Career Services

Career Readiness Competencies

 Are you Career Ready?

As you navigate your college experience and make important decisions on your career path, Career Services is here to help you build skills or “competencies” that help you become more career-ready. Building competencies, and behaviors associated with each competency, will help you stand out when job searching and show the employers that you are on top of your game!  

Your college career is a time to learn, grow, and develop competencies that will help you thrive in your community and career. Don’t wait until your last year to start thinking about your career and building competencies to help you reach your goals—start now! Your freshman year is a great time to begin outlining your involvement and developing your brand. 

The National Association of Colleges and Employers defines career readiness through eight career competencies identified by employers as critical skills or competencies they seek in job candidates.  

 

grad hat- icon for career and self evaluation

 

How can you build this skill?

 

Career and Self-Evaluation 

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. 

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 positions that will help you progress professionally 

 

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chat bubbles- icon for communication

 

HOW CAN YOU BUILD THIS SKILL?

 

 COMMUNICATION 

Clearly and effectively exchange information, ideas, facts, and perspectives with people inside and outside of an organization. 

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

 

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brain- icon for critical thinking

 

HOW CAN YOU BUILD THIS SKILL?

CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING 

Identify and respond to needs based upon an understanding of situational context and logical analysis of relevant information. 

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

 

 

 

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icon for equity and inclusion

 

HOW CAN YOU BUILD THIS SKILL?

 EQUITY AND INCLUSION 

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. 

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 lead 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

 

 

 

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Leadership 

 Recognize and capitalize on personal and team strengths to achieve organizational goals. 

Behaviors 

  • Inspire, persuade, and motivate self and others under a shared vision

  • Seek out and leverage diverse resources and feedback from others to inform the 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

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briefcase- icon for professionalism

HOW CAN YOU BUILD THIS SKILLS? 

 PROFESSIONALISM 

Knowing work environments differ greatly, understanding, and demonstrating effective work habits, and act in the interest of the larger community and workplace.

Behaviors

  • Act equitably with integrity and accountability to self, others, and the organization
  • Maintain a positive personal brand in alignment with organizational 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

 

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Teamwork

Build and maintain collaborative relationships to work effectively toward common goals, while appreciating diverse viewpoints and shared responsibilities.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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computer- icon for technology

HOW CAN YOU BUILD THIS SKILLS? 

TECHNOLOGY 

Understand and leverage technologies ethically to enhance efficiencies, complete tasks, and accomplish goals. 

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

 

 

 

 

NACE. (2021). What is career readiness?. National Association of Colleges and Employers. https://www.naceweb.org/career-readiness/competencies/career-readiness-defined/  

 

Last Updated: 11/4/22