designer. She weighed the pros and cons and with her family's support, she decided to return to school. After researching training options, Yoshie enrolled into a 2 year interior design program. She also found a part-time job in design while going to school to solve some money issues. Yoshie is often asked to make decisions and problem solve at her new job. She knows her recommendations could have serious financial consequences for her clients if she makes the wrong decision. Just as she did when deciding to return to schook, Yoshie uses her problem-solving and decision-making skills to study the options and make recommendations that fit each client's situation. 

Yoshie
Part-time Interior Designer

Rachel had some decisions to make about work when she had her first child. Although she wanted to remain in the education field, she also wanted to say home and raise her child. She considered her options and the affect each option might have on her family and her employer. During the last 2 months of her pregnancy, Rachel began to look for other work in the education field. She found a contract marking assignments for a distance learning centre. This work allowed her to keep current with developments in the education field, stay at home with her child, and still earn an income. Although Rachel and her family made a financial sacrifice for her to work from home, they have found that the benefits of living by their values far outweigh the costs. 

Rachel
Teacher

NUMERICAL SKILLS

Calculating - using basic arithmetic skills: adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing.

You can compare numerical differences such as bigger and smaller and higher or lower. You can determine if the result on a calculator is correct. You can reasonably predict the amount of time it will take you to do a numerical task.

Budgeting - planning exactly how you will spend money. Deciding what to buy and how much to spend, or how to get work done at the lowest cost.

You can manage your money when you have goals for your money and know your monthly income and expenses. You have a budget plan and follow it, and make changes when necessary. You know how to plan for loans, savings, and retirement. You use credit cards and debit cards within your budget and pay your bills on time. You recognize when poor financial decisions interfere with your health and behavior. You keep your personal financial affairs separate from your work.

COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Reading - getting information from written materials. Following written instructions on what to do or how to operate a piece of equipment.

You have good reading skills when you can follow written instructions, and scan text for specific information. You can read quickly for main ideas, and can summarize and understand the concept of what you have read. You can rewrite the material in your own words. 

Writing - using good grammar to write clear sentences and paragraphs. Being able to express yourself or explain things in writing.

You know you have writing skills when you organize your ideas so others can understand what you have written, and you use correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You take notes or messages and write so others can read your handwriting. You use business writing formats, such as memos and letters, correctly. You write clear, concise emails and text messages. You proofread and correct your own work. 

Talking - being able to talk to strangers in ordinary conversational settings.

You have good talking skills when you speak clearly and slowly with appropriate volume and tone. You use vocabularly appropriate to the work site, and talk with a confident voice. You can speak in front of others and answer the company phone courteously and leave clear, short, and complete voice messages. 

Listening - paying close attention to what the other person is saying and responding appropriately.

You have listening skills when you look at or concentrate on people when they are speaking to you, and use body language that shows you are paying attention. You ask questions to clarify your understanding, wait until others are completely finished before talking and act according to instructions given orally.

Negotiating - bargaining with others to solve a problem or reach an agreement.

You have good negotiation skills when you clearly and calmly describe the situation or problem and how you feel and think about the situation to the person you are negotiating with. You ask for what you want in a reasonable and specific way. You recognize and acknowledge the point of view of the person you are negotiating with. You are willing to compromise so the other person can also get what they want or benefits from the agreement.

LEADERSHIP SKILLS

Making decisions - choosing an action and accepting responsibility for the consequences.

You have decision making skills when you can make a choice among options and understand the consequences of poor decisions in the workplace. You can make workplace decisions quickly and accurately. 

Initiating - taking the first step; getting things started.

You display initiative when you look for things that need to be done and fill the need if you are able. You identify areas that need improvement in your situation or your work. You suggest new ways of meeting a need or getting the work done. You go the extra mile by doing something above and beyond what is required.

SENSE AWARENESS SKILLS

USING LOGICAL THINKING

Problem solving - defining a problem, seeking alternatives, selecting a solution.

You have problem solving skills when you can identify problems you need to solve and are able to collect information about the problem. You can see the pros and cons, and can identify and evaluate possible solutions. You can break down problems and solutions into manageable pieces. 

HELPING SKILLS

ORGANIZATIONAL SKILLS

Managing information - keeping records of activities, inventory, budgets and data.

