Know Your Skills

Know Your Skills


You’ve already got skills!

While working towards your degree you will develop skills inside and outside the classroom that will attract the attention of employers and help you achieve your future goals. Knowing what your skills are is the first step.

Transferable Skills

Transferable skills are a core set of skills and personal attributes that you can develop almost anywhere! They allow you to be adaptable and to succeed in virtually any work or school environment, as well as in everyday life. As a Carleton student, you are already gaining these valuable skills when you study, work at a Co-op or part-time job, volunteer, complete a practicum, join a club or engage in sports, even when doing group projects.

Here is a list of transferable skills which are highly sought after by employers. It was developed according to reports and research produced by provincial and federal governments, think tanks, and professional associations. Scroll through to learn more about PeopleResearch & PlanningThinking, and Personal Skills and to identify the skills you are developing!

People Skills


What are communication skills?

The ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing, through a variety of methods and across situations.

Why are communication skills important?

Effective communication skills are central to building relationships and clearly transferring information between people.

You demonstrate this skill when you:

  • Communicate ideas clearly, concisely and persuasively in written form
  • Write and edit documents using appropriate grammar, punctuation, structure and logical organization
  • Clearly express thoughts orally to persuade and hold the attention of a variety of audiences
  • Listen actively and ask questions to understand other people’s viewpoint
  • Appropriately tailor verbal and non-verbal communication for specific situations and audiences

Research and Planning Skills

Planning and Organization

What are planning and organization skills?

The ability to plan, organize, manage and complete projects or tasks effectively while meeting deadlines.

Why are planning and organization skills important?

Effective time management and organization skills are essential in managing workload, meeting deadlines and producing quality work in any environment.

You demonstrate this skill when you:

  • Plan, set goals and manage priorities to meet established objectives, outcomes and timelines
  • Organize and carry out multiple tasks or projects at the same time
  • Develop timelines and shift priorities to adapt to changing goals or requirements
  • Create organizational systems to complete projects and tasks efficiently
  • Review processes and outcomes of projects or tasks to assess effectiveness and make improvements.

Thinking Skills

Critical Thinking

What are critical thinking skills?

The ability to analyze, contextualize, make connections and reflect on information to create, evaluate and find deeper meaning.

Why are critical thinking skills important?

The ability to think reflectively and provide evidence to support ideas is essential to independently reaching well-informed conclusions.

You demonstrate this skill when you:

  • Synthesize and organize information from a variety of sources, perspectives and frameworks
  • Identify key concepts, ideas and assumptions and provide evidence to support or refute them
  • Compare and contrast to make connections between new and existing information
  • Consider context of sources when analyzing and evaluating information
  • Evaluate and apply new information, data or ideas to different situations and contexts

Personal Skills

Positive Attitude and Initiative


What is positive attitude and initiative?

You strive to be positive in your life and in the work you do while seeking new ideas, solutions and opportunities.

Why are positive attitude and initiative skills important to develop?

Taking initiative and developing a positive attitude in the work that you do helps to instill pride, purpose and growth.

You demonstrate this skill when you:

  • Show interest, initiative and effort in your work
  • Demonstrate a readiness to learn, try new things and improve your performance
  • Make compromises and understand alternative points of view
  • Appreciate and acknowledge the contributions and strengths of others
  • Reflect on constructive feedback from others as an opportunity for personal development

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