How to Describe Your Skills

DavidIn our Skills Evaluation blog series, we have covered the importance of evaluating your skills, we have noted the different types of skills people have, and we have identified skills specific to YOU.

Now that we’ve identified our skills, let’s continue on to the next step! Learning how to communicate to employers how we can benefit them/their company.

80% of all job applicants cannot describe their skills

In order to avoid being counted in that statistic, we’ll be taking what we have identified and building what we refer to as an Accomplishment Statement. You can use your accomplishment statements throughout your job search to network, conduct a job search over the telephone, on your resume and during job interviews. One method of preparing an accomplishment statement is by using the CAR method (Challenge, Action, Results).

Challenge: What was needed Action: The skills you used along with what you did Results: Benefit, Outcome, Goal, Purpose
An efficient and updated order processing system Created and implemented a new data system with Microsoft Access Resulted in a 60% reduction in lost orders

For each challenge, list the skills you used along with the actions you took and the results of those actions. Be sure to use action words and numbers to show size, money, time or amount of the results. (You can print out a copy by clicking on the link CAR).

1. Challenge:_______________________________

    a. Action:_______________________________

    — Results:_______________________________

2. Challenge:_______________________________

    a. Action:_______________________________

    — Results:_______________________________

3. Challenge:_______________________________

    a. Action:_______________________________

    — Results:_______________________________

At this point we have identified our skills and have developed a method of expressing them in various settings. Of course, you can always add to your list as you work through this activity. Feel free to amend your accomplishment statements as you see fit. Just remember to select the top 2-3 that are relevant when you speak with an employer (or attend a job fair, or network with someone).

Skills Evaluation Summary

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of evaluating skills, touched on the different types of skills people have, identified the skills YOU have, and laid down a foundation of how to express your skills to potential employers; it’s time to pull everything together to create a summary of our skills.

Since you’ve identified your skills and listed examples of ways you’ve used them, think about your employment priorities.

• What things are important for you to consider in your next job?
• What skills do you want to use?
• What are your strongest self-management skills?
• What are your needs in terms of salary, benefits, and location?
• What interests do you have that could be related to some jobs?
• What type of work environment do you want?

Record the things that are important for you to consider in your next job (click on this link to print out a copy: Summary of Skills).

Skills (typing, teaching, leadership, welding)
1. ______________________________________
2. ______________________________________
3. ______________________________________

Self-Management Skills (flexible, organized, friendly)
1. ______________________________________
2. ______________________________________
3. ______________________________________

Needs/Wants (benefits, location, salary)
1. ______________________________________
2. ______________________________________
3. ______________________________________

Interests (music, surfing, animals, reading)
1. ______________________________________
2. ______________________________________
3. ______________________________________

Work Environment (relaxed dress code, own office)
1. ______________________________________
2. ______________________________________
3. ______________________________________

With this information safely tucked away in our job search toolbox (and of course, ready to pull out at any given moment), we now have a better picture of how to focus our job search.

For more information on skills development seminars held at Workforce Solutions, please see:
1. Workforce Skills Development Seminars
2. Workforce Hiring Events
3. Community Seminars

Tomorrow will be the final blog for this series: Developing the Actual Job Search Plan.

David Spears is a member of the Workforce SolutionsNavigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.



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