You’re ready to begin the job search process, but first, it is important to identify your skills and brush up on key workplace etiquette practices. In short, your skills describe both what you love to do and areas in which you excel. You develop different skill sets through classroom learning, hands-on experience and job training. Being able to identify and describe your skills allows you to answer key questions often asked at job interviews.

Safety awareness is considered a top priority among employers.

In the workplace, employers look for two different sets of skills – both of which are essential to achieving success.


Technical skills

Technical skills include your ability to accomplish specific tasks. Often times, they relate to a specific occupation or field of study. You may have learned technical skills from previous work experience, school or training. Your technical skills include tangible items you can list on your resume. These skills are also often found in job listings to describe the requirements of a position. Examples of technical skills include:

  • Computer Coding
  • Computer Skills
    • Microsoft Word
    • Microsoft Excel
    • Microsoft Outlook
    • Internet access
    • Email
  • Customer support
  • Data analysis
  • Drafting
  • Engineering
  • Equipment operation
  • Project management
  • Reading comprehension
  • Sales

Soft skills

In addition to your technical skills, employers also seek employees with a wide array of soft skills, or personal attributes desired in the workplace. Unlike technical skills, soft skills are hard to prove or list on a resume, but you can exemplify these skills in an interview setting. While some soft skills are taught in the classroom, most are learned and strengthened over time, and most importantly, can always be improved. Examples of soft skills include:

  • A positive attitude
  • Ability to work independently
  • Adaptability
  • Appropriate dress
  • Communication
  • Critical thinking
  • Dependability
  • Getting to work on time
  • Problem solving skills
  • Teamwork and collaboration
  • Troubleshooting
  • Work ethic

Visit these sites to identify your skills and match them with top careers:

Improve your skills

Many providers and programs offer free workshops, one-on-one assistance with basic reading/math skills and/or specific classes designed to improve communication skills or teach a particular computer program.

Participants can also earn a Ready to Work certificate, upon completion of the program, which includes a nationally recognized certification in important workplace skills.


Adult education

West Virginia Adult Education Centers offer training needed to succeed both in the classroom school and on the job. Examples of skills you may learn or improve at your local Adult Education Center include:

  • Resume assistance
  • Career exploration
  • Time management
  • Basic computer skills
  • Keyboarding
  • Job readiness skills
  • College preparation

For more information on Adult Education Centers in your area, visit:



SPOKES (Strategic Planning in Occupational Knowledge for Employment and Success) is a program designed to address academic and work-ready skills necessary for adults looking for full-time employment. The program requires a referral from the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources.

The SPOKES program is designed to help participants gain the following:

  • Job readiness attributes
  • Work process skills
  • Technology skills
  • Career-specific knowledge
  • Vocational training in customer service

For more information on the SPOKES program, visit: