Skills And Strengths


A skill is a learnable capacity to deliver action or task informed by knowledge and characterised by a varying degree of mastery.  Skills can be improved with deliberate practice and/or additional knowledge or know-how.  This is why employers are so curious about your experience – if you have no track record of delivering tasks the employer won’t know if you have the required skills.

Skills are versatile tools that can be applied in diverse settings and environments.  This means a high level of transferability of many skills from one career to another. This is why, in the context of career planning and job hunting, it is so important to look through the lens of your skill set. The Foundation for Young Australians estimates that skills used or developed on one job can lead on average to 13 other jobs where you can use the same skills, but in a different context.

Your job seeking activities and success will depend on your self-awareness and your ability to articulate experiences that showcase skills you have developed in a specific job, project, placement, or volunteer activity.  Seek out extra-curricular experiences that help you develop and demonstrate your course skills in the real world, and reflect on which of those skills are your strengths and which ones require more practice to master.

Tip: A great way to understand your current transferable skill set is to undertake a ‘skills audit’. This will help you to identify which ones are your strengths, those you are competent in, and others that need to be developed through further training and personal development.

See Activity 6.

To develop your transferable skills, see our Boost Your Skills module.


Some organisations use strengths-based hiring processes to identify candidates’ strengths.  A strength is something you do well, deploy frequently, and energises you when you do it.

In other words, a strength is a personal attribute/character trait or skill in an area of interest or knowledge in which you have achieved a level of mastery.  At work you have to find the right balance between the enjoyment of utilising your strengths and completing what needs to be done.

Conversely, you will need to identify your weaknesses and decide if they could impair your work performance and career progression.  How you might improve your identified weaknesses?  Many organisations seek ‘well-rounded candidates’ who have key strengths to work with, but have also addressed their biggest weaknesses.

Action: Go to your downloaded workbook and complete Activity 6