You have information management skills when you know the kind of information you need to make decisions or take action in a situation. You can find information from a variety of reliable sources and can analyze the information critically by looking at biases and accuracy. You can integrate the information in order to form an opinion and can determine the implications of the information you have found. You recognize that some information may be incorrect and that you may have to adjust your opinions. You can store your information to retrieve it for future use.

TECHNICAL SKILLS

Using computers - understanding and performing basic computer tasks.

You have good computer skills when you know the computer operating system and have good knowledge of common software programs. You can start a new document, input text, save and retrieve files, use email to send and receive messages. You can use correct terminology to describe computer equipment and respond to computer problems with self-control.

SELF-MANAGEMENT SKILLS

Assessing quality - correctly determining the worth of the work you are performing.

You care about assessing quality when you find out what your employer expects of you and you do things to the best of your ability. You know the things you do well and know the areas where you need to improve. You work to meet the expectations of your employer and check the quality of your own work.

Risk-taking - going beyond your personal comfort zone and seeking new ways to complete tasks efficiently.

You can manage risks when you are familiar with the possible risks in your life and workplace. You can predict the consequences or results of risky behaviour and can identify ways to avoid the possible consequences. You avoid taking risks that involve the health or safety of yourself and others. You know how much risk your supervisor considers acceptable in the work you do. You know policies your organization has for managing risks.

Managing time - using your time in a productive way to accomplish everything you need to.

You have time management skills when you are able to balance all of the things you do in your life. You plan how you will use your time and predict how much time things will take. You check how you use your time and make changes for the better.

Building relationships - developing a variety of associations with others.

You can build relationships when you know when you need help, know how to ask for help and accept help when it is offered. You are specific about the help you need. You show a genuine interest in others and make the effort to identify others’ needs and help when you can. You can find people who can give you advice, coach you, or give you instruction on a particular issue. You can find people who can help you get money, equipment, or resources to help with a particular issue. You can find people who can connect you with others who may be helpful and network with people who can help with your job search. You thank those who help you.

Managing stress - knowing the causes of stress, coping with pressures in your life and maintaining a sense of humour.

You have stress management skills when you know what causes stress for you and know that some stress is good. You accept external stressors that you cannot control. You do something about stress that you can control by using stress management techniques or coping strategies.

Collaborating - co-operating with others inside and outside of work to accomplish shared goals.

You have collaboration skills when you show a positive attitude about working with others and listen carefully to others. You can tell when to use humour and when it is better to be serious. You exchange information, resources, and talent with others and commit time and effort to individuals within and outside of your workplace. You take responsibility for tasks assigned to you by team members and provide and accept feedback. You can adjust and compromise with others. You respect the diversity of opinion and viewpoint of team members and can see a project from everyone else’s point of view. You handle conflict with co-workers and supervisors with respect and seek help when needed.

Visioning - imagining something and determining the steps you need to take to achieve it.

You are building a vision when you can identify steps that will take you closer to the goals you or your work want. You seek further information or training to help. You know what the organization's values are. You set and act on short-tem goals and timelines to help you reach your vision. You can identify barriers and know how you will overcome them to reach your vision. You adjust your goals as the situation changes. 

Personal marketing - packaging and promoting yourself in ways that will improve your work and your ability to get work.

You understand and can prepare materials to market yourself when you know the type of documents the employer requires (resumé, application form, proof of education, references, proposal, business card, portfolio, etc.). You have an up-to-date resumé and cover letter. You can present your skills and abilities in a clear, complete, and concise manner. You have made clear to the employer what you can achieve by providing proof of education, training, or experience and have collected references and any letters of recommendation. You have given the information to the right person.

BEING CREATIVE AND INNOVATIVE

Other Skills

Did you identify skills in your significant experiences that aren't on the list? Add them here.

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This personal information is being collected and used pursuant to section 33(c) and section 39(1)(a) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. This information is being collected and retained on the system to facilitate your personal career planning process and to make it available for your ongoing use. You may choose to share this information with a Career Advisor to support the provision of career planning services. Please contact alis at alis.info@gov.ab.ca or 780-422-1794 if you have any questions regarding the collection or use of the information you submit.

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