The skills and abilities that match the needs of your job are called qualifications. An important step in your job search is to understand your qualifications. Companies are looking for qualified workers who will help their business. Every job has different things you will be expected or required to do.  Understand what is required for the job and then decide if your abilities match what is required. After all, you will be happiest and most successful when you are doing what you do best.

making decisions

It’s important to take time to identify what your skills and strengths are and what experience you have. This helps to make sure your job will be enjoyable and you will be doing your best work. Here are five ways to help you consider your qualifications:

  1. Identify Your Skills
  2. Understand Your Strengths
  3. Identify Your Experience
  4. List Your Education
  5. Put it All Togetherwork ahead

Identify Your Skills

Skills are the abilities needed to do a job or task. Usually you learn different skills by working in other jobs. You can also learn skills on projects, as a hobby or even as a volunteer. A skill is something you are able to do well because you have the knowledge, training, and practice to do it.  Job skills allow you to do a particular job.  You need the right skills to perform a job well.  For example, you need to have a skill in electrical wiring to be an electrician.  Or, you may have special training in the skill of cabinetmaking to be able to make cabinets.

Skills include both technical skills and interpersonal skills. Technical skills are skills that allow you to perform a specific job. Interpersonal skills are the skills you use to interact with people and communicate.  Both are needed to be successful in any job.

identify your skills

Understand Your Strengths

Strengths begin with natural talent, but also use your knowledge and skills. Strengths can be defined as the talents, skills and knowledge that you use over and over again and have success.  Your strengths are the things that you do very well. You can usually do these well without a lot of effort because they are things that come naturally to you. Knowing your strengths will help you succeed in many areas of your life, including your career.

It’s important to identify your strengths so you can make sure you will be doing your best work. First, think about things you have been successful at. Then, think about the skills you used to help you be successful.  When you look at several of these, you can try to find patterns in the skills. Sometimes it is hard for people to come up with their strengths because they use them all the time and they come so naturally to them.  One way to identify your strengths is see what others think.  Ask people who know you well and see what they consider your strengths.

cafe networking

Identify Your Experience 

Many jobs want you to have some experience to get hired for the job.  The obvious thing to think about is your experience is from your previous jobs.  You can also think about experience you got while doing volunteer work. Have you volunteered to help build houses for those in need?  What construction skills did you learn? Maybe you helped organize a food drive.  List the experience you gained such as: organization, planning, and marketing.  Maybe you were a Girl Scout or Boy Scout and gained sales experience selling Girl Scout cookies or other items to raise money. Think about all of the experience you have gained over the years. Then, figure out how your previous experience fits with a certain job.


List Your Education

Most jobs have certain qualifications regarding education in order to be hired.  Some may even want education in a certain area of study, for example, a welder, mechanic, or teacher. Write down all of the education and training you have had. Think about high school, college and any other workshops or training you have had.  You then need to verify that the education you have matches the education needed for the job you are interested in.


Putting It All Together

Review all of the information you have gathered about yourself.  You may want to write down a summary.  Include who and what you are, and what you want to do in your summary. Use this summary when you are looking at jobs. Look at each job and figure out how well it matches your skills, strengths, experience and education.

Pay attention to other requirements listed in a job posting that don’t have anything to do with your skills or experience.  For example, the job posting may say that you “must have a vehicle for transportation,” or that you “must be able to lift up to 50 pounds.”  Be sure to pay attention to these other requirements.  You don’t want to waste your time or the time of the person who interviews you if you are not able to do the job because of these other requirements.

Work can be exciting, and rewarding–especially when you find a job that fits your qualifications. There are most likely several jobs out there for you that will allow you to use your skills and strengths, and also let you do what you enjoy most and do best.

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