What are my skills and abilities?

“My driving abilities from Mexico have helped me get through Hollywood.” ~ Salma Hayek, actress

Everyone has skills and abilities.  Some of them come naturally, and others are acquired through classroom learning, and experiences such as study abroad opportunities, co-curricular activities, internships, and employment. Skills and abilities are so important in the world of work that there is an annual list identifying the top skills employers are looking for.

Good news.  There are ways for you to find out your skills and abilities, and once they are identified, you can work to develop and nurture them. Quite often, as in Salma Hayek’s case, skills and abilities developed in one situation are directly applicable to another experience.

Listed below are ways to discover your own skills and abilities, as well as ways to explore what skills and abilities are connected to specific career fields and job titles:

  • Attend career-related events through the Career Center that can help you to focus on the skills you have and how they align with various career types.  You are welcome at any event at any time during your years at GVSU; these events are not just for seniors!
  • Use Focus II: Online Career Assessments and Information Resource:
    • Specifically complete tests related to skills and abilities.
  • Create an account on LakerJobs to explore what skills employers are looking for: checking out real internship and job postings is a great way to discover the skills you’ll need for specific careers.
    • Get organized as you’re conducting career research this worksheet can help.
  • Sign-up for US 102:  A one-credit career exploration course that will help guide you along career and academic pathways, from choosing a major to building a career action plan.
  • Talk with an academic advisor, member of the housing and residence life staff, or professor from one of your classes about your skills and abilities, career fields and job titles within those fields.
  • Ask your family and friends what they think you are best at.
  • It’s never too early to begin planning how you’ll showcase your skills and abilities on your resume – check out a resume workshop to get started.


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Page last modified November 8, 2013