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Employability Skills

image from cover of Employability pdf

The skills you need to enter, stay in, and progress in the world of work—whether you work on your own or as a part of a team.

These skills can also be applied and used beyond the workplace in a range of daily activities.

Fundamental Skills

The skills needed as a basis for further development

You will be better prepared to progress in the world of work when you can:


  • read and understand information presented in a variety of forms (e.g., words, graphs, charts, diagrams)
  • write and speak so others pay attention and understand
  • listen and ask questions to understand and appreciate the points of view of others
  • share information using a range of information and communications technologies (e.g., voice, e-mail, computers)
  • use relevant scientific, technological, and mathematical knowledge and skills to explain or clarify ideas


  • locate, gather, and organize information using appropriate technology and information systems
  • access, analyze, and apply knowledge and skills from various disciplines (e.g., the arts, languages, science, technology, mathematics, social sciences, and the humanities)


  • decide what needs to be measured or calculated
  • observe and record data using appropriate methods, tools, and technology
  • make estimates and verify calculations


  • assess situations and identify problems
  • seek different points of view and evaluate them based on facts
  • recognize the human, interpersonal, technical, scientific, and mathematical dimensions of a problem
  • identify the root cause of a problem
  • be creative and innovative in exploring possible solutions
  • readily use science, technology, and mathematics as ways to think, gain, and share knowledge, solve problems, and make decisions
  • evaluate solutions to make recommendations or decisions
  • implement solutions
  • check to see if a solution works, and act on opportunities for improvement

Personal Management Skills

The personal skills, attitudes, and behaviours that drive one’s potential for growth

You will be able to offer yourself greater possibilities for achievement when you can:


  • feel good about yourself and be confident
  • deal with people, problems, and situations with honesty, integrity, and personal ethics
  • recognize your own and other people’s good efforts
  • take care of your personal health
  • show interest, initiative, and effort


  • set goals and priorities balancing work and personal life
  • plan and manage time, money, and other resources to achieve goals
  • assess, weigh, and manage risk
  • be accountable for your actions and the actions of your group
  • be socially responsible and contribute to your community


  • work independently or as part of a team
  • carry out multiple tasks or projects
  • be innovative and resourceful: identify and suggest alternative ways to achieve goals and get the job done
  • be open and respond constructively to change
  • learn from your mistakes and accept feedback
  • cope with uncertainty


  • be willing to continuously learn and grow
  • assess personal strengths and areas for development
  • set your own learning goals
  • identify and access learning sources and opportunities
  • plan for and achieve your learning goals


  • be aware of personal and group health and safety practices and procedures, and act in accordance with them

Teamwork Skills

The skills and attributes needed to contribute productively

You will be better prepared to add value to the outcomes of a task, project, or team when you can:


  • understand and work within the dynamics of a group
  • ensure that a team’s purpose and objectives are clear
  • be flexible: respect, and be open to and supportive of the thoughts, opinions, and contributions of others in a group
  • recognize and respect people’s diversity, individual differences, and perspectives
  • accept and provide feedback in a constructive and considerate manner
  • contribute to a team by sharing information and expertise
  • lead or support when appropriate, motivating a group for high performance
  • understand the role of conflict in a group to reach solutions
  • manage and resolve conflict when appropriate


  • plan, design, or carry out a project or task from start to finish with well-defined objectives and outcomes
  • develop a plan, seek feedback, test, revise, and implement
  • work to agreed-upon quality standards and specifications
  • select and use appropriate tools and technology for a task or project
  • adapt to changing requirements and information
  • continuously monitor the success of a project or task and identify ways to improve

Be in the Know.


Innovation Skills Profile 2.0
The skills you need to contribute to an organization’s innovation performance.

Commercialization Skills Profile
The skills, attitudes, and behaviours you need to bring a new or improved
product, process, or service to market and to maximize its value

Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education
The Centre for Skills and PSE provides research, analysis, and networking on Canada's skills and education challenges.