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Identify Your Work-Specific Skills

Employers need people with 2 kinds of skills: employability skills and work–specific technical skills.

Employability skills

Employability skills are the basic skills you need to succeed in the workplace. They are also known as transferable or soft skills. 

Learn how to identify your employability skills and market them to an employer.

Work-specific skills

Work-specific skills are technical skills you need to do a specific job.

Some examples of work-specific skills are:

  • Using a specific software program
  • Driving a forklift
  • Operating a cash register
  • Arranging flowers

Do you lack work experience? Consider doing volunteer work.

It’s a good idea to take stock of your technical skills. Think about the work you have done before, whether paid or unpaid, and the tasks involved in that work.In the form below, record the tasks you have done in your work and the skills you needed to complete each task.

If you’re not sure which skills to list, here are some places to look for ideas:

Examples of work-specific tasks and skills

Task
Repair auto bodies

Work-specific skill(s) involved

  • Use frame machines to straighten bent frames
  • Remove badly damaged sections of vehicles
  • Weld torn metal
  • Work out minor damage in panels, fenders, and trim

Task
Yard maintenance

Work-specific skill(s) involved

  • Use lawn mower
  • Use weed whacker
  • Identify and dig weeds
  • Water and fertilize plants
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