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Building Your Edge with Career Competencies-Transferable Skills

by Kathy Krause, Coordinator of Experiential Learning Nov 22, 2021

As you build your academic foundation of knowledge and skills, be sure to develop your transferable skills to make you stand out from the crowd when vying for an internship or a job.

Your transferable skills are those hidden gems that make you unique and valuable to an employer. Also known as career competencies, they are that “edge” that makes you different from someone with the same degree, or someone with years of experience in your career field.   Using those skills that come naturally to you can help you thrive in any industry.

Ask yourself: 

  1. What are those skills?
  2. How can you identify your skills?
  3. How can you develop those skills?

Below you’ll find The National Association of Colleges and Employers List of Top Eight Skills employers are seeking in an intern/new hire. 

Where do you think you shine and what areas can you develop to close your skill gaps?

Critical thinking is focused on how well you identify, analyze, and respond to a situation.  Think about how you choose which class to take, what type of latte to get, or what route to take to best avoid stopped traffic.

Teamwork involves working within collaborative relationships to achieve a common goal.  Are you happiest supporting a group effort or playing on a sports team?

Professionalism involves working with integrity and ethical standards that align your beliefs and blend with your employer’s values.  Do you understand your potential workplace and could you fit in as a professional?

Communication includes verbal and written modalities.  Can you clearly and effectively exchange information?  Is writing a paper easy (written communication) or does it take several cups of coffee to complete it?

Technology includes leveraging and understanding technology.  Do you fight with new technology or do you easily adapt to it?

Leadership is having that ability to motivate others and recognize how their strengths can benefit a shared vision.  Do you like to lead in class team projects or do you like to listen and jump in as needed?

Career & Self-Development is your personal and professional learning area.  What are you doing within your chosen field or industry to propel yourself forward and grow? 

Equity & Inclusion involves your ability to equitably engage and include people that are different from you.  Are you open to diverse ways of thinking different from your way?

To define your areas of strength and areas of development lay, take the Focus2 online assessment available on the MyDSU portal. Once you’ve identified your skill/competency level, check out the CDC’s 4-year Career Checklist. It offers a development plan to follow during your time at DeSales.

As you progress through your collegiate journey, be sure to consider further developing your academic and transferable skills through an internship.  There's no place like your future career to develop your competencies and transferable skills. 

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