What Are Skills?

What Are Skills?

If you want to land a job in the current work climate, it is essential to have a good understanding of your skills. A skill is the ability to perform tasks using knowledge, competencies, and abilities. Experiences in your work and personal life help develop skills throughout your life.

Skills can also be obtained through studying. In your job search, you will have to measure your skills and prove to employers that you are capable of accomplishing tasks. Understand the different types of skills, why they're important and how you can expand them in your job search.

What Are the Different Types of Skills?

You have a mix of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are job-specific skills that are learned during formal training or experience. Soft skills are transferable skills that can be applied in a multitude of situations, such as teamwork, time management, and problem-solving.

Identify your skills by reflecting on what you did in previous work and education experiences. Look back at your life to see if you have gained any skills over time. You can also ask people who know you well for their perspective on you to see if there are any skills that you've missed.

Measure the skills you have by taking online skill tests. Find the levels of your skills and decide if they can be improved. Not all skills are measurable, however, as some aren't quantifiable.

Here are some examples of skills:

Job Skills:

  • Verbal communication
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Organization
  • Customer Service

Organizational Skills:

  • Categorizing data
  • Coordinating
  • Project management
  • Reasoning skills
  • Logic

Life Skills:

  • Cooperation
  • Curiosity
  • Perseverance
  • Driving
  • Studying

Leadership Skills:

  • Decision making
  • Delegating
  • Strategic planning
  • People managing
  • Business intelligence skills

Here is a great list of skills.

Why are Skills Important?

Skills are important to not just you, but also employers. Every job requires a set of skills.The same job in different companies may require different skills. It is vital to advertise the skills that you have correctly and accurately.

This applies to all types of jobs in your job search. Be confident in your own abilities and value the skills that you have. Realize what your skills can offer to a company and convey this to them in the application process. Your resume should show how your skills meet the requirements of the specific job. That usually means tailoring your resume for each job application.

Read the job description and tailor your resume and cover letter to the specific role and employer. Your competition will be doing the same. Be aware of your own shortcomings to avoid misleading a recruiter. Employers will view you more positively if you are honest and show that you have a willingness to learn more.

How to Expand Skills in Your Job Search

Some skills will be better suited to fit specific jobs. All jobs require multiple skills. Highlight the skills that are most important for you in your job search. Evaluate if you have mastered the skill or if there is room for improvement. Keep a written or digital record of your self-evaluation.

Skill gaps can appear for a number of reasons. It may be that previous skills are now out of date due to a gap in employment or that you simply have never learned them before. Identify your skill gaps to get an idea of how to best to spend your time growing your skills.

Take courses and training classes to learn new skills. Some jobs and apprenticeships will offer training as part of the job role, but there are also flexible ways to learn. These include online courses, as well as short in-person courses and evening classes in your local area.

Once you have obtained new skills, you can use them in your job search. Make sure to describe your skills with examples in your resume and cover letter. Be proud of the skills you have but be careful to not become boastful.


You can never have too many skills. Identify the skills you have and the skill gaps that exist. Be ambitious and expand your skills to give yourself more opportunities in more types of jobs.

Written by Career Specialist Mar 15, 2023
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