🔁Show Employers You Have The Skills

🧿To find a job or internship you have to know what employers are looking for, not just the specific requirements for the job but what skills employers are looking for too.

So what are they looking for?

Here’s a list of eight skills employers want:

  1. Career & Self-Development
  2. Communication
  3. Critical Thinking
  4. Equity and Inclusion
  5. Leadership
  6. Professionalism
  7. Teamwork
  8. Technology

Source: NACE (the National Association of Colleges and Employers)

So how do you show employers that you have one or more of these skills?

Tell a story about a time when you used one or more of these skills. Use the STAR method when telling your story, ST (Situation or Task), A(Action that you took), R (Results of your action).

🔁Try it!

  • Grab a post-it or a sheet of paper and write 1, 2 and 3.
  • Fill in the blanks for each number
  1. ___________[Choose an experience: class project, internship, leadership activity, part-time job]
  2. ___________[Select a skill from the list, read the description]
  3. ___________[Think of a story or example when you have shown one or more of the skills in your experience and write it down using the STAR method]
  4. Use your STAR Stories to show employers you are Career Ready in your online profiles on Bullseye powered by Handshake and LinkedIn, cover letters and during your interviews.


  1. Resident Assistant
  2. Communication “Employ active listening, persuasion, and influencing skills.”
  3. Situation or Task – “When I was a Resident Advisor I had a student who was upset that they could not have guests in their room during the Covid-19 pandemic.
    Action – “I listened carefully to the student’s concerns and assured them that I understood their frustration with this rule. I explained that the purpose of the rule was to ensure the safety of all the residents and gave them suggestions for how and where they can gather with other students safely.”
    Result – “After that conversation, the student adhered to the rule and was comfortable approaching me with their questions or concerns.”

Career Readiness Competencies Defined


Proactively develop oneself and one’s career through continual personal and professional learning, awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, navigation of career opportunities, and networking to build relationships within and without one’s organization. Think of a STAR Story about when you have shown one or more of these behaviors.  

  • Show an awareness of your own strengths and areas for development.
  • Identify areas for continual growth while pursuing and applying feedback.
  • Develop plans and goals for one’s future career.
  • Professionally advocate for oneself and others.
  • Display curiosity; seek out opportunities to learn.
  • Assume duties or positions that will help one progress professionally.
  • Establish, maintain, and/or leverage relationships with people who can help one professionally.
  • Seek and embrace development opportunities.
  • Voluntarily participate in further education, training, or other events to support one’s career.


Clearly and effectively, exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with persons inside and outside of an organization. ✅Think of a STAR Story about when you have shown one or more of these behaviors.  

  • Understand the importance of and demonstrate verbal, written, and non-verbal/body language, abilities.
  • Employ active listening, persuasion, and influencing skills.
  • Communicate in a clear and organized manner so that others can effectively understand.
  • Frame communication with respect to the diversity of learning styles, varied individual communication abilities, and cultural differences.
  • Ask appropriate questions for specific information from supervisors, specialists, and others.
  • Promptly inform relevant others when needing guidance with assigned tasks.


Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information. ✅Think of a STAR Story about when you have shown one or more of these behaviors.  

  • Make decisions and solve problems using sound, inclusive reasoning and judgment.
  • Gather and analyze information from a diverse set of sources and individuals to fully understand a problem.
  • Proactively anticipate needs and prioritize action steps.
  • Accurately summarize and interpret data with an awareness of personal biases that may impact outcomes.
  • Effectively communicate actions and rationale, recognizing the diverse perspectives and lived experiences of stakeholders.
  • Multi-task well in a fast-paced environment.


Demonstrate the awareness, attitude, knowledge, and skills required to equitably engage and include people from different local and global cultures. Engage in anti-racist practices that actively challenge the systems, structures, and policies of racism. ✅Think of a STAR Story about when you have shown one or more of these behaviors.  

  • Solicit and use feedback from multiple cultural perspectives to make inclusive and equity-minded decisions.
  • Actively contribute to inclusive and equitable practices that influence individual and systemic change.
  • Advocate for inclusion, equitable practices, justice, and empowerment for historically marginalized communities.
  • Seek global cross-cultural interactions and experiences that enhance one’s understanding of people from different demographic groups and that leads to personal growth.
  • Keep an open mind to diverse ideas and new ways of thinking.
  • Identify resources and eliminate barriers resulting from individual and systemic racism, inequities, and biases.
  • Demonstrate flexibility by adapting to diverse environments.
  • Address systems of privilege that limit opportunities for members of historically marginalized communities.


Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals. ✅Think of a STAR Story about when you have shown one or more of these behaviors.  

  • Inspire, persuade, and motivate self and others under a shared vision.
  • Seek out and leverage diverse resources and feedback from others to inform direction.
  • Use innovative thinking to go beyond traditional methods.
  • Serve as a role model to others by approaching tasks with confidence and a positive attitude.
  • Motivate and inspire others by encouraging them and by building mutual trust.
  • Plan, initiate, manage, complete and evaluate projects.


Knowing work environments differ greatly, understand and demonstrate effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace. ✅Think of a STAR Story about when you have shown one or more of these behaviors.  

  • Act equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others, and the organization.
  • Maintain a positive personal brand in alignment with the organization and personal career values.
  • Be present and prepared.
  • Demonstrate dependability (e.g., report consistently for work or meetings).
  • Prioritize and complete tasks to accomplish organizational goals.
  • Consistently meet or exceed goals and expectations.
  • Have an attention to detail, resulting in few if any errors in their work.
  • Show a high level of dedication toward doing a good job.


Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities. ✅Think of a STAR Story about when you have shown one or more of these behaviors.  

  • Listen carefully to others, taking time to understand and ask appropriate questions without interrupting.
  • Effectively manage conflict, interact with and respect diverse personalities, and meet ambiguity with resilience.
  • Be accountable for individual and team responsibilities and deliverables.
  • Employ personal strengths, knowledge, and talents to complement those of others.
  • Exercise the ability to compromise and be agile.
  • Collaborate with others to achieve common goals.
  • Build strong, positive working relationships with supervisor and team members/coworkers.


Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. ✅Think of a STAR Story about when you have shown one or more of these behaviors.

  • Navigate change and be open to learning new technologies.
  • Use technology to improve the efficiency and productivity of their work.
  • Identify appropriate technology for completing specific tasks.
  • Manage technology to integrate information to support relevant, effective, and timely decision-making.
  • Quickly adapt to new or unfamiliar technologies.
  • Manipulate information, construct ideas, and use technology to achieve strategic goals.

    Reference: NACE – What is Career Readiness?