DETERMINING YOUR SKILLS
Determining Your Job Skills
Another tip for finding the right job: Make a list of your background and experience. If you think you don't have any experience -- THINK AGAIN! You may not have specific job experience, but you do have work experience. You have "worked" as a homemaker, a student, a volunteer, in a hobby or some other personal activity. The skills you use for these "jobs" can be applied to other jobs.
A background and experience list may help you to:
- fill out job applications
- provide information for job interviews
- prepare resumes
(if you're applying for professional or office
Tips for Making a Background and Experience List:
Interests and Aptitudes
- List your
hobbies, clubs you belong to, sports you're involved in,
church and school activities, and things that interest you. List
things you are good at or have special ability for.
Your list may look like it has nothing to do with job skills or
experience. That's O.K. -- the purpose of this list is to make you think
about your interests and things you do in everyday life.
- Look at the
first item on your list. Think about the skills or
talents it takes to do that item. Really think about it! All
hobbies, activities, etc. take a lot of skills, knowledge and
abilities. Write them all down.
Here are some examples: Hobbies, Sports, School Skills, Knowledge, Abilities, Activities Things l Do Well: and Talents It Takes To Do
- Ability to interact with others ("be a team player")
- Ability to use basic arithmetic (keep track of score)
- Ability to
reach, lift, jump, stoop, and run -- Skills in directing others
(calling plays, coaching)
- Ability to manage budgets
- Ability to handle multiple tasks
- Knowledge of human development
- Skills in teaching/training others
- Cooking, cleaning, laundry
- Ability to diagnose mechanical problems
- Skill in using a variety of tools
- Ability to see differences in shapes and sizes of objects
- Knowledge of electronics
If you've worked
before, list your jobs. Include volunteer, part-time,
summer, and self-employment. Next, write down work duties for the jobs
you listed. Now, think about the skills or talents it took to do each work
duty. Write them down.
Here's an example:
Skills or Talents
- List the
schools you attended, dates, major studies or courses
completed. Include military and vocational education and on-the-job
- List degrees, certificates, awards and honors.
- Ask yourself
what classes or training you liked. Why did you like
- Do you have
any disabilities limiting the kind of work you can do?
Companies will often make special accommodations to employ disabled
persons (in fact, some accommodations are legally required). If you
have strong or special physical capabilities, list these too.
- What kind
of work do you want to be doing 5 or 10 years from now?
What kind of job could you get now to help you reach this goal?
Matching Your Background And Experience To Jobs
Look at the
abilities (talents) identified on your background and experience
list. You have talents that you use everyday. Now find out what
JOBS can use your talents. Start at your local State Employment
Service Office ("Job Service").
This office has free information about many jobs. You may be given an
appointment with a career counselor who can help you decide what kind of
work is best suited to your abilities and interests. While you're at Job Service, ask to see the Guide for Occupational Exploration and the Occupational Outlook Handbook (you can also get these books at most public libraries). These easy to read books, published by the Department of Labor, describe:
- work duties for many different occupations
- skills and abilities needed for different types of jobs
- how to enter occupations
- where jobs are located
- training and qualifications needed
- earnings, working conditions, and future opportunities.
Match the skills and abilities in your list to the skills and abilities of different jobs. Don't limit yourself. The important thing is not the job title, but the skills and abilities of the job. You may find that your skills and abilities match with an occupation that you have never thought about.
Other Sources For Job Information
If you know
what job skills you have, you are ready to look for a
job. You can look for job openings at these sources:
Tell everyone you know you're looking for a job. Ask
about openings where your friends work.
- Private employers.
Contact employers directly to market your job
talents. Talk to the person who would supervise you even if there
are no jobs currently open.
- State Employment
Service Offices provide help on finding jobs and
other services, such as career counseling. See the back of this
brochure for the Employment Service Office in your state.
Job Bank. A nation-wide pool of job opportunities which
will extend your search to other states and can be viewed in your
local Employment Service offices or directly through the Internet'
- Federal, state
and local government personnel offices list a wide
range of job opportunities. Check the Government listings in your
- Local public
libraries have books on occupations and often post
local job announcements. Many state libraries are also providing
free access to Internet through PCs.
- Newspaper ads list various job openings.
- Local phone
book. Look for career counseling centers in your area
(some may require fees).
- Private employment
and temporary centers offer placement (employer
or job hunter may pay a fee).
colleges and trade schools usually offer counseling and
job information to students and the general public.
schools. Private training centers offer instruction in
specific trades (tuition is usually required). Check with your
office of state education for credible schools.
organizations such as clubs, associations, women and
minority centers, and youth organizations.
- Churches frequently
operate employment services or provide job
placement centers operate through state employment
offices. Veterans' social and help organizations often have job
listings for members.
- Unions and
apprenticeship programs provide job opportunities and
information. Contact your state apprenticeship council or relevant
labor union directly.
sponsored training programs offer direct placement or
short-term training and placement for applicants who qualify. Check
the yellow pages under Job Training Programs or Government
- Journals and
newsletters for professionals or trade associations
often advertise job openings in their field. Ask for these at the
Information from the U.S. Department of Labor Employment
and Training Administration
Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all of the sources listed above
serve persons of any race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 forbids agencies to
discriminate against older workers. Both laws forbid employers to
discriminate in hiring.