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1. Take an Assessment

Start with a complete skills assessment to help uncover skills, such as CareerOneStops’ Skills Matcher. A clear idea of the skills a candidate possesses can help you better determine what jobs match those skills. Plus, having a solid understanding of a skill set builds confidence when you begin exploring options and helps you generate keywords to use when searching job boards.


2. Ask Around

Another great way to identify skills as a job seeker is to ask a supervisor or coworker what they think your top three strengths are. At times, we can be blind to where we shine in others’ eyes because what they notice about us comes naturally, and we may carry the incorrect assumption that it comes naturally to others. Learning what others think you’re great at may generate more ideas for key skills to use in a job search.


3. Get a Little Social

While social media can be a useful tool in job searching, so can being social with family, friends, and other trusted individuals. Just like asking bosses or coworkers about top skills, ask personal networks the same question. Job seekers might be surprised to learn what they think, and their answers could help them find an entirely different set of skills that could prove useful in a job search or help to identify and brainstorm roles or jobs they wouldn’t have otherwise considered.


4. Identify Transferable Skills

Along with hard skills, don’t forget about transferable skills. Whether it’s a career change, a lateral move, or the next step on the career ladder, transferable skills can help you move from one job to the next, no matter what it is. Explore how transferable skills might relate to a career change and use a tool like the JobScan Career Change Tool or the LinkedIn Career Explorer Tool, which allows users to expand their search options based on existing skills. Make note of the titles that are of interest and then search for them.


5. Conduct Informational Interviews

Once the skills and jobs that might fit those skills are identified, tap into your network. Ask if anyone is in or knows someone in the industries you’re looking at and is willing to have an informational interview. Learning how people with similar skills have been successful in their job search or career can help candidates hone in on why positions might be a fit. It’s a great way to strengthen knowledge while gaining valuable job searching tips and tricks.


6. Search by Skill

With a list of skills and jobs that fit them, it’s time to start searching. Enter job skills using advanced search options instead of the job title. This will populate results that include those skills in the job posting, and may provide ideas for jobs you might never have thought of before that fit your skills.


7. Try Some Hustle

If taking an assessment isn’t in the cards, and you aren’t getting many helpful results by asking around, try generating a list of skills by examining hobbies and passions. Consider testing out those skills with a part-time gig to see what happens. Using skills developed from hobbies can lead to interesting full-time job opportunities.


8. Pick a (Temporary) Season

Another great way to test skills is through a temporary or seasonal role. It can help career seekers decide if the job would be a good fit long-term and help them gain experience while building their current skills.