Skill Development

Career Readiness Competencies

NACE (National Association of Colleges and Employers) has identified eight competencies associated with career readiness. They are:

  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving: Exercise sound reasoning to analyze issues, make decisions, and overcome problems. The individual is able to obtain, interpret, and use knowledge, facts, and data in this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.
  • Oral/Written Communications: Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.
  • Teamwork/Collaboration: Build collaborative relationships with colleagues and customers representing diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, religions, lifestyles, and viewpoints. The individual is able to work within a team structure, and can negotiate and manage conflict.
  • Digital Technology: Leverage existing digital technologies ethically and efficiently to solve problems, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. The individual demonstrates effective adaptability to new and emerging technologies.
  • Leadership: Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.
  • Professionalism/Work Ethic: Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind, and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.
  • Career Management: Identify and articulate one's skills, strengths, knowledge, and experiences relevant to the position desired and career goals, and identify areas necessary for professional growth. The individual is able to navigate and explore job options, understands and can take the steps necessary to pursue opportunities, and understands how to self-advocate for opportunities in the workplace.
  • Global/Intercultural Fluency: Value, respect, and learn from diverse cultures, races, ages, genders, sexual orientations, and religions. The individual demonstrates, openness, inclusiveness, sensitivity, and the ability to interact respectfully with all people and understand individuals' differences.


Technical (Hard) & Interpersonal (Soft) Skills

Skills used in the workplace and skills communicated on your resume can be broken down by Technical (or hard) skills and Interpersonal (or soft) skills.

Technical skills are the hard skills that are typically learned in courses or on the job in order for you to do that job effectively. Technical skills are also technology or programs that you use to do those jobs. For example, being proficient in Adobe Suite, coding, cooking (if you are a chef), and being CPR certified, are all hard skills. Technical skills are evaluated through practice, exams, or can even be accredited to the degree one holds. Technical skills can be listed in the Skills section of your resume.

Interpersonal skills are soft skills that can be used across a wide variety of jobs. Examples of the soft skills are communication, leadership, and teamwork. Soft skills can be practiced and developed regularly and are evaluated based on performance examples. These skills should be discussed within the bullet points of your experience section so that the employer can understand how you carry out that soft skill.

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