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Assess Your Employability Skills

Identify Your Stage in Work

Entry-level worker

Entry-level workers are generally characterized as having one year or less of work experience, and/or newly graduated from high school or college. Workers in this category must look at different jobs as opportunities to apply their existing skills, learn new ones, and assess how entry-level jobs will propel them forward into more experienced levels of expertise. Personal qualities are most important for entry-level workers. Personal qualities include such attributes as a self-starter, an employee who values their own worth as well as the work they do and employee honesty.

To establish a favorable reputation, entry-level workers should convey they are reliable, dependable and hard working. Demonstrating good work habits, along with showing a positive attitude, also demonstrates a reputation as a responsible worker. A good online resource for discovering your skills in this stage of your work is the following:

Career Exploration on the Internet
By Colette Dollarhide and Dwight Moore
State University

Contact or Visit your local school Career Center for more information

Worker in a Job or Career Transition

Workers in a career transition are generally characterized as workers responding to a career-changing situation. These situations might include a job loss due to corporate downsizing; returning to work after an extended absence from the workforce; leaving the military and entering the civilian job market; etc., where there is a focus on assessment of transferable skills and re-education. Everyone has transferable skills. The challenge is to identify what they are, and how they can transfer to other jobs and/or industries. The following are good online resources for exploring this topic further:

Transferable Job Skills
By Katharine Hansen
Quintessential Careers

Transferable Skills
Career Briefs
Carnegie Mellon University

The Skills Zone
For People Who Do Volunteer Work
Cyberstation, Canada

Experienced Worker

Experienced workers are generally characterized as having a significant number of years of work experience, and/or are 40 years of age or older. The current demographic classification for this category of workers is called "Baby Boomers," or those who were born between the years 1945 and 1960. A strategic focus is to emphasize the positive attributes of age and experience in terms of expertise and career mastery.

Older workers in the Baby Boomer generation provide the best resource for the small, medium business owner in the years to come because they supply expert manpower on a full-time, part-time or contract basis in a variety of fields.

A current trend among Baby Boomers is to start their own businesses, pursuing hobbies and even returning to school. Baby Boomers are also interested in contractual or project work -- where they are brought in temporarily to complete a specific task. Mid-career or older workers should emphasize the positive attributes of their age and experience.

Experienced workers have more information to work with in terms of skill development over time. This process can be translated to various forms of employment, as referenced on the Web:

Franklin Covey's Personal Mission Statement Formulator

Career Goal Statement Worksheet
The Open Learning Agency of British Columbia

(To Be Continued...)


Identify Your SCANS Employability Skills

SCANS determined that workplace skills from job-to-job and industry-to-industry consist of a core group of foundation skills and competencies.


Refer to the following SCANS chart that identifies 17 Foundation Skills, numbered F1-F17, and 20 Competencies, numbered C1-C20.


Briefly, Foundation Skills are basic academic and behavioral characteristics from which to build competencies. The three SCANS foundation skill categories were identified as Basic Literacy Skills, Thinking Skills, and Personal Qualities.


Competencies are a combination of skills, abilities, and knowledge needed to accomplish a specific task; they are more closely related to what people actually do at work. The five SCANS competencies were identified as Resources, Information, Interpersonal, Systems, and Technology.


If you would like to view the full text version of the SCANS document - which is over 500 pages long, you can visit


Department of Labor. (1999). Skills and Tasks for Jobs: A SCANS Report for America 2000. Washington, D.C.: The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Skills (SCANS).


NEXT STEP: practice developing your skills profile


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