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Skills: How to Develop Them For Any Job

Having a wide range of skills to highlight on your resume or utilize to improve your job experience is crucial. The definition of skills even has a wide range to it. For this article, I'm categorizing skills into two distinct categories. There are personal skills and tool box skills. Personal skills are personal ones you possess as a part of your personality. For example, one of my strongest personal skills is time management. A tool box skill is a program you physically understand how to make work. Another example, one of my tool box skills is Microsoft Excel. In this article I am going to talk about both types of skills in a bit more depth and how you can go about developing both types.

Personal skills have a lot to do with our personalities. Self-awareness, empathy, and confidence are all example of personal skills. Some of us are generally more confident than others but that does not mean we cannot develop skills we may lack in. What's most important about developing personal skills is having the self-awareness to understand where you may lack in some areas. A good place to start with personal skills is taking a personality test. Answering questions and getting feedback as to the type of person you are can help you get a better sense of your self-awareness. Try to really evaluate yourself less as the person you want to be, and really critically understand who you are. Once you understand this, think about who you do want to become and how to get there. Also don't forget, say you want to be more detail oriented in your school work. This doesn't mean in other areas of your life, like say your social media posts, that you don't demonstrate an eye for detail. You may lack certain skills in certain areas and you have to find the best way to have them carry over, or develop the skills in their entirety. When you understand where you want to improve you can come up with a plan to achieve this. Even being more aware of wanting a skill will help you develop it. If you want to be more empathetic, find more times with peers where you can try to put yourself in their shoes before saying something insensitive. Personal skills are not really something you can highlight on a resume but can be good to talk about in interviews. All jobs include an immense amount of interpersonal relationships. You want to demonstrate that you can work well with others and others will enjoy working with you.

Tool box skills are more tangible skills that you can develop with clear results. These you can highlight on your resume, and you can even get certifications to prove your proficiency in different programs. Most people are quick to write Microsoft word, powerpoint, and excel as skills. Be wary of what that actually entails. Excel especially is an extremely complicated program with a lot of features. If you have not taken a college course that is excel heavy or gotten an online certification with this program, you may want to consider doing that. If the phrase "pivot table" means nothing to you... you do not understand excel. Actually develop proficiency in excel and then highlight it on your resume. With the internet, we all have access to literally any program we want to learn about. Having some background in coding is another useful skill that can come in handy for most industry jobs nowadays. Find a program you like and learn how to use it. LinkedIn has a feature of different certifications for programs for coding or excel. Learn these programs and then get certified! All this takes is a little bit of time and it could make your resume look a lot better. Not to mention, these tool box skills will most likely become useful at the job you get. You most likely are also getting tool box skills through your college classes. They may not be totally applicable to the job you are trying to get, but still show you understand how to work all different types of technology really well. For example, if you have taken a photography class you may have adobe photoshop as a skill. Also, most statistics classes use some kind of online program, so if you've taken that kind of class, write down that tool box skill too!

I hope this helps you understand how you might be able to develop more skills that will help you be a better candidate for a job, and more successful in that role. The key to anything is just being a sponge, constantly learning and soaking in new information. If you can keep a constant curiosity, your skills will continue to flourish. In the future, I hope to write more about skill development, so let me know if you have any questions that could go into a follow up!

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