Career Competency Areas
What are career competencies?
Career competencies are skills that will be helpful as you navigate your career moving forward.
- Career & Self-Development
- Aware of strengths and weaknesses and use this to navigate career opportunities.
- Recognize, explore, and evaluate the many possible paths to career and life happiness.
- Do volunteer work, internships, or summer jobs in fields that appeal to you.
- Create and practice your elevator pitch.
- Develop and effective resume.
- Share information clearly and effectively with others.
- Develop and deliver a presentation for a class.
- Check for understanding by asking clarifying questions.
- Proofread online and written communication to avoid errors.
- Critical Thinking
- Able to solve problems.
- Develop an action plan with specific steps to solve a problem.
- Brainstorm solutions to a problem before bringing it to a supervisor/professor.
- Participate in class discussions and debates.
- Equity & Inclusion
- Engage meaningfully with and include people from different backgrounds.
- Attend an event on campus with people who have different politics, education, religion, ethnicity, race, affectional or sexual orientation.
- Engage in conversation with individuals who have different perspectives than your own.
- Participate in a study abroad or volunteer experience to broaden your horizons.
- Understand how to be a leader.
- Take on a leadership role in a group or organization.
- Demonstrate initiative at your job/internship by taking on additional responsibilities.
- Motivate team members with a positive attitude and leverage their strengths when delegating work.
- Demonstrate effective work habits that align with workplace culture.
- Use a planner or calendar to prioritize work/assignments and meet deadlines.
- Reflect on a recent challenge and identify areas of growth and improvement for the future.
- Review your social media through the eyes of a future employer and determine appropriateness.
- Work collaboratively toward common goals.
- Collaborate with others on a class project where responsibility is shared and not divided.
- Handle difficult conversations in person with respect.
- Practice being respectful of people’s viewpoints even if you do not agree with them.
- Comfortable using technology to improve processes.
- Take a class to expand knowledge of software used in your industry/career area.
- Explore innovative apps and websites and consider how they may help you accomplish your goals.
- Incorporate a new technology into a class project.
For more information about these Career Competencies from NACE, see here.
*Please note this resource is a starting point and designed to lead to additional conversation and exploration. All assessments are both valuable and limited. To learn more about an assessment and/or to further discuss, please connect with our Career Design Center team.
As a college student there are infinite ways to develop the career competencies above, whether it’s in the classroom, as a member of a club or organization, as a student athlete, through an internship opportunity, as a part-time employee, and more.
Use FOCUS 2 to reflect on which career competency areas you have already begun to develop and which areas you may want to explore further by trying something new. As you reflect on the competency areas, consider how you might showcase the skills you are developing to employers, graduate schools, and more through a resume, interview, or networking conversation. Keep in mind that this is a reflective tool to help you build a plan moving forward, not an assessment of your ability to be successful in the future.
- Enter the FOCUS 2 platform
- If this is your first time logging in, click “Register”, use the access code “knight” and fill in the requested information to create an account.
- If you already have an account, log in with your username and password.
- Once logged in, select Am I Career Ready in the Career Planning Foundations section
- Click Start to begin
- Read a series of statements about each of the career competencies and rate the degree to which they describe you.
- Review your results.
- Reflect on and describe ways that you are developing each of the competencies and consider and select ways that you plan to continue to develop each of the competencies moving forward.
- Revisit this tool periodically to note experiences that have helped you develop your competencies further as well as continued areas for growth and exploration.