This inventory is a list of the skills you bring with you from all of your past work, volunteer and personal experiences. It will help you in writing your resume, cover letters, and with identifying new positions you may be able to fill.
There are two major types of skills to consider:
- Technical/Industry Specific Skills – required for specific industries or jobs – accounting, surveying, medical records transcribing, forklift operating, class 1 driving, software use, computer programming.
- Transferable Skills – could be used in a variety of different jobs or industries (i.e. transferred between jobs) – problem solving, project management, writing skills, creativity, analyzing/ researching, teaching/training, negotiating, public speaking, record keeping.
I remember working with a client once who was a carpenter, but had been injured and could no longer do heavy labour work. When it came time to begin writing his resume he said “It’s no use. I can’t do carpentry work any more – I don’t have any skills to put down”. I sat down with him and started interviewing him about his work experience. “Tell me about a typical day of work” I asked. “Well”, he said, “Me and the guys would go out to the work site….” “Wait, what ‘guys’ are you talking about?” I inquired. “My work crew” he replied. “You mean you ran a work crew?” “Yes, I had a couple of crews working for me!” he replied. The conversation went on like this as he explained to me that while he was a carpenter by trade (and did a lot of the hands on work that he could now no longer do) he actually ran a small contracting business. For this business he managed the day-to-day paper work, completed payroll and basic bookkeeping, promoted and sold his contracting services, estimated project costs and negotiated pricing, purchased construction supplies, etc. He had a lot more than just carpentry skills!
Just like this man, you too may be underestimating the variety of skills you have. Take some time now to do a full skills inventory for yourself – it‘s a great confidence building exercise!
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