Marketable Skills



Know Your Skills

It is important that you develop a solid knowledge of your capabilities and how those abilities translate into specific jobs in the industries of interest to you. You must be prepared to articulate what you have to offer an employer and demonstrate that you have an understanding of the employer's needs. Knowing your areas of expertise and comparing those areas to the requirements of a specific career field or position will also help you to identify areas that need to be developed further.

Types of Marketable Skills

The skills you possess can generally be categorized into one of the following three groups of skills:

  1. Functional (or Transferable) Skills are talents and aptitudes (both natural and those you have developed over time) that are transferable from one situation or job to another. Skills such as communication, interpersonal, managing, organizing, coordinating, writing, and analyzing can be categorized as functional/transferable skills.
  2. Adaptive Skills are skills that are developed from life experiences such as flexibility, leadership, patience, responsibility, maturity, decisiveness, commitment, enthusiasm, etc. Although these skills are not job or career specific, they are extremely important and very marketable.
  3. Work Content Skills are skills that are developed for specific jobs or positions. Examples include computer programming, welding, carpentry, accounting, etc.

Many academic and other training programs place more emphasis on the development of high-level work content skills. Research studies have shown that functional and adaptive skills are also extremely important in obtaining employment. You will need to clearly identify your own skills and relate them to the needs of specific employers during your job search.

The Career Center offers a number of resources and programs that will help you identify your unique skills.