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Learn How to Determine Your Skills and Develop New Ones

Continuously improving your skillset can help you excel at your current job, or land your next great career opportunity. The perfect balance of hard and soft skills should be your end goal either way.

  • Hard skills are specific capabilities you use to perform a job-related task. Examples include accounting, copywriting, data analysis, event planning, foreign language fluency, graphic design, website development, IT, and SEO marketing.
  • Soft skills generally pertain to interpersonal strengths and related personality traits that enable you to work well and interact with others. Think adaptability, communications, time management, conflict resolution, creativity, decision making, leadership, and motivation.
  • During an interview and hiring process, you can list or name both hard and soft skills. But soft skills must be displayed. Many job functions require a combination, or hybrid, of hard and soft skills. For instance, to excel in a customer service role, you likely need exceptional communication and conflict resolution skills, as well as proficiency in spreadsheets or perhaps a specific customer service management system.

  • Always keep the specific skills listed in a job description in mind. This will enable you to understand what an employer is looking for as you prepare to land and succeed at an interview.
  • Determining Your Skillset

    If you’re not sure or need to confirm what your skillset looks like, ask yourself:

  • “What do I most enjoy?” Tasks or activities that come naturally to you or that you enjoy the most often translate into useful professional skills. For example, if you enjoy teaching others how to solve problems, this translates to strong communication and more obvious problem-solving skills.
  • “Am I often complimented on certain skills?” Has a colleague or supervisor acknowledged you on a particular trait, such as exceptional teamwork? Maybe it’s come up during a recent performance review. Take note of these touchpoints and add them to your resume.
  • “What are my significant career achievements?” These may be awards won or projects completed with results exceeding expectations. What specific skills did you use to realize these accomplishments?
  • Developing New Skills

    To develop new skills and firm up your overall skillset:

  • Set goals. Make sure they are SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This will keep you on track for skills development and overall career growth.
  • Consider finding a mentor. This is typically a superior whom you respect and trust. Reach out to your mentor for advice and guidance via informal meetings and possibly a professional shadowing experience. Develop this into an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship.
  • Seek feedback. Turn to your mentor and others when the opportunity presents itself for feedback on your ideas, work, and skills development. For feedback to be effective, it should come from people who will be honest and objective, not those who will stroke your ego or tell you what you want to hear. In a single word, it must be authentic.

  • At PrideStaff Fresno, we’re all about helping you to be the best you can be in your current role, as well as finding new opportunities and building your career for the long term. We match skilled professionals in the Fresno area with truly rewarding opportunities, both temporary and full-time. Contact us today to learn more.

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