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Texas State University

Are You Career Ready?

Employers are looking to hire Bobcats that are career ready - that know how to use and articulate their talents, strengths and interests.

Explore the 8 Career Competencies

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) has identified eight key competencies for career readiness.

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Critical Thinking

Analyze information. Find reasonable, optimal solutions. Demonstrate originality.

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  • What skills have you already applied (through academics, work, and extracurricular activities)? Have you:

    • Actively sought new perspectives, ideas
    • Generated ideas and initiated projects
    • Identified and solved problems
    • Set realistic goals, priorities
    • Thought creatively, on a deadline
    • Made difficult, but informed, decisions
    • Curious, willing to learn
  • Ways to practice, fine-tune and sharpen your skills:

    • Complete a diversity workshop
    • Plan and implement a project or program
    • Help solve an organization-related problem
    • Apply math or statistics to a class project
    • Set goals, prioritize, creatively complete on deadline
    • Discuss a case study, and its possible solutions
    • Present an in-depth analysis of a social issue
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Communication

Record thoughts, promote ideas. Present complex information. Speak effectively to groups.

  • What skills have you already applied (through academics, work, and extracurricular activities)? Have you:

    • Spoke effectively to groups, networked
    • Explained goals, gave specific examples
    • Defined, explained, or analyzed information
    • Helped to promote or sell a product
    • Wrote clearly, concisely, persuasively, creatively
    • Critiqued, edited, proofread document
    • Translated or interpreted another language
  • Ways to practice, fine-tune and sharpen your skills:

    • Refine proofreading, editing skills
    • Collect samples of transparent, concise writing
    • Clearly explain a complex topic, with specific examples
    • Persuade, promote, sell on behalf of a group
    • Use multi-media to create presentation
    • Gain a lot of experience in public speaking
    • Travel internationally, cross-culturally
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Teamwork

Work well in groups, build relationships. Embrace diversity of individuals and ideas. Focus on goals, manage conflict.

  • What skills have you already applied (through academics, work, and extracurricular activities)? Have you:

    • Appropriately expressed feelings in a group
    • Worked well with individuals, one-on-one
    • Listened/understood perspectives of others
    • Comfortably accepted differing opinions
    • Dealt patiently with difficult people
    • Succeeded in attaining a common goal
    • Used tact, diplomacy, or discretion
  • Ways to practice, fine-tune and sharpen your skills:

    • Gain experience in group discussions
    • Expose yourself to differing viewpoints
    • Join a campus organization or teambuilding activity
    • Train, advise, or support others
    • Use any chance to strengthen interpersonal skills
    • Practice dealing diplomatically with difficult people
    • Make a quality contribution to a major group project
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Digital Technology

Keep technologically current. Use tech to solve problems, attain goals. Adapt well to future innovation.

  • What skills have you already applied (through academics, work, and extracurricular activities)? Have you:

    • Gathered, organized relevant information
    • Directly surveyed, interviewed sources
    • Conducted multi-source, online research
    • Designed a flyer, brochure, or publication
    • Wrote code for a computer
    • Familiar with industry-specific software
    • Conducted data analysis
  • Ways to practice, fine-tune and sharpen your skills:

    • Write a paper, with at least 10 online resources
    • Conduct, compile, and analyze an online survey
    • Interview long-distance, by email or social media
    • Learn, apply industry-specific computer skills
    • Develop a budget or financial spreadsheet
    • Design a PowerPoint, brochure, or web page
    • Coordinate a group’s social media, run analytics
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Leadership

Move others toward common goals. Delegate duties, help colleagues develop. Possess exceptional interpersonal skills.

  • What skills have you already applied (through academics, work, and extracurricular activities)? Have you:

    • Have taken the initiative
    • Worked without supervision
    • Organized others to achieve a goal
    • Mediated or negotiated a difficult situation
    • Hired, trained or supervised someone
    • Decided a group’s course of action
    • Wrote or presented a progress report
  • Ways to practice, fine-tune and sharpen your skills:

    • Take the lead and coordinate a class project
    • Note any job duties performed independently
    • Look for opportunities to mediate group difficulties
    • Watch a TED talk on Leadership
    • Serve as an officer within an organization
    • Supervise, mentor, train others
    • Write an organization’s end-of-year report
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Professionalism

Improve professional image, time management. Be ethical and community-minded. Take responsibility, learn from mistakes.

  • What skills have you already applied (through academics, work, and extracurricular activities)? Have you:

    • Demonstrated ethical behavior
    • Detail-oriented, orderly, organized
    • Multi-tasked well under tight time constraints
    • Showed great attitude, excellent customer service
    • Coordinated and followed through on projects
    • Received and utilized constructive feedback
    • Went above, beyond expectations, without fanfare
  • Ways to practice, fine-tune and sharpen your skills:

    • Manage a daily schedule, balance class, work, life
    • Maintain high GPA, especially within major
    • Work a part-time job on or off campus
    • Volunteer in an area related to your career
    • Coordinate, follow through with a major project
    • Show positive attitude, impressive customer service
    • Attend an ethics class or workshop
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Career Management

Recognize, promote qualifications and career goals. Maintain professional growth. Pursue opportunities.

  • What skills have you already applied (through academics, work, and extracurricular activities)? Have you:

    • Engaged in career exploration
    • Complete a resume and an online job application
    • Taken part in a professional job interview
    • Have researched a specific internship
    • Interviewed someone about their career
    • Completed a Job Shadowing experience
    • Can fully state future career goals
  • Ways to practice, fine-tune and sharpen your skills:

    • Meet with a career counselor, find and set goals
    • Learn to promote self, join a professional association
    • Complete a resume and LinkedIn profile
    • Attend career fairs, workshops, join
    • Practice interviewing, in person or online
    • Maximize use of social media in job search
    • Network, informationally interview, find a mentor
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Intercultural Fluency

Value, appreciate diversity. Embrace openness and inclusivity. Respect, seek to understand individual differences.

  • What skills have you already applied (through academics, work, and extracurricular activities)? Do you:

    • Appreciate the importance of diversity
    • Take time to learn others’ backgrounds
    • Champion the strengths, differences in us all
    • Always improving your cultural competency
    • Strive for a workplace that embraces diversity
    • Treat others the way they want to be treated
    • Never tolerate bullying or hateful behavior
  • Ways to practice, fine-tune and sharpen your skills:

    • Join a student organization tied to diversity appreciation
    • Volunteer in areas helpful to specific populations
    • Attend events sponsored by SDI, USAC, other groups
    • Train for and join the University Alliance
    • Mentor a First Generation student
    • Continually improve your cultural awareness
    • Stand up for justice—it’s the right thing to do

Become Career Ready

Build and apply career competencies:

  • Join a student organization and take on leadership roles
  • Volunteer for causes that are important to you
  • Get a part-time job where you can practice being a professional
  • Plan to complete an internship where you can put your classroom knowledge toward real work
  • Include these activities and experiences in your resume
  • Attend Career Services events
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