Developing your skills portfolio

30 August 2021

Personal development is an ongoing process, whether you are currently in the workforce, a job seeker, or a student. Continuous evaluation and progression of skills is a crucial part of life – strengthening your professional skills will help you advance in your career journey. There are many areas and ways in which you can improve your skills.

1. Improve your communication skills 

Communications skills are possibly the most important with the greatest impact. However, such a vital skill needs to be consistently practiced and honed. Effective communication skills can help you when answering phone calls, drafting emails, and successfully carrying yourself in a resume or cover letter. Emails require clear and concise language, while things like annual reports or articles require more detail and time. If you are looking to refine your writing skills, explore resources such as Grammarly and Writer’s Digest. Communication skills involve both writing and speaking abilities, which introduces our next point. 

2. Practice public speaking

Being able to successfully get your point across to a group of people can be challenging, but rewarding and beneficial. If you’re struggling to confidently speak in a group setting, try recording yourself – sometimes watching yourself speak in video format helps you pick up on things that you wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. You can step out of your comfort zone by volunteering to chair the next staff meeting or joining your local toastmaster’s club for more practice. For public speaking tips, read this blog

3. Become better at analytical research 

Research doesn’t end after college. Having effective analytical and research skills is helpful when writing reports or developing new products. Remember to first break down a topic and examine all the background information you need. Then, organize all the resources you need like data or peer-reviewed articles – scan them to ensure they answer your questions. The best way to start research is to ask the right questions. For more information on strengthening your research skills, check out these tips

4. Developing leadership and management skills 

When developing your leadership skills, it’s a good idea to choose a role model whether it’s a historical figure or someone within your organization, or if lucky, you may already have a mentor to learn from. Study the leaders you admire and become the role model yourself by demonstrating the attributes important to you. For inspiration, watch this video on leadership and management.

5. Awareness of Ethics

Ethics outline the appropriate behaviours in a work setting. Many professional decisions involve ethics. You can create a personal ethics code to hold yourself more accountable. Not only does the ethical practice help you grow as a person, but it can heighten the overall reputation of your organization.  

6. Hone your computer and technical skills

Computer literacy has become a necessity: it increases productivity and organization in a digitized world. Your computer skills can range anywhere from basic knowledge of operating systems to advanced computer programming. If you want to learn more, enrol in educational courses like LinkedIn Learning , or check out resources such as Education Planner BC.  For available funding, check out the B.C. Employer Training Grant and learn about eligibility.

In a fast-paced and competitive society, it’s important to not only keep your resume and skills inventory current. A Career Portfolio is a great organizational tool that can be used to document and showcase your skills inventory. It provides a framework to keep track of important documents and reflect upon life experiences. Learn more about the benefits and value of a career portfolio. Create your own portfolio today.