Identifying your skills to help get the job you want

Do you need some help identifying your skills? Our Skills Checklist can help you.

What you will learn

  • How to identify your skills 
  • Why knowing your skills will be one of your greatest strengths

The importance of knowing your skills

Whether you’ve recently been made redundant or you just feel like you need a change, the ability to recognise and talk about your skills will make it easier to work out what you want to do next. It can also help you identify any areas for development.  

Identifying the skills you have is crucial for building your CV and completing application forms. This will help convince employers you’re the right person for the job. 

Your skills could have come from previous roles, voluntary work, training or your personal life.  

Knowing your skills can be one of your greatest strengths. But it can be difficult to know where to begin. 

Our skills checklist can help

Before you start to apply for jobs, you need to think about the skills you already have that will help you get the job you want.

But where do you start? Sometimes you just need a few prompts to get you thinking.

How to use the skills checklist:

  • Skills are broken down into areas like teamwork, IT, planning and communication.
  • You give yourself a score for each item
  • Add them up and reflect on your strong points as well as areas for improvement.

Completing the checklist will help you appreciate the skills you have so you can really sell yourself in that job interview or university or college application. It’s a positive first step and will help make sure you don’t take your skills for granted. Use the checklist on page 17 of our Positive Steps guide.

Why skills are important to employers 

Employers are interested in knowing which skills you can bring to their organisation. They don’t just want someone who can perform an individual task – they want to know about your skills and abilities.
Many of the skills you have can be used across a number of different job areas and in new work settings.

Here are a few examples of the most in demand skills:

Planning and organising

You’re good at deciding which tasks are a priority. Your plans make sure work gets done, and you're good at avoiding distractions.

Teamwork /interpersonal

You’re great at co-operating with others. You understand how you can contribute to your team, and support other people. 


You explain your ideas and opinions clearly. You’re good at listening, presenting or being able to persuade others.


You can assess a situation and understand what’s causing issues, then develop a solution. 

What are transferable skills? 

Transferable skills are those skills that can transfer from one job to another. Many of the skills you use in one career can be successfully transferred to a very different type of job and that’s why they are so important. Try our Skills Discovery to help you think about the ways your existing skills might fit into a new role. 

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