What are Essential Skills?

Essential skills are important to develop and showcase on your resume, but what exactly constitutes an essential skill? They are people, social, and communication skills combined with character or personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, and social and emotional intelligence quotients. These skills empower people to navigate their environment, collaborate with others, perform well, and achieve their goals. Combined with technical skills, essential skills are key in the workplace. They are also referred to as core competencies, core skills, or soft skills. 

The primary difference between technical and essential skills is how people develop and use them in the workplace.  Essential skills are more often seen as traits you may have developed throughout your life. Technical skills are studied and developed through education or specific training. They include competencies like how to use a certain machine, software, or another tool. 

Check out this article to learn more about career readiness competencies! 

Use strong action verbs on your resume to showcase your essential skills! Consider using the following strong action verbs to highlight your essential skills: 

Accommodated Embraced challenges Integrated Prioritized, Prioritised
Adapted Experimented Managed conflict Remained flexible
Adjusted Improvised Navigated Transformed

Career Management 
Accelerated Expanded Hired Mastered
Administered Explored Improved Officiated
Contracted Facilitated Learned Promoted
Endorsed Furthered Leveraged Engaged

Accepted constructive criticism Learned Responded to input Took direction
Accepted responsibility Respected Reflected Took ownership

Addressed Conferred Enlivened Lobbied
Advertised Conveyed Expressed Marketed
Answered Corresponded Facilitated Negotiated
Articulated Debated Ignited Persuaded
Authored Defined Illustrated Presented
Briefed Described Informed Reviewed
Campaigned Discussed Instructed Spoke
Clarified Drafted Interpreted Summarized, Summarised
Co-authored Documented Lectured Wrote
Composed Edited Listened

Critical Thinking
Analyzed, Analysed Examined Merged Restructured
Assembled Explored Modified Revamped
Assessed Forecasted Optimized, Optimised Revitalized, Revitalised
Audited Formulated Overhauled Simplified
Calculated Identified Redesigned Solved
Conceptualized Innovated Refined Streamlined
Devised Investigated  Refocused Updated
Evaluated Mapped Remodeled

Digital Technology
Analyzed, Analysed Customized, Customised Designed Operated
Coded Installed Modeled Programmed
Compiled Interfaced Networked Tested

Cared Guided Related Sympathized
Considered Listened Respected Understood
Empathized Mentored Supported

Built Developed Formulated Introduced
Charted Engineered Founded Launched
Conceived Established Initiated Piloted
Created Forged Innovated Pioneered

Chaired Elected Inspired Orchestrated
Championed Empowered Led Oversaw
Coached Executed Mentored Spearheaded
Coordinated Fostered Motivated Transformed
Delegated Guided Optimized, Optimised Unified

Multi-Cultural Fluency
Bridged Interpreted Reconciled

People Management
Advised Coordinated Encouraged Oversaw
Assigned Delegated Influenced Resolved
Built relationship(s) Directed Informed Supervised
Coached Educated Led Trained
Collaborated Employed Managed

Committed Ensured Respected Surpassed
Considered Managed expectations Succeeded Verified
Dedicated Negotiated 

Adapted Grew Overcame Strengthened
Changed Improvised Reached Succeeded
Coped Learned Recovered Updated
Earned Merged Restructured

Teamwork & Collaboration
Aided Enabled Guided Partnered
Aligned Encouraged Harmonized, Harmonised Resolved
Assisted Exchanged Ideas Incorporated Shaped
Collaborated Facilitated Mentored Supported
Contributed Gathered Participated Teamed
Time Management
Delegated Met deadlines Planned Set Goals
Expedited Multi-tasked Prioritized, Prioritised Strategized, Strategised
Managed competing priorities Organized, Organised Scheduled
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