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Resume Building Lessons

Showcasing Your Skills

Do you know what kinds of skills and qualities employers are looking for in the people they hire? image_business meeting

We bet you have them!

What you need to do now is learn how to  “showcase” them


image_girlinlabWhat can you do well?

What are your favorite activities?image_fishinggirl


What are your biggest accomplishments?

What are your best skills?


The programs, activities, and projects you participate in teach you skills that can be helpful to you in many aspects of your life whether at home, school, or in the workplace. Sometimes figuring out what skills you have gained and how to translate them into something useful, such as a job or college application, can be very difficult. Don’t let that stop you from using these experiences to help you get to the next level! Sometimes the hardest part is recalling all the things you have been a part of… projects, club officer, 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, band, school clubs, special interest clubs, debate team, FFA, camp counselor, student council, athlete, teen board member, and so forth. Start thinking about your experiences and accomplishments-They ALL contribute to the skills, knowledge, and person qualities you posses. By learning to recognize the valuable skills you’ve gained, you can pinpoint your interests and help yourself to discover what types of career you may want to explore!



First step:

List your experiences:

Examples: camp counselor, CARTEENS, Jr. Leader, Jr. Fairboard, club officer, youth ambassador, teen leader, student council, team captain, marching band member, art club, etc.

You can print and use the “You’ve Got Skills Worksheet” to make your list: You’ve Got Skills Worksheet

Next step:

 What are somethings you learned from these experiences that could be applied to a job? Differentiate between technical skills (for a specific job) and workforce skills (for many jobs, to be a good employee, the new basic skills, skills for the knowledge economy).

You can use the SCANS Handout to help you differentiate the types of skills you may have:  SCANS Handout

Next steps:

Pick five of these key experiences or accomplishments that seem most important to you. Did you overcome a problem or obstacle? Did you learn something new or create something through the experience? Did you have to work with other people to carry out a task? Where you in charge of someone else? Did you have to gather information? Did you have to work with resources such as people, time, or money? Did you receive some type of recognition for your work? Did you gain confidence or a sense of achievement?

Print out the “Showcasing Your Skills Worksheet“: Showcasing Your Skills Worksheet

Write down five key experiences or accomplishments in the diagonal columns across the top of the “Showcasing Your Skills” worksheet.

Along the left side of the worksheet, you will see the skills grouped under Workforce Skills with the individual skills that belong to each category.

Read each of the skills. Think about the experiences and accomplishments you listed at the top. As you read the skills, ask yourself if you acquired or used that skill in your experience. If you did, check the box for it in the appropriate column.

Continue to do this for each of the five experiences/accomplishments you listed.

When you are finished, look at the first skill listed under Workforce Skills and count the checked boxes across the row and record the number of times you used that skill. Do this for each of the skills listed on the worksheet.

When you are finished, circle the ten skills that you used the most.

From that list, choose the five or six you enjoy using the most. Number these skills starting with your favorite.

Look at the worksheet again- do three or more of your favorite skills fall in the same skill group- Interpersonal for example? If so, you may want to explore careers that require you to use those skills. If your interests are spread out, that’s okay too! Your interests may require a variety of skills in many areas.

Using the five or six skills you identify as those you enjoy the most, write a sentence about how you used it and what it accomplished. Review the “Action Words handout: Action Words

Concentrate on including Action Words into your sentences to communicate the skills you possess more clearly. For example, say the skill you used was “teaches others new skills” listed under your experience of Camp Counselor. You could write “Developed and taught lesson on team building to middle school aged youth during 4-H Camp. Wrote lesson plans, collected supplies, and instructed participants on how to work as a team by using trust building exercises.”

The sentences you create can be used in a resume to describe your skills, accomplishments, and experiences you have gained. You will be able to show an employer not only what abilities you have but how you can apply them.

Here are some Sample Resumes you can use for guidance:

Sample Resume 1

Sample Resume 2

Once you have completed writing these sentences, you may want to reflect on your favorite skills again and see if you can find evidence of them elsewhere in your life-sports teams, other clubs, etc. To continue assessing the skills you have gained once you leave the conference, spend time reflecting and write these other experiences down as well. These can be added to your experiences and accomplishments.  


Ohio 4-H Workforce Prep Project Starter

Guidelines for a self-determined starter project are now available by clicking on the link below!

Workforce Prep Self Determined Information