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What are Your Skills?

After a layoff, your top priority may be to find a job immediately. But you’ll be more successful if you begin by thinking about your skills. Recognizing your unique blend of abilities can help you make yourself marketable to employers. It may also help you decide if you need to upgrade your skills.

Transferrable Skills

If you've been laid off, you may need to switch occupations or industries. To do this, you'll want to know how your skills can transfer to the new occupation or industry. Transferable skills are general skills and include things like:

  • Math and computation skills
  • Reading and writing
  • Speaking ability
  • Science skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Management skills
  • Technical skills
  • Repair, maintenance, and troubleshooting skills
  • Computer and technical skills
  • Communication, persuasion, or coordination skills

If you’ve been a fast food restaurant manager, can you jump right into being a hotel manager? Maybe. The key is to recognize which of your skills will be most valued by a prospective employer. Then you’ll know how to talk about them and market yourself.

Assess Yourself

Learn more about your own skill set by taking a self-assessment. Try several assessments to learn as much as you can about your skills and the jobs that match them. Different assessments tell you something a little different about yourself.

  • Use the Skills Profiler to create a list of your skills and match them to job types that need those skills.

  • Try O*NET’s Skills Search to select skills from a list and then view occupations that use those skills.

  • Are you realistic, investigative, enterprising, conventional, social, or artistic? Use O*NET’s Interest Profiler to learn how your interests relate to occupations. It will match those interests to occupations.

  • Is it more important to you to develop relationships or work independently? Do you care more about having a supportive supervisor or good working conditions? Take O*NET’s Work Importance Locator to learn which occupations are the best match for what you value at work.

Get More Help

Need more guidance on skills assessments? Contact your local American Job Center.

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