How To Build Your Skill Set To Advance Your Career

How to Build Your Skill Set to Advance Your Career

by Alex Noah — 3 years ago in Development 6 min. read

A skill set refers to a collection of skills, abilities, and experience that you can use to accomplish tasks well. These skills can include soft skills like interpersonal skills, leadership, and computer programming.

You can improve your skills and achieve your career goals, such as a promotion or becoming an expert in a particular topic. You can use your skills to advance in your current job or to gain a job in another field.

What is a skill?

A skill set is a combination of skills and capabilities. Every person has a unique skill set based on their personal interests, technical abilities, and natural abilities. These skills can help you grow professionally and make your job easier.

Education and experience can help you improve your skills. You will be more likely to obtain a job or advance in your career if you have the skillset.

Types of skill sets

Your skillset is made up of two types of skills: soft skills and hard skills.

Soft skills generally pertain to interpersonal skills and other personality traits that allow you to communicate and work with others. Soft skills are also transferable, which means they are valuable for any job no matter the industry.

Examples of soft skills

  • Adaptability
  • Communication
  • Conflict resolution
  • Creativity
  • Making decisions
  • Leadership
  • Motivation
  • Teamwork
  • Time management

Hard skills, also known as technical skills, are capabilities you use to perform a task related to a specific job. These skills can be acquired or improved through practice, tutorials, and training.

Examples of hard skills

  • Accounting
  • Copywriting
  • Data analysis
  • Event planning
  • Foreign language fluency
  • Graphic design
  • Information technology
  • Mathematics
  • SEO/SEM marketing
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How to Develop Your Skill Set to Advance Your Career

There is a significant difference between soft and hard skills in the hiring process. You can list and verify soft skills while you are required to demonstrate soft skills during interviews. You might want to list certain soft skills on your resume if they are necessary and relevant for a job.

You can further break down hard and soft skills into these groups:

Hybrid skills: Employers expect employees to possess both hard and soft skills. One example of a hybrid skill would be customer service. You will need exceptional soft skills, such as communication and conflict resolution. However, you may also need to be proficient in spreadsheets or a customer service management system.

Transferable skills: These skills can be used in any job regardless of the industry or level. These skills can be either soft skills like problem-solving or communication or hard skills like mathematics and writing.

Skills that are specific to a job These are the abilities required to perform a specific job, including both soft and hard skills. These skills are usually acquired through education or work experience. When searching for work, pay attention to job descriptions to find out what skills an employer is looking for in a candidate.

How to determine your skills

Employers will appreciate your most relevant and advanced skills when you apply for jobs. The following questions can help you determine what skills you possess.

What are you most passionate about? You can often turn tasks that are easy or enjoyable into useful skills. Strong communication can be achieved by teaching others or helping them solve problems. active listening And Problem-solving skills.

Are you praised or complimented for certain talents? Think about the skills that your colleagues or managers have complimented you on in the past. You might have been given high marks for teamwork in a performance review. It is important to note what people ask you for assistance with.

What are your previous achievements? Think about the times you have achieved something at work, no matter how small. Perhaps you won an award or completed a project with better results than expected. Which skills did you use to accomplish these things?
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How to develop new skills

There are many opportunities to improve your skills or develop new skills if you are looking for a job that requires different skills than your current ones.

There are many ways to develop professional skills.

Set goals for yourself SpecificationsYour career goals will help you to stay on track in your career development. You must ensure that your goals are specific, attainable, and relevant to your career or goals. Next, organize a timeline. Attain your goal you can set a start and an end date as well as smaller goals that you want to reach along the way.

Find a mentor professional is usually someone you trust and respect. Once you have met your professional mentor, you will be able to rely on them for guidance. Find your mentor you can also reach out to each other for informal meetings that can naturally turn into a professional relationship.

Ask for feedback on your strengths and weaknesses: Ask your superiors, coworkers, or friends and family to help you identify your strengths and areas of improvement. You should seek out feedback from others who are willing to give honest criticisms and not just praise. You can then focus on improving your strengths once you have identified your weaknesses.

