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Guide

How to List Your Skills, Abilities, and Accomplishments

You have important career assets to offer an employer. From a young age, you’ve learned and done useful and important things. Discover how to identify your skills, abilities, and accomplishments to make your work search tools stronger.

A hand stacking wooden blocks with yellow blocks on top of each other

What knowledge do you have?

What you know can fall into 2 categories:

  • General knowledge about things like gardening, soccer, or first aid
  • Specialized knowledge that you need to work in a particular occupation, such as:
    • A doctor’s knowledge of surgical procedures
    • A mechanic’s knowledge of car parts
    • An artist’s knowledge of the colour wheel
    • A farmer’s knowledge of crops and weather patterns

You’ve probably picked up lots of knowledge through experience and through formal education or training. You’ve also picked up a great deal through informal learning activities such as reading, watching shows, and observing others.

But knowledge, on its own, is rarely enough. You need to show employers that you have the skills and abilities to turn that knowledge into action. And your accomplishments will provide evidence of what you can achieve.

What are your skills and abilities?

Your skills and abilities are what you can do. You may know a lot about soccer, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can play soccer well. To become a skilled player, you need athletic ability and practice as well as knowledge of the game.

Your abilities are what you can do naturally. For example, you may have a natural ability for working with numbers, people, or machinery.

Skills are learned. For example, you may be skilled at selling things, performing basic math, or rebuilding car motors. You may have been born with mechanical ability, but you still have to learn specific skills to become a competent mechanic. When you’re making career decisions, it’s often useful to group your skills into 2 categories:

  • Transferable or core skills
  • Work-specific skills

What are your accomplishments?

If your skills and abilities are what you can do, your accomplishments are what you’ve done.

Even if you’re just starting out in the workforce, you have accomplishments to be proud of. Use them to beef up your resumé and cover letter, and show them off in interviews.

Track your career assets as they grow

Once you know what your career assets are, you can use them to help you get your next job. Add them to your master resumé.

As your experience grows, keep adding to your lists. Be proud of what you’ve done!

How to List Your Skills, Abilities, and Accomplishments
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Every job requires certain work-specific skills. The better you know and can describe your skills, the better your chances of landing the job you want.
Employers look for a wide range of skills. Some skills relate to specific types of work. Others are core skills that you need for every job. If you know your core skills, you can use them to impress potential employers. This will help you land the job you want.
Use this form to write down as many of your own core skills as you can. List any skill that you are able to perform as well as most people. You don’t have to be an expert at something to add it to the list.
Your skills are the things you've learned to do well arising from talent, training, or practice. They are an important part of who you are. According to the experts, the average person has up to 700 skills ready to be used at any time!
What are you good at? See how many skills and talents you have by rating these activities. Then discover the careers that best suit what you can do.
Learn how the 9 types of abilities are defined, where they come from, and how you can use them to spot occupations that might be a good fit for you.
Choose experiences where you did something and were proud of the result. It doesn't matter what anyone else thought about the experience or even if anyone else knew about it. The important thing is that you did it and it made you feel proud.
Your accomplishments are what you achieve when you use your skills. Employers will be even more impressed by your skills if you describe the positive results you have achieved.
What have you done that makes you proud? This exercise will help you identify your own accomplishments.
A master resumé is a document that gathers all your skills, accomplishments, experience and training in one place making your future work search activities faster and easier.
Build your master resumé with this online template that guides you through everything you need to capture your work history.
Congratulations! You have successfully completed this guide.
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