Discover Your Skills

Job skills include anything you can do that is helpful in the workplace. Discover the important skills you already have and how to use them to your advantage.

Knowing your skills will help you:

  • Write an outstanding resume
  • Write a great cover letter
  • Network better
  • Interview better
  • Become more confident
  • Get a better job

When you know your skills you’ll know what you can provide to an employer. This is very important because most employers don’t care how bad you need a job.
They just want to know what you can do for them.

You don’t have to get job skills from job experience. You just have to show you have them.

Valuable skills are commonly overlooked. Being punctual, dependable, and being a team player are skills desired by almost every employer.

In this exercise you’ll develop stories so that you can provide concrete examples of your skills. This will be very important for job interviews,
resumes, cover letters and applications. All of these things involve explaining how your skills match the job requirements.

  1. Look at the list below. (This is a list of skills that employers want the most from teens).
  2. For each skill ask, “Have I used this skill before in anyway at home, at school, with my friends, or at a job?”
  3. Write down any skill you’ve used. At first, don’t worry if you like to use the skill or not.
  4. Starting with your favorite skill, write a story about each skill you’ve used below that describes the following:
    • The initial problem
    • How you helped (get into all the juicy details of what you did).
    • The result
  5. Keep an eye out for skills that  you love to use. These are called motivated skills. Every employer is looking for someone who loves their work. Why? Because when you love what you do you’ll learn faster, do it better, and be able to do it longer. For example, let’s say you can do public speaking, you may have even received good grades for it and people loved your speech. But the truth is, you don’t like public speaking. In this case, don’t get a job that demands a lot of public speaking. Instead get a job that features skills you enjoy – because you’re going to be using those skills most of the day on most days!

Skills Employers Want Most From Teens

Communication Skills

  • Persuading: I am able to persuade people to do things such as buy a TV or clean their rooms with a written message or by speaking to them.
  • Explaining: I can explain a procedure in writing or in person to someone so that they will know how to do it.
  • Listening Comprehension: I am able to listen to someone or something, understand the message, and then put what was said into my own words.
  • Public Speaking: I can prepare a speech and deliver it to a group of people.
  • Presenting: I can prepare and present information on a topic.
  • Note Writing: I am able to write short, detailed, effective notes to communicate with others about phone calls and other kinds of messages.
  • General Writing: I am able to write one or more of these things: a paper, a news article, an opinion, or an informal letter.

Problem Solving Skills

  • Troubleshooting: I am able to identify possible problems and check them in order to locate a source of difficulty.
  • Researching: I am able to find and compare information from various sources to gain knowledge on a subject.
  • Inventing: I am able to think of original, useful ideas and translate them into useful products.
  • Strategizing: I am able to form an effective plan in order to achieve a desired result.
  • Planning: I am able to prepare ahead of time for possible difficulties to help things run smoothly.
  • Improvising: I am able to create solutions to problems under pressure and sometimes in unconventional ways.
  • Organizing: I am able to create structures or systems in order to make information or things more understandable and accessible.
  • Math: I am able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide numbers to solve basic math problems.

Self Management Skills

  • Detail Oriented: I am able to pay attention to the finer points of a task in order to make sure everything is done thoroughly and accurately.
  • Dependable: I am able to show up and be ready to work, consistently and on time.
  • Positive Attitude: I am able to maintain my sense of humor while taking the ups and downs of the workplace in stride. I am willing to learn new things.
  • Team Player: I am able to do my part to help my co-workers; I look for chances to help others, and ask for help when I need.
  • Self-control: I am able to deal reasonably with conflict and won’t lash out at others even though my feelings may be hurt.
  • Integrity: I am able to accept responsibility for my actions. I am able to follow through on commitment.
  • Tolerance: I am able to accept diversity in others and respect our differences.
  • Self-motivated: I am able to see things that need to be done and do them without direct supervision.
  • Asking Questions: I am able to ask questions in order to clarify how I should do a task when things are unclear because I want to do the job right.