Thursday, February 3, 2011

Job Search ~ Part 1: Your skills

Being a military spouse can have its downfalls when it comes to the career/job department. Many times we, as spouses, put our careers/jobs on hold for our servicemember. Than there are those who really didn't put anything on hold, but have trouble finding a job simply because they are a military spouse, lol. Jobs are limited and we constantly move, so it makes it kind of hard for us to find something. So I will be sharing tips and such out of several books that may help myself, or you, the reader. =)

(Personal note** It is really hard for me right now!! I have been a stay at home mom for the past 8 1/2yrs, since my husband joined. I have tons of skills, but no work about bummer! But I'm determined to find something, which is why I have all these books for tips on finding and getting a job.)

Let's get started!!

Identify your skills - your skills represent your unique abilities to accomplish tasks...they are developed through a variety of experiences and there are 3 basic types of skills:

1. Self-management skills - these represent your personal traits...

accurate, active, adaptable, adventurous, aggressive, alert, ambitious, analytical, artistic, assertive, calm, candid, capable, careful, cautious, charismatic, clear-headed, clever, competitive, concerned, concise, confident, conscientious, conservative, considerate, consistent, cooperative, courageous, creative, decisive, dedicated, dependable, detail-oriented, diligent, direct, disciplined, eager, efficient, energetic, enthusiastic, factual, fair-minded, flexible, forceful, friendly, frugal, genuine, goal-oriented, hardworking, honest, imaginative, independent, industrious, innovative, intelligent, intuitive, inventive, logical, loyal, methodical, non-judgmental, open-minded, opportunistic, organized, perfectionist, precise, reliable, responsible, risk-taker, secure, self-motivated, sensitive, stable, talented, trustworthy, wise

2. Transferable or Functional skills - these are your mobile skills...they can easily travel between different types of jobs...

adjust, advice, alter, analyze, arrange, assess, assist, blend, budget, calculate, care for, classify, compare, compile, compose, compute, conceptualize, construct, consult, cook, coordinate, copy, create, decorate, demonstrate, diagnose, direct, drive, edit, entertain, evaluate, examine, follow up, formulate, guide, handle, improvise, include, influence, inform, insert, install, instruct, interview, investigate, learn, listen, manage, manipulate, measure, mix, motivate, negotiate, network, operate, paint, persuade, plan, post data, problem solve, publicize, read, record, refill, regulate, repair, report, sell, serve, service, sew, sort, supervise, synthesize, teach, test, type, theorize, transcribe, write

3. Work Content skills - also known as technical skills...these skills are task specific... skills you must have in order to accomplish a given task... for example, if you are a computer programmer, you must know how to program computers, or if you are a cashier, you must know how to operate a cash register...

Updating your skills or adding to them - there are several ways to do this...

1. enroll in a class at a local university or online
2. contact the family services support or community service center on the military installation where you are stationed, they may offer free skills-based training
3. volunteer your time to an organization in order to learn those skills
4. teach yourself new skills
5. if you are employed already, find out if your company will sponsor the training you want

You must know what employers want too... the three characteristics most employers seek are:

1. Ability to do the job that has to be done.
2. Willingness to do the job that has to be done.
3. Ability to fit in their company.

Specifically they want employees who:

1. Have knowledge and the ability to learn.
2. Possess solid decision making skills.
3. Can be flexible, adaptable, persistent and can take the initiative necessary to see a task through to completion.
4. Can effectively communicate and work in teams.
5. Can be assertive when necessary.
6. Have professional networking skills and a familiarity with the company's history and goals.


  1. One of the mistakes that employment seekers make is using the same resume for every job they are applying for. It is very important to tailor one's resume to what the job posting is looking for. The best way to do this it to look at the job posting and see what in your skills set is applicable then re-create a resume based on that. You can have all the skills in the world but if it is not what an employer is looking for, it will not help.

    Another suggestion that I would like to make is get to know what the current buzz word for the industry is. This includes, finding out the key words necessary to be on your resume. Sometimes it is a computer that makes the initial selection process by looking at certain key words on a resume.

    Knowing a company's history and goals is one thing. Getting to know the company's culture and understanding it's mission is another. Research and take notes so that you can use some of the information in not only building your resume but also a knowledge base of the company should you be called for an interview.


  2. thank you so much for your input!!!