Check out job descriptions for the positions you are interested in: These job descriptions will help you identify the skills that you can transfer to other jobs as well as the skills you’ll need for the specific job. After identifying the skills that you require, you can search for education programs or job shadowing that will help you acquire the required skill set to move into the position.

Register for an online degree program: Many companies offer tuition reimbursement or assistance to employees who are interested in pursuing a degree. Many credits can be transferred to related programs if you’re advancing in your careers, such as finance or accounting.

Obtaining industry certifications can also be an alternative to pursuing a degree. It may be more suitable for those looking to specialize in a particular area or enhance their skills in a specific field. Certifications demonstrate to employers that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform a job or task at a high level. Many professional organizations offer certification programs, such as the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation for accountants or the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification for project managers. In addition, online Series 7 study resources are available for individuals seeking to become licensed stockbrokers. By obtaining certifications and licenses, employees can demonstrate their expertise and dedication to their profession, potentially leading to career advancement opportunities and higher salaries.

Take continuing education courses in career-related fields: These courses are usually taught by professionals who have extensive experience in the field. Some professions require continuing education to keep up with the latest developments. A variety of courses are offered by universities and colleges.

Get company training Many companies have their own training departments that are staffed by experts in various fields who train employees on specific skills. Discuss with your supervisor what courses are available in your company and which would be most beneficial to your professional development.

Participate in job shadowing: Job shadowing can be a great way for you to get to know the daily responsibilities of a different profession and learn new skills. It is better to select people who have experience or are well-suited for the job. Job shadowing involves watching a professional perform their job duties and learning new skills.

Join a professional association for your field: You can have a conversation with others about your industry, and learn new skills. These associations can be found at all levels of professional society: local, state, and national.

Which skills to include on your resume

Take the time to read through the job description to determine what skills you should list on your resume. The job description will contain both the technical and the soft skills that the employer seeks in their ideal candidate. If the skills that they have listed are compatible with your personal skill set, it is important to include them.

Technical skills Show your potential employer that the education and training you have received are sufficient for the job. You might include soft skills that are relevant to the job depending on the position.

Include any special skills you believe will set you apart from other applicants. For example, you might include that you have strong relationship-building skills. This skill may not be necessary for IT jobs, but IT administrators might benefit from strong interpersonal skills.

Only include the most relevant skills for the job you are applying for on your resume.

Consider the following:

Job posting skills: List the skills, traits, and qualities that are required for the job. These skills can be verified by your professional history section.

Transferable skills: These skills are essential for multiple careers, including basic computer programming or team building.

Skills related to the job: These skills are necessary to do a job such as a computer programming or accounting.

Adaptive skills: These are your personal characteristics or skills that you use every day, like patience or confidence. Examples of adaptive skills include the ability to build relationships, learn quickly, flexibility and coachability, as well as responsibility.

Learn from other professionals in the industry: Look at the work of others in your field to learn more. This will help you understand what skills and talents employers value.

Universal skills: These skills could include critical thinking and punctuality. While it is a good idea to have a few, don’t oversell yourself. You only need a few general skills. You can also add technical skills that are relevant to the job.
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Resume skills list examples

Here are a few examples of resume skills sections for inspiration as you write your own:

Example 1: Human resources representative


  • Streamlining and managing payroll and benefits programs
  • Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office & QuickBooks
  • Working well in a fast-paced environment
  • Informing short and long-term business decisions

Example 2: Data scientist


  • 2nd place at Coral Springs Big Data Hackathon (out of 150 participants)
  • Java, Python, C++, Hadoop ecosystem, and MySQL
  • Data cleansing, modeling, and mining
  • Machine learning

Example 3: Social work case manager


  • Programming planning and evaluation
  • Patient advocacy
  • Community development
  • Systems management

If you don’t have the skill you need to do the job, you can still apply. However, it is not a good idea to list it on your resume. If you’re still learning, you can also list a beginner proficiency level.

The employer may offer training or training on the job. Employers will be more confident in your ability to develop the skills you need quickly if you show enthusiasm about the job.

Alex Noah

Alex is senior editor of The Next Tech. He studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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