Everybody has skills, or things they are good at.
When it comes to getting a job, many employers look for two kinds of skills: soft skills and job skills.
Soft skills are also called people skills, or work-readiness skills. They are your personality, attitudes, and manners. They can also include how you present yourself. So the way you talk, the way you listen, the way you make eye contact, and even the way you dress are part of your soft skills.
- Employers look for soft skills when they hire employees, when they decide whether to keep employees, or promote them.
- Some soft skills can be taught in school, but most you learn in everyday life. You might have these skills, or you might struggle with them. Either way, you can always get better at soft skills.
- To practice soft skills, talk to friends, family, or a counselor. Ask for feedback on how well you listen, make eye contact, express yourself. Are there areas you can improve? Practice with friends and family.
- Download the Skills Checklist (en español) to name your soft skills. You can use this list to prepare for filling out an application or interviewing for a job.
Job skills are skills that help you do specific jobs. Examples are record keeping, cooking, cleaning, welding, computer programming, or teaching.
- People learn job skills at school, on the job, or from life experiences. You may already have some job skills. You may think you don’t have any—but that’s not true. Everybody has some skills that will help them at a job.
- Download this Skills Checklist (en español) and use it to document some job skills you may have.
You can gain skills throughout your life. Sometimes you learn skills on the job. Sometimes you learn them on your own or from friends or family. Sometimes you learn them in a training or school program. Find tips to help you learn basic skills for free or low cost, find a short-term training program, or enroll in college.