This is a new area for most people and at a point in time, it was for me too. Skills have been defined or tried to be explained in a number of ways but the best way is to define it as an action that achieves a result or an ability to perform an activity in a competent manner. Skills, the next best things that can serve as a pointer to who should be employed for a particular job and whether the person would be effective in that job.

There are two classes of skills:

  • Transferable skills
  • Knowledge based skills

Transferable skills or functional skills can be used in various work settings. They are core skills that are used most of the times to achieve a desired result. Examples of functional skills are organizational, analytic, written and verbal skills. Most agree that transferable are the best of the lot as they are not job specific and are in high demand and of great value.

Knowledge based skills are generally from education vocational training and through work experience .they tend to be work specific and cant be used in more than two places. Examples of knowledge based skills are accounting and management skills.

Attributes or traits are usually developed through life experience and form early in childhood. An attribute is different from a skill and it is best stated as a word describing the way in which a skill is used. They tend to be adjectives or adverbs. Marketable traits include honesty, enthusiasm, reliability and consistency.

Skills are important because they are more marketable and point to your achievements. Human resource managers look for achievements and skills when making decisions. Though skills are important they are not effective when they are not used in conjunction with an object for example presenting results as opposed to presenting alone.

There are five families not classes of skills.

  • Physical and technical skills
  • Information/analytic/critical thinking skills
  • Interpersonal/communication/relationship skills
  • Managerial/administrative skills
  • Creative skills

You are said to have Physical and technical skills when you are skillful in the proper use of tools, hardware, software and equipment or proficient in assembling a product or physical object or skilled in using any part or all of the body with precision. People with physical and technical skills are in high demand in construction works, Engineering and vocational trades.

You have Informative or Analytic skills when you are skillful in compiling and organizing data to enhance planning and effectiveness, can identify and define problems and solutions, can perform numerical and statistical calculations to provide useful information. This skill is in high demands among engineers, business personnel, medical practitioners, accountants and financial officers and lawyers.

People with interpersonal and communication skills have the following characteristics. They can establish and maintain a productive working relationship. They actively seek ways to enhance the well being and satisfaction of others. They develop individuals and groups to achieve personal and professional goals. They use information, ideas and influence to affect a desired outcome. They collaborate with others to identify problems, provide advice and develop agreeable solutions. They can also exchange information through verbal, written or non-verbal cues. Advertisers, journalists, public relation officers, human resource managers, sales persons, politicians, teachers, lawyers, medical professionals, hospitality agents and social workers tend to have this skill.

Managerial, leadership and Administrative skills encompass initiating and carrying out steps to complete projects or ability to motivate and empower individuals and groups to greater commitment and a high standard of performance. This skill is required in legal administration, human resource and information system.

You have creative skills if you answer yes to at least one of the following questions. Are you inventive, intuitive or Aesthetic? Creative skills tend to be found in advertising, technology, education, architecture, entertainment and marketing.