5 Professional Skills You Need to Get Ahead in Your Career

In the competitive job market, there is no dearth of job seekers. What sets apart average job seekers from deserving candidates are their professional skills. In the modern-day ever changing and ever evolving workplaces, it has become all the more important for employees to keep building upon their professional skill sets. But what are professional skills and how are they different from the skills you acquire from education? To put it in simple words, while education can help form a strong foundation and help candidates enter the workforce, succeeding at work requires constant building and polishing of certain professional skills that no college can teach.

Yes, professional skills can’t be taught in a classroom. There’s no course you can take to build these skills but you definitely can do the same on your own. To help you explain more clearly, outlined below are some examples of professional skills – skills that cannot be taught in an educational institution.


Top 5 Professional Skills Examples


1. Professionalism:

Professionalism is not just about dressing professionally and holding a college degree in your hand. It is more about how you conduct yourself during your day-to-day dealings at the workplace and is an amalgamation of a number of characteristics. Some of these characteristics are:


Ethical Behavior or Work Ethics

Organizational Skills

Time Management





2. Communication & Public Speaking:

Two of the most important examples of professional skills are effective communication skills and strong public speaking skills. No work can happen in isolation in the business world and requires professionals to interact with people be it verbally, in written (for example communication through emails) or non-verbally. While written and verbal communication requires you to stay clear and concise, non-verbal communication has got more to do with your body language. Some perfect examples of non-verbal communication include listening attentively to others, positive facial expressions & hand gestures while speaking, greeting people with a smile, etc.

On the other hand, having strong public speaking comes handy for those holding important leadership positions especially when they have to deliver speeches on behalf of the organization, give professional presentations, or impart training to a large number of employees.

Also Read: Effective Ways to Communicate with Your Team


3. Negotiation & Conflict Resolution:

As professionals are required to work in teams and people from different departments, differences are bound to crop up. To avoid differences from hindering the progress of work, negotiation & conflict management are important skills professionals must possess. Most people think that conflicts are bad but if handled correctly, they can prove productive. A person with good negotiation & conflict management skills will drive the conflict in a direction where it is no longer considered a conflict but turns into a productive discussion.


4. Teamwork:

The importance of teamwork as a professional skill cannot be emphasized enough. In all the points discussed so far, one thing that has consistently come up is that in a workplace professionals are required to work in teams and people from different departments. To be able to work in teams successfully, you need to possess strong interpersonal skills which are important to get along with others.

Also Read: How to Improve Your Interpersonal Skills & Thrive in the Workplace?


5. Leadership:

Every professional dream of rising to a leadership position at some point in time in their career. In reality, very few become successful leaders and the ones that do become great leaders possess a number of characteristics that set them apart from average leaders. If we talk about these characteristics, communication is the most important skill that we have already discussed earlier. Apart from communication skills, great leaders are also strategic thinkers, meticulous planners, strong people managers, effective change managers, and excellent motivational forces for their people.


Now that we have already talked about what professional skills are and discussed some good examples of professional skills, the next important point is how to add professional skills in your CV which is discussed in the next section.


How to use professional skills in your CV?

Before thinking of a way for including professionals skills in your CV, first, figure out what professional skills you actually possess. Don’t lie in your CV or else will be caught during the job interview when you are not able to give satisfactory answers to the recruiter. Take some time and write down the skills you genuinely think you possess.

Next, read the job description carefully and identify 3-4 professional skills that are crucial to the job you are applying for that you also possess.

Once you have narrowed down on 3-4 professional skills, depending upon the CV template of your choice you have the option of slipping these skills either in the ‘Skills’ section or ‘Strengths’ section of your CV. You can even talk about these skills while writing the cover letter for your job application.

Professional skills define the way a professional interacts and cooperates with others. These skills show a professional’s capability of handling work as well as their conduct in the workplace. Therefore, these skills are crucial in determining the success of a professional and should not be taken casually.


All the best!


Image Source: Olivier Le Moal / Shutterstock.com

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Categories: Career Advice

About Megha Raizada

Megha Raizada is a professional writer with a keen interest in the global job market. She loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. When not writing or browsing the Internet, you will find her creating furniture out of used tires.